Do you ever feel out of sorts? When you have a sense that things are not right, but you can’t quite put a finger on exactly what’s wrong?
An explanation that often pops up now is “the virus.” Everything seems connected to it, with a sense that if only we could get back to normal, then we’ll feel better and live happily, like we used to.
A question worth pondering is, “Were you living happily before?” But that’s for another day. For now, let’s stick to potential causes of dissatisfaction. While virus-related actions are certainly disruptive, is there a possibility that they are not the only trouble-maker?
Dr. Glasser suggests that we need to fulfill five basic needs to be satisfied. His list is: security/survival, love/belonging, power, freedom, and fun. Even if you don’t agree with Glasser’s list, you may still find the idea and the structure helpful.
When we feel out of sorts, perhaps one of our needs is unsatisfied. If we know which one, we might be able to do something about it. Let’s go through some questions for each one.
Security/survival: How’s your health? How safe to do you feel? How well are you eating? How’s your exercise regime? Are you sleeping well; feeling rested? What about financial security? How’s your employment? Do you feel reasonably secure about your resilience and ability to adapt to whatever comes your way?
Love/belonging: This may be a big one because of events over the past year. Are you in contact with people? Do you feel closely connected to at least one person? Are you lonely? Have you found a way to replace visits and social events so you still feel connected with people you care about?
Power: Do you perceive that you are in control of important parts of your life? Do you feel respected? Listened to? Are you making progress? Do you believe that it’s within your power to do what you need to do, or do you feel controlled or manipulated? Are you concerned that you may lose control of your life?
Freedom: Do you feel trapped? (Physically or mentally ) Are you concerned that you can’t find a way out? Do you spend any time outside? Do you have any free time when there are no demands on you?
Fun: Have you laughed recently? Done anything just for fun? Have you watched any funny cat videos recently? (Apparently cat videos aren’t fun for everyone. There are many things I don’t understand.)
When you look at your level of satisfaction in each of these five basic needs, what do you see? Neglecting any one could bring dissatisfaction.
We all know that we can’t always get what we want. However, if we can clearly identify our main source of dissatisfaction, we can sometimes figure out creative solutions. They may not be perfect solutions, but an imperfect solution that we can implement is much, much more helpful than a perfect solution that we can’t have.
We may not get everything we want, but we might be able to get what we need.
Are you satisfying your basic needs? Or are you missing some important pieces?
Welcome to Reality Check:
articles and observations inspired by the work of Dr. William Glasser
- Choosing Behaviour
- Choosing Perspective
- Control and Choice
- Develop Understanding
- Doing, Thinking, Feeling, Physiology
- How it is sometimes
- Love & Belonging
- Perception & Reality
- Personal Freedom