We all bleed the same
Introducing the Basic Human Needs
When you look at the difficulties humans seem to have co-existing on the blue Planet sometimes you could be forgiven for forgetting that we all bleed the same! However, apart from our blood, there are other common factors humans share that link us together and that is the BASIC HUMAN NEEDS or as they are sometimes known THE HUMAN GIVENS.
The European Therapy Institute first coined the phrase in their study of what humans need to thrive. They found that in individuals who thrive i.e. those whose lives are working well and are happy and healthy, they have certain physical and emotional needs met. These results held across gender, nationality, and age. In addition, if one or more of these needs is not regularly met, one of four things usually happens.
1. We get sick physically
2. We develop some kind of mental/emotional problem such as anxiety or depression (or both)
3. We have an accident of some kind
4. We revert back to old addictive patterns (whether that involves a substance or addictive behaviour pattern e.g. relationship/sex addiction etc.)
So obviously, it is in our interest to know what these Basic Needs are and how we can get them met and more importantly how we can maintain them being met. They are listed below:
The first need is for safety and security. This means living somewhere where we are not at risk of physical or mental/emotional harm. This is as true for individuals living in a war zone as it is for someone experiencing domestic abuse.
2. NEED FOR CONNECTION
We are social animals so we need to be able to relate to others. Ideally this would be in the form of intimate loving relationships where we feel understood and connected but it could also apply to having a spiritual connection to someone/something else or to a special pet etc.
3. NEED TO GIVE AND RECEIVE ATTENTION
We need to have enough social outlets where we both give AND receive attention. This can take many forms e.g. Parents often give a lot of attention to the needs of their children or teachers give out attention in their jobs. However it appears to be the balance of giving and receiving that is crucial in ensuring that this particular human need is sufficiently met.
4. HAVING A SENSE OF STATUS
We need to feel we are important. Not in an ego big headed way, but to feel we matter. Humans need to feel that their taking breath is important and that the world is a better place for them being in it. We need to feel we make a mark.
5. MIND BODY CONNECTION
We need to ensure that we are eating healthily and avoiding over processed “sludge” food. We need to ensure that we are getting a healthy night’s sleep (e.g. 7-8 hours on average). We need to ensure we are taking exercise that gets us aerobic regularly. It may also be helpful to have some kind of mindfulness practice or meditation on a regular basis.
6. CREATIVITY AND STIMULATION
We need to have creative outlets whether that is artistic, musical, dance or even cooking etc. Basically it covers anything we do that creates something that wasn’t there before. This Basic Need is also concerned with ensuring we have enough variety in our lives and that we feel stretched.
7. SENSE OF CONTROL
This does not mean being controlling, but rather that we have a sense of control over the things in our lives and feeling able to let go of things outside our control. This is often what is missing in individuals who become highly anxious.
8. PURPOSE AND GOALS
We need to have something to get up for in the morning! It is important for us to have goals and dreams and to feel we are actively working towards them. They might be small goals like trying to drink and extra glass of water per day to big goals like climbing Everest or starting a business or charity.
9. SENSE OF CONNECTION TO SOMETHING BIGGER
We need to feel connected to something outside of our self as a person (i.e. something that stops us naval gazing!) This might include being part of a conservation project, a charity, a religious or spiritual community or some other focus group.
As a Therapist, having an awareness of Basic Needs has dramatically improved my work with clients. For example, I worked with a lady in her 40s called Christina. She was so depressed she only left the house to come to therapy once a week. She literally shuffled in on the first session. On session two I said “keep your coat on Christina we are having our session outside today!” We walked and talked round a nearby park to enable her serotonin levels to through the movement of her body. Over the following few weeks we addressed more and more of the Basic Needs that were missing and utilised the internal resources she had lost touch with. Finally, she felt well enough to volunteer at a local church drop in cooking breakfasts for homeless people. Through this activity she met her current partner and her life now could not look more different from the way it was when we started working together.
The Basic Needs are referred to in Kate Marillat and Karl Dawson’s new book, including an Inventory chart which lets you score some of the Basic Needs listed above. Start with checking your own Basic Needs. If you find you score low on getting one or more of them met, use EFT to tap on this block and begin to clear any stuckness. You may find old memories will surface which you can then clear with Matrix Reimprinting. For example, if you score low on having a goal and a purpose you may tap into feelings of hopelessness or unworthiness or “what’s the point?” There will very likely be a childhood echo who felt he or she couldn’t make something happen or didn’t dare to have a dream. Clearing these blocks can radically improve your quality of life!
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© Matrix Reimprinting Limited 2014