Why Knowing What You Need Is a Superpower
Six simple habits to build into your life
Many of our issues arise only because we don’t know what we really need.
When you don’t realize what you really need is to talk to someone about what happened to you, you can end up burning yourself out, working to distract yourself from the pain. Likewise, when you don’t realize what you really need is to deal with your commitment issues, you just end up breaking up (again).
Not knowing what you need is dangerous. Instead of getting a diagnosis and taking the correct medication, you end up reaching for whatever is fast, easy, and cheap. And you suffer for it.
The good news is that often what we need is really simple. Although some things you need will be very specific to you, many things are universal. In fact, they’re so universal and simple that we often overlook them as solutions to our problems. Here are my top six things that most of us need:
1. To slow down.
This is a big one for me. Being busy and speeding through life is a great way to distract yourself from how you’re feeling. Now that I’ve realized this, I know that regularly slowing down is a simple way to reset my heart and mind. Sometimes just a few minutes of quieting my mind and slowing down is enough to “reset” my life. And it saves me weeks of fighting negative emotions.
2. To have alone time.
If you feel like you get drained when you spend time with other people, then this is a big one for you. Building in regular periods of alone time will keep you from reacting in unhealthy ways. If that’s you and you don’t build in regular alone time, you’ll end up getting depressed and isolating from friends for long periods of time.
Don’t be shy about this. You don’t just deserve it, you need it. It’s like charging your phone. Anyone that gives you a hard time for needing time alone to recharge is probably struggling with similar things themself.
3. To eat regularly.
Sometimes your sluggishness is only because your body is craving calories. Knowing that you need to eat regularly and always keeping snacks with you is a ridiculously simple fix for what can spiral into big problems.
4. To exercise.
Over-thinking is a common problem that leads to lots of other issues. And I’ve found that physical exercise is a great way to get out of my head and feel grounded again. Looking back, so many of my issues could have been dissolved with a run or a weightlifting session.
5. To create.
Few things can calm you down and return you to a sense of peace like creative expression. Maybe it’s cooking or possibly painting. Like exercise, doing something with your hands is a great way to reconnect with your body and slow down the time that feels like it’s rushing by.
6. To talk to someone.
Even if you’re the kind of person who needs a lot of alone time, you’ll probably find that you still need to have deep conversations with someone else on a regular basis because, well… you’re human.
Regularly “cleaning out” worries and problems that you’ve collected is a prerequisite to feeling light and happy. And doing this as often as simple as speaking them out loud to someone empathetic and impartial. If you’re able to, talking with a professional therapist who’s not involved in your daily life is ideal.
It’s best to know what you need upfront, so you can skip the burnouts, the breakups, and the binging. When you realize what you actually need are not the things you’re using to cope, you can stop.
And once you know what things you really need, you can build them as habits in your life.