An Odd and Effective Way to Calm Your Wants and Needs

by Rachel Miller

January 14, 2022

ABOVE : Derek Thomson

When you’ve been working hard, and it suddenly hits you how badly you need something–you’re starving, you’re exhausted–it can feel like your survival depends on meeting this need now. You feel this internal alarm system going off, this sense of urgency to do something immediately. You feel irritable and frantic to feel better. Even though everything in you wants to act now, pause for a moment instead.

Try a different approach:

  • Picture this need like a small child, vying for your attention. Calmly reassure that small child of your mind that it’s OK, “shh, you’re not going to starve, you’re going to be OK.” Hush that sense of urgency.

  • Validate the need. You’re not ignoring the signals, but providing consoling support. You see it, hear it—yes, it’s uncomfortable!—and it’s going to be OK.

  • Provide reassurance that you’ll take care of it when the time is right, “I know that you’re hungry. First I will finish X, then we will eat.”

  • When you respond to your needs this way, not out of reaction, but with gentle validation, you learn to settle that restless, anxious child of your mind who is always worrying, waiting, wanting. You learn to calm your wants and needs and be at ease. You learrn to wait patiently with yourself so you can focus on whats most important first. It sounds strange, but it works suprisingly well. It’s amazing how similar our internal signals can be to a complaining child. See how it works with your deisres. Try it out as an experiement today.

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