Emotional Needs


Achieving things in life and feeling competent requires motivation.  In stretching ourselves we in effect put into place the “antidote to low self-esteem.”

Despite the challenges life throws at us we can still feel a sense of meaning and purpose.  This is more likely to happen when we do things for others, when we are being stretched, learning new skills or are involved in something bigger than ourselves e.g. faith, politics, a local society or a global organisation.

The Needs of All Living Things - a scientific law.

  1. “..in order to survive, every living thing must take in nutriment from the environment to continually rebuild itself.”  In terms of our mental health, this includes emotional nutriment.  As we grow and develop we need others to provide a nurturing environment for us.  We in turn also need to give nurture as well as receive it.  This enables us to thrive, fulfill our potential and contribute to the wider society.  Griffen & Tyrrell conclude that “it is impossible to suffer mental illness when our emotional needs are being met reasonably well.”  (Godhead - The Brains Big Bang. Griffen & Tyrrell 2011). What are these needs?

Feeling safe enough to keep our stress and anxiety levels down so we can respond effectively to events we meet in our every day life

Like most forms of nutrition, too much and too little is not good for us.  Through exchanges of attention we learn and develop as human beings.

Learning we cant control everything in life helps us to develop a balanced sense of control over what is most important to us in our lives.

Connections are essential to our wellbeing, since as humans we have developed as members of a group.  There is little we do in our lives that does not have a host of connections to others.




wider community


emotional connection

Being able to find enough time to reflect on and consolidate our experiences.

The ability to feel for others in their highs and lows, we develop empathy through friendships and close relationships with others, including our intimate connections.


meaning & purpose

Feeling valued by others (in other words, environmental feedback to us about ourselves) helps our sense of identity and enables us to value ourselves.

The term Human Givens was chosen by the founders of The Human Givens Institute to describe the emotional needs and resources that a human being is born with.