Psychological Self-Tools - Online Self-Help Book

Assessing Basic Needs

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. and Jolyn Wells-Moran, Ph.D.

It is vital that you take care of your basic needs. It is also inevitable that you will forget to attend to them from time to time and suddenly find yourself coming up short. Don't panic if this sort of thing should happen to you; just modify your priorities so as to recognize the primacy of your unmet basic needs and then attend to them at your earliest convenience.

  • Stay home from work when you are sick
  • Go to sleep or take a nap when you are tired
  • Eat when you are hungry

At any given moment, you can assess how well you are meeting your basic needs by asking yourself a few basic questions: How am I feeling right now?

  • Hungry?
  • Angry?
  • Lonely?
  • Tired?

Monitoring your present moods and needs can help you to be more self-aware and thus more able to correct problems before they get out of hand. It is especially important to attend to situations where you find yourself Hungry, Angry (or afraid), Lonely or Tired; as these attributes reflect your most basic needs. You should attend to meeting those needs immediately. You can remember these four important questions by remembering the acronym "HALT". Though this acronym originated in the Alcoholics Anonymous program, it has wide relevance for all sorts of problems beyond alcohol addiction and is well worth knowing about.

 




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