How’s You’re Emotional Wellness??
The guidelines for getting ripped & eating healthy are just TWO of the THREE key elements of our overall health. Your mental health and wellness are just as important as the other two ends of the wellness triangle. Abraham Maslow comes to mind with all this talk of triangles because he believed that we have a “Hierarchy of Needs” that must be met, to be happy, healthy, and successful in life.
But I don’t know that Maslow had it all figured out, he only studied healthy, well rounded (perfect) people, which were at the time, all healthy, rich, white, men (think Abraham Lincoln, etc.) so I don’t think this triangle accounts for everything.
Another thing Maslow oversimplified was the relationship between motives & behavior. For example, most people need respect from someone before entering into a relationship with them. Maslow did recognize that a given “motive” did not have to be 100% satisfied before we move to a higher need. He said our needs are not completely met most of the time. Statistics show that the average American has 85% of their physiological needs met, 70% safety, 50% belonging, 40% self esteem, and 10% self actualization.
It still makes sense though that, how well lower needs are met, determines how much those needs influence our behavior.
The way we satisfy a particular need varies across cultures, in our society, becoming a doctor or a lawyer may win respect from others. Other cultures may respect different jobs or skills like hunting.
Maslow didn’t believe that any one given behavior was motivated by one single need, he thought that is was the product of multiple motivations. Sexual behaviors for example, may be motivated by a”need for sexual release, a need to win, or express affection, by a sense of conquest or mastery and/or by a desire to feel feminine or masculine.”
Another set of needs not included in the triangle are cognitive needs (the mind), things like the need to know, and the need to understand. We express these needs in how we analyze or reduce things to their basic elements. Another example of a cognitive need is the need to experiment. To see what will happen when we do this or that.
Cognitive needs appear early in life and are seen in a child’s natural curiosity, you know that stage where your child has an endless stream of questions… like, why???? But failure to meet these needs can hinder the development and full healthy functioning of the individual. And by failure to meet these needs I mean, sometimes teachers or parents can teach a child to inhibit their spontaneity or curiosity because it can get overwhelming, etc.
So If you are participating in my July Challenge, “Learning to Love Myself,” I want you to apply Maslow’s hierarchy to your own life. Reflect on your own activities for the past month or so and then you will decide how satisfied you are with your behaviors, as it relates to having your needs met. What behaviors will fit into each of Maslow’s categories and how satisfying are these behaviors? (I will provide you with a worksheet to help you work on this!) Make sure you answer the following questions as well!
Do your needs in lower categories receive higher ratings than others?
Is it easier to think of certain behaviors belonging to one level or anther?
Do certain behaviors reflect more than one motive??
Are there important motives not included?
Are you failing to meet some needs in your hierarchy? If so, does this suggest changes you would like to make priorities?
If you aren’t having all of your needs met, make notes of what areas you need to work on, so we can discuss it in our consult. If you have any questions or need help feel free to message me!
If you aren’t in my challenge yet you can go over to my FREEBIES page for the quiz below!!
Take my quick quiz to test your Emotional Wellness I.Q. & Keep it to test yourself occasionally to see how your emotional wellness is doing & when it could use a boost! If you find that your score is in either the “Danger Zone” or “Dangerously low” consider joining my July Self Care Challenge.