All human beings have wants and needs and it can be difficult at times to understand the difference.
Recognizing our five basic needs is a good start in helping manage our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors.
Everyone has a need to be safe: safe emotionally, verbally, physically, sexually, spiritually, financially. Safety is the most basic need from which springs the grounding to provide for our other needs.
A second need is belonging. As humans, we desire being a part of a family, group, or community that provides us with a vital sense of connection to other human beings.
Paradoxically, humans also have a need for independence. This becomes observable with babies, whose bodies are directing them to roll over at 4 months, crawl or walk around a year, and begin verbalizing at around 2 years old. This never ending quest for independence in thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors throughout life is a vital part of health.
This segues easily into the need for mastery. Mastery simply means the ability to learn skills that help people manage life and feel a sense of empowerment. Learning to tie one’s shoes, read a book, run a mile, clean a house, complete high school, manage a job, and understand relationships all require ongoing mastery.
Finally, people need to be able to be generous, living life with so much thankfulness that they want to give back. This may be giving through time or money but it may also be having fun, laughing and playing, creating an energy of joy.
These five needs feed the human spirit and allow each person to grow and develop throughout life. Without one of these, the heart begins to ache, the mind begins to grieve.