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What are my needs? How can I get my needs met on a daily basis?



An Introduction to Maslow's Hierarchy

We all face a different challenge each day and we do not always know or understand why until we take time to evaluate what we are needing in the moment. Sometimes this is easy and other times this is a much more complicated manner. As Abraham Maslow said, "It isn't normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement."


For those students of psychology they may be familiar with the name Maslow being associated with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. His hierarchy of needs has been a cornerstone of looking at humans as working towards goals to achieve basic needs. He highlighted in 1943 that there were five basic needs that motivate us throughout our lives. He expressed that these needs included: physiological needs, safety needs, belonging and love needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization.




Self-Actualization

What was Maslow talking about when he said self-actualization? Maslow's description of self-actualization has come to be interpreted as:

""the highest level of psychological development where the "actualization" of full personal potential is achieved, which occurs only after basic and mental needs have been fulfilled.""

Maslow's description of self-actualization has been considered to be focused on the belief that our every day life is a journey in which we were working to achieve our best selves. For each of us being our "best selves" may look different but at the core we are in need of getting our physical, and mental needs met before we are capable of achieving this goal. So how do we make sure we are able to meet these needs?


Physiological Needs

Our physical needs are an important aspect of our lives. The food, water, shelter, and the air we breathe all have an impact on our daily life by affecting our moods, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. When we do not have our physical needs met we tend to be motivated primarily by trying to survive. This can be especially true following a disaster, an emergency, or an unexpected change in our lives.


Resources that may be able to help you meet your physical needs at this time:


  • CARITAS Homelessness Resources (A local Richmond, VA organization's resources around helping the homeless and getting help as an individual who is homeless)

  • Feedingamerica.org (A search for food banks and access to food)

  • Findhelp.org (A searchable database for free or low cost programs and services)

  • Helplines & Hotlines (Phone numbers to call when needing support or if you are in an emergency due to abuse, thoughts of suicide, and more)


Safety Needs

When it comes to feeling safe we are constantly battling the news, social media, and sometimes even our brains in recognizing when we are safe. Our safety needs are met when we feel that what we have is safe and secure. At times these needs may be met more tenuously for some of us then others.


When thinking about safety a common concern for individuals is financial security. When faced with the adversity of debt, needing to create a budget, or more consulting a financial planner can be beneficial. By utilizing their knowledge and assistance in developing a solid financial plan you can start taking steps towards safety and security in not just your finances but your physical needs as well.


Resources that may be able to help you meet your safety needs at this time:


  • Dartmouth College Student Wellness Center (Access to free guided meditation exercises and more)

  • Findhelp.org (A searchable database for free or low cost programs and services)

  • Headspace.com (Meditation exercises for sleep, anxiety reduction, and more)

  • Helplines & Hotlines (Phone numbers to call when needing support or if you are in an emergency due to abuse, thoughts of suicide, and more)

  • Mental Health Treatment (Individual, Couples, Group, and Family Therapy. See Below.)

  • Virginia Employment Commission (Virginia's employment commission notes on unemployment benefits. You can also access job seeking assistance)


Belonging and Love Needs

As humans we our social beings that want to feel connected to the world around us especially other humans. We seek connections, love, caring, and most importantly a sense belonging in the world. Sometimes, experiencing disasters, traumas, and other hardships in our lives can make it especially hard to find positives in ourselves or act appropriately in our relationships with others.


Support groups in your local area are a great way to be connected to others who are struggling like you. As part of a support group you participate in conversation and dialogue with others in an effort to provide


Resources that may be able to help you meet your Belonging and Love needs at this time:


  • Findhelp.org (A searchable database for free or low cost programs and services)

  • Mental Health Treatment (Individual, Couples, Group, and Family Therapy. See Below.)

  • NAMI Support Groups (Support groups for individuals and family members struggling with mental health concerns)

  • Side by Side Support Groups (A local Richmond, VA organization providing support groups to those ages 11 to 20 years old)


Esteem Needs

Our mental health incorporates a variety of needs as we have started to explore already in terms of our physical health and needs, our safety and security, and having a sense of belonging in the world. In order to have confidence in ourselves we need to have a positive perspective of who we are, what are strengths are, and what we are able to do.


Resources that may be able to help you meet your Belonging and Love needs at this time:


  • Findhelp.org (A searchable database for free or low cost programs and services)

  • Mental Health Treatment (Individual, Couples, Group, and Family Therapy. See Below.)

  • Virginia Mentoring Partnership (Resources for evaluating and getting the most out of a mentoring relationship)


Mental Health Treatment Availability And Benefits

In order to make sure your needs are being met it is helpful and beneficial to seek assistance from a professional. Mental Health professionals are on the verge of increased accessibility through the use of telehealth services along with in person sessions.


Individual, Couples, Group, and Family therapy assist individuals in being able to develop an increased sense of security, how to care for yourself, increase ability to have a positive self-esteem, and exploration of where you belong. Therapy is able to accomplish this by providing a safe and confidential environment in which your worries, concerns, and problems are able to be discussed while solutions are able to be explore through the practice of helpful coping skills, processing of new concepts, and challenging of unhealthy beliefs and habits.


If you are interested or in need of mental health treatment the following resources may be able to help you:


For a more detailed explanation and a look at how Maslow's Hierarchy of needs has changed over the years check out Simply Psychology's article by Saul McLeod: https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html



References:


Abraham Maslow Quote. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.azquotes.com/quote/442180


Hierarchy of Needs Image. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow-needs2.webp


Maslow, A. H. (1943).A theory of human motivation.Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-96.





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