Know your needs!

Balance Blog 1.png

All human beings have needs. Now, that doesn’t mean that you are necessarily ‘needy’. Addressing your needs is actually the most selfless thing you can do.


We all have needs that must be met in order to be well. We have two main types of needs. There are physical needs, which we know about because we are generally taught about them from the time we are born. Physical needs include our need for food, water, shelter, warmth, etc.  All of these are required to keep our physical bodies healthy and sustained. We need to take in physical nourishment from our external environment in order to remain physically balanced and healthy.  


This same paradigm exists for our emotional needs, our other main type of need. Our nine emotional needs are: security, status, control, privacy, attention, intimacy, community, achievement, and meaning/purpose.  We need to live in environments that are rich with emotional nutrition so that we can draw from the resources around us in order to sustain and nourish ourselves emotionally. The beautiful (and to me, the most hopeful) thing is, when we get our physical and emotional needs met in BALANCE, it is IMPOSSIBLE to be unwell.  This simple concept is the beginning of the path towards self-empowerment and wellness.  Once we know what our needs are, we can change our behaviors and the structure of our lives to specifically meet those needs.  When we don’t know what our needs are, we just bounce around randomly, trying to feel better, and usually not getting very far.  


If we were not aware that we needed food and water to survive, and our culture taught us that food and water were for the weak, our civilization would not survive very long. Similarly, we are seeing more and more emotional problems arise today. Much of them having to do with not being aware of what our true needs are. When you know your needs, you have direction and you can then start on the path towards wellbeing and balance. 


In brief, humans have 9 emotional needs. Security, control and status are the 3 most basic of our needs.  Then comes privacy.  Then intimacy, community and attention, all more complex and developed (these are our more socially oriented needs). Then achievement and meaning / purpose, our most ‘evolved’ need. Our lives have to mean something to us in order for us to be well. 


This idea is the basis of the Human Givens approach to mental and emotional wellbeing.  The Human Givens Approach gives us a clear and simple framework for understanding what we need and how we can better meet our needs. If you are interested in a Human Givens session, please email I’m so excited to share this powerful approach with you!

Katherine VilnrotterComment