Meeting Your Emotional Needs
How to Meet Your Emotional Needs
I am not exactly sure how to start this article, but I think that it is important to discuss the importance of meeting one's emotional needs. In fact, for everyday life, it is vital, because if your own personal needs are not met, you start to withdraw from your interpersonal relationships, and become what some call a hermit. While every once and a while it is okay to hide in your shell, you need to make sure that this does not take over your entire life, because it is unhealthy to stay away from people for too long.
The reason that I bring up how some individuals withdraw once their needs are not being met, is that this seems counterintuitive. For example, in order to meet your emotional needs, you need to get out and meet new people—not hide in your shell. However, people do just this, because they feel that they need to protect themselves due to fear of being harmed. The purpose of this article is to help you understand just what emotional needs are and how you, the reader, can meet your needs. The path of healing from childhood traumas is a long one, but significant to achieve growth.
What Are Emotional Needs?
Emotional needs, according to the Medical Dictionary, are defined as "a psychological or mental requirement of intraphysic origin usually centers on such feelings as love, fear, anger, sorrow, anxiety, frustration, and depression, and usually involves the understanding, empathy, and support of one person for another." In light of this definition, I agree that emotional needs deal with mental health, as if they are not met, they have the potential to negatively impact mental health. For now, there are four domains that we will discuss along with the emotional facet of human existence. These domains include physical, mental, emotional, and, finally, spiritual.
Physical needs incorporate basic human necessities such as food, water, exercise, and a place to come home to. A home is important because it provides the individual a sense of security which ties into the emotional and mental facet of their being. This home provides a place of comfort - even if the individual is living alone, they have some semblance of control of their lives. It is important to work on your physical needs because this way you ensure your health so that you can continue doing what you want to do within this world. Think of these domains as individual facets that make up the human experience—each facet intertwines so if one facet is impacted all facets have the potential to be negatively impacted.
Mental needs are a bit more abstract, but some things that you could do to meet your mental needs incorporate keeping a clean room, as they say that the cleanliness of the room is a reflection of the mind. Clean your room, which (ugh I know) can be draining, because this way you feel that you have a sense of control in your own life. Another thing that I would recommend is to keep a journal and observe when any negative thoughts come into your mind. Write them down. Write all of your anxieties and depressive thoughts into your journal so that you are able to understand just where your mind is at. Develop a list of goals you want to accomplish so you can raise your self-esteem levels—this is the current journey I am on. For the past week, I was worried about finding a job, because I want to make sure that I am a financially responsible human being.
One of my biggest worries and anxieties, so that none of you feel put on the spot, is becoming a disappointment to others. I do not want to be a disappointment to my family or my friends, or, spiritually speaking, the deity I turn to. I put all this pressure on myself r when it is clear to me that no one else is doing the same. It's like there is this drive to prove them wrong but really, when it all comes down to it, I think I am trying to prove myself wrong. I know what I want to do but there is this inner battle waging inside me—an inner battle of a self-sabotaging nature. The reason why I suggest keeping a journal is so you can understand your inner thoughts and come to the root of why your mind is in such a negative state if this is the case.
Once you figure out what state your mind is in do your best to start off with positive affirmations, to help change your mental state. After all, if you cannot change your mental state, you will have an even harder time changing your emotional state. You must learn to respect yourself and work on letting go the negative perceptions that your mind seems to be clinging onto. This is my current journey. One of the positive affirmations that I have for my self is this: I am enough. I say this because I worry about having to do something to appease those around me. While it is important to compromise behaviors that hurt others, do not change yourself, your presence and your friendship and your love for others should be enough. It is enough.
Spiritual Needs—this is completely up to you. Interestingly enough, I want to believe in God, because I am not opposed to the idea of a deity that created me. If God exists I want to know Him not out of fear but out of love because i think very differently from many Christians who stake everything on the Bible. But since each person is different, how you meet your own spiritual needs depends on you, your beliefs, and your virtues.
How to Meet Your Emotional Needs
Emotional needs is a very abstract subject and can get confusing at times, at least for me. The first step that you need to take is, is to figure out what you believe you are lacking. Even though I do not need a romantic relationship, something that comes with that relationship is physical touch—I am craving hugs and cuddles and have been for a while. I think that this is one of the many signs of developing intimacy. However, the friend that I have now is not a big hugger, and I do not feel comfortable enforcing that onto her because that doesn't sit well with me. My own parents are not in the same area, and I am having trouble meeting this emotional need that I have... it's difficult because I do not just want to dismiss these feelings.
This is why I am deciding to talk about emotional needs, because I know that this can be difficult. Sometimes, the people in your life may not be able to meet your needs not because they are bad people, but because they do not know-how. Or they could be bad people—it's all dependent. Emotional needs ties in with social in my opinion because every human need social interaction—we need to feel some sense of belonging, as Maslow reveals. In our interpersonal relationships, there needs to be a sense of mutuality—of giving and receiving. For example, my relationship with one of my parents can be... difficult because even though logically speaking what I am feeling in my heart does not make sense, I still feel that he is not meeting my emotional needs.
1.) Pay attention to how you feel after talking with someone.
This is vital because it reveals to you whether the person is draining you or not. If they drain you and you feel exhausted, limit either how much you talk to them or try to find some way to put up an emotional wall. You should not have to risk your own health and safety for the sake of pleasing the other person. In my mind, if they truly love you, they would not have you go through that.
2.) Pay attention to the conversation - sit back and observe
One of my parents has the tendency of one-upping my accomplishments, or belittles me, even though he may not be aware, by insinuating that I am not as smart as they are. This frustrates me, so I am beginning to put up boundaries. As this person is the parent and I am the child this can get difficult as parental figures do not like being told no. However, one of the nice things about being an adult is that you have control over what you say and what goes. Don't try to control them but make sure they understand that you are free to say 'no.'
Putting Up Boundaries
One of the aspects of meeting emotional needs is making sure that you are putting up boundaries. Remember, you are in control of what you say and what you do. Know what hurts you and what doesn't - one of the good things about this part of the healing journey is that you get to know yourself more and more, each and every day. Here are some of the boundaries that I am thinking about choosing for myself, when it comes to the relationships that I have with others:
- No interruptions
- No cursing (I am not denouncing this I just do not want things to get heated and for the conversation to turn into an argument).
- I am planning on giving myself Sunday's off, so that I can have a day to myself where I am resting and relaxing
Understand that you do not have to pick up the phone if you do not want to. You are your own person, and are free to live the way that you choose to live within the world. You are in control of your thoughts, what you put into your body, and what you do with your body. You have your own individual rights. You do not have any obligations to anyone besides respect, because you should never stoop as low as some of the people may have done in your life.
Good luck with your healing journey!