The 10 Essential Emotional Needs

We are all born with essential physical and emotional needs and the innate resources to help us fulfill and satisfy these needs in order to facilitate good mental health.

Following are the ten main innate emotional needs:

1) Security — safe home and an environment which allows us to develop fully

2) Attention (to give and receive it) — a form of nutritional food to the mind & body

3) Sense of autonomy and control — having the personal will power to make responsible choices

4) Being emotionally connected to others — the ability to relate and be in relationship

5) Feeling part of a wider community — the sense of belonging, fitting in, and to feel included

6) Friendship, intimacy — to know that at least one other person accepts us totally as we are

7) Privacy — opportunity and time alone to reflect and integrate our life experience

8) Sense of status within social groupings — our personal life position

9) Sense of competence and achievement — being validated, recognized, and affirmed for our contributions

10) Having meaning and purpose — this comes from being stretched in what we do and think

Life is never 100 per cent perfect, but as long as our main essential needs are being met, and our resources are being used well, we do not suffer mental health problems. However, if just one of these needs is unmet, or our resources are being misused, it can affect our mental health and well being.

Emotion is the chief source of all becoming-consciousness. There can be no transforming of darkness into light or of apathy into movement without emotion.
— CG Jung

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.
−Ashley Montague

© Ozimkiewicz


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