The Hierarchy of Needs is Why You’re Not Feeling Like Yourself Right Now

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Given so many social media posts on the topic, you probably already know that you’re not the only one who doesn’t feel their best right now. The same feeling has probably been following you since the beginning of this year and there’s a good reason for it.

Have you heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who created this theory of psychological health. According to him, your psychological health hand wellbeing is determined by fulfilling the groups of needs in priority.

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Where do you fall in the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs? . Deficiency needs make up the first four levels of the pyramid.  For instance, if you lack water (Physiological Need) you will do what it takes to get it. The final level, self-actualization, is a growth need.  This level of achievement will come after you have fulfilled the other levels, working your way upwards, to your own needs and satisfaction. . . Remember, your growth process will meet you where you’re at as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. Each level doesn’t have to be fulfilled at 100%, only according to where needs are met. None of the levels work in a vacuum, although they all effect one another. And yes, it is possible to be in different stages of motivation or change to work on multiple levels at one time, but it will be more challenging, naturally impacting your emotional and mental health. For example, if you lose your job, it can be really hard to be the best spouse you can be because you are preoccupied with being unemployed (Safety Need). Likewise, if you are homeless (Physiological Need), it is extremely difficult to also work on the two uppermost levels – self-esteem and the desire to become the most one can be (Self-Actualization- opportunity to fulfill one’s potential). And again, when safety (preservation of life and sense of security) needs are not met, posttraumatic stress may occur. . . Recognize where you’re at in the pyramid and be cognizant of your innermost thoughts and emotions to avoid compromising your physical and mental health. . . One thing to note, more updated pyramids have added another top layer- “Self-transcendence”… or sense of meaning. Essentially. It’s how you make sense or meaning of the world and your framework. . . #maslows #maslowshierarchyofneeds #copingskills #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mentalhealthday #psychotherapy #mentalhealthawareness #selfactualization #psychologists #growthmindset #mindfulness #psychotherapy #blackdoctors #mentalhealthmatters #blacktherapists #familycounseling #marriagecounseling #familytherapy #perspective #personaldevelopment #psychologist #mindfulnessmeditation #brainrewiring #brainhealth #LCSW #phd

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The idea is that the lower parts of the pyramid need to be satisfied before you can move onto the next levels. For example, a person whose basic needs like food and water aren’t satisfied won’t think about esteem needs or self-actualization. 2020 has messed up many of our critical lower needs so it’s absolutely normal to feel shaken and insecure.

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, it’s understandable that your focus is back to some of the more basic needs. If you lost your job, you’re probably worrying about rent and food. If you’re isolated, your social needs aren’t met. Don’t be so hard on yourself and accept that this may not be the best time to strive for fulfillment and having the job of your dreams. Taking care of your basic needs should be a priority right now.