Recognize your unmet needs with a realistic self-care routine
There is no doubt that we all want to feel good, be happier, live a fulfilling life, and most of the time we believe that the things that will provide all of this exist. But what if all we have to do is look at ourselves and find out which of our needs are not being met? Created by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow in 1943 by arranging human needs in a specific order, the Needs Hierarchy Pyramid can be an effective guide to improving our lives. We ask ourselves, “What do I really need?” Maybe we can find answers to many questions in our lives when we ask.
Tiny Buddha life coach and spiritual entrepreneur Emily PelletierA guide based on his own experience and hierarchy of needs can help you identify and work on which of your life needs are not being met.
“Caring for your body, mind and soul is your biggest responsibility. It’s about listening to the needs of your soul and then respecting them.” ~ Christy Ling
How to identify our unmet needs?
The first step in identifying unmet needs is awareness. To find what you need, you need to recognize what needs in your life are not being met. To find your unmet needs, you can ask yourself a few questions for each step of the pyramid, starting with Maslow’s pyramid of needs at the first step.
1. Physiological needs
Physical needs come first in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; It includes the most basic needs such as food, drinking water and sleep. The satisfaction of these needs provides the “fuel”, that is, the energy that the body and mind need. To understand if you are meeting your basic needs, you can ask yourself the following questions:
Am I eating enough solid foods to fuel my body?
Do I feel rested when I wake up in the morning?
On a scale of 0 to 10, where is my energy level?
Even if most of us don’t have a problem with food, lack of rest and adequate nutrition and supplementation is common. If you feel tired all the time, your body may be giving a signal. You can identify deficiencies in your body by passing the necessary health tests under the supervision of a doctor, and make appropriate adjustments in your life.
2. Security needs
The security needs in the second stage, as the name implies, correspond to the satisfaction of security-related needs. For example, at this stage, there is confidence in whether employment and property are secured, such as job security, guaranteed income, safety of assets. To ensure your safety, try answering the following questions:
Do I have enough financial resources to support myself and feel comfortable?
Overall, do I feel safe?
What is the state of my physical, mental and emotional health?
Do I often experience stress and anxiety? Do I have tools to help me relax?
With questions like, you can be sure of the safety of your body, health, financial resources, in a word, all your assets. If you find that you have an unmet need for security, you can start thinking about what you can do about it.
3. Social needs
The third step in the hierarchy of needs is the social need for belonging. These are needs such as family, friendship, romantic relationships, mutual love and acceptance. To identify unmet needs in this category, try asking yourself the following questions:
Overall, am I satisfied with my relationship?
Are there people around me that I can trust?
Do I feel accepted and supported by others?
Do I interact and connect with people regularly, or do I often feel lonely?
Perhaps the reason for your emptiness may be that your needs in this category cannot be met. By looking at the people around you and evaluating whether your relationships are fulfilling you, you can realize how much you lack those needs.
4. Need for Dignity
Respect is the fourth step on the pyramid of values and needs, the most important in our relationships with ourselves and with others. At this stage, there is recognition, value, respect and self-respect. To see if your esteem needs are being met:
Do I feel valued at work, at home, and with friends?
Is my internal dialogue mostly positive or negative?
Do I believe that I have good qualities? Do others appreciate these qualities?
Do I generally feel good at work, at home and in the community?
You can ask your own questions. In this way, you can improve your sense of self by making sure you meet your dignity needs and strengthen your relationships with yourself and others.
5. Needs for self-realization
Self-actualization needs, which Maslow defines as fulfilling our potential, include a sense of purpose and growth and development as a person. By questioning your life purpose, finding what keeps you moving forward, you can rethink your fulfillment needs. You can ask yourself these questions:
Do I feel that my life has meaning and purpose?
Am I satisfied with my work?
Am I using my skills and natural powers in a way that pleases me?
Am I constantly growing and improving?
By looking for answers to these questions, you can find out if you can meet your needs during the Self-Realization Stage, develop a more accurate vision of your life path, and increase your strength.
Once you’ve assessed the five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you can move on by asking yourself if you’re meeting your needs in two more areas: self-transcendence and relaxation.
6. Need for self-transcendence
Self-transcendence is about feeling connected to other people and all of life and taking action accordingly. At this level is the desire for contribution, service and influence. Also, connecting with a spiritual, higher power is part of their need for self-transcendence. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to assess your needs in this area:
Am I a positive influence on others and the world?
Do I feel connected to others, to nature, and perhaps to a higher power?
Am I satisfied with my spiritual practices?
7. The need for rest
Leisure and entertainment are undoubtedly as important as our other needs and deserve to be met. However, when we get bogged down in the hustle and bustle of life, we may neglect these needs. If your unmet needs also fall into this category, you can ask yourself the following questions to get them noticed:
Am I enjoying myself at work, at home and in my free time?
Am I doing what makes me happy?
How often do I laugh?
Remember, lack of fun and laughter can take a toll on your mental health just as much as failing to meet your other needs.
Once we have identified our needs, how can we meet them?
Once you have identified your unmet needs, you need to move forward step by step and figure out how you can meet them and take action. The following 3 steps can help:
1. Identify a need that needs your immediate attention
To understand if you meet the above needs, please rate each category from 0 to 10 after the questions you ask to see how well your needs are met. Then focus on the level of needs with the lowest score and be ready to start meeting your needs first.
2. Find ways to meet your unmet needs
Start thinking about how you can meet your lowest and most pressing needs. For example, if you do not have enough leisure, find how you can entertain yourself more. Activities that bring you joy and make better use of your free time, such as attending events every week or spending a few days a week in pleasant gatherings, can help meet your needs in this area.
3. Choose and plan a small action
After brainstorming with yourself and finding ways to meet your needs, it’s time to take action. Choose at least one action from the to-do list and get started right away.
Once you complete the first step and discover your unmet needs, you can complete the rest of the steps from the lowest score to the steps with the highest score, and you can be sure that all your needs are met. All these steps can guide us, especially when we don’t even know what we need, when we are not sure how to fill the void in our life, the lack in our life.
Remember that the best self-care is to act quickly to meet your needs!
You may be interested in: Do you really take care of yourself: What does it take to take good care of yourself?
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