Get your Emotional Needs met and avoid stress
June 1, 2020


Keep Moving Suffolk!

As well as being good for our mental health through the release of endorphins and burning off cortisol, moving about and getting some exercise meets other Emotional Needs that help us avoid stress.

For example, when we feel that we’re competent at something, taking on new learning and achieving things, we feel good about ourselves and this builds self-esteem. This need for Achievement can be met through exercise and physical activity. The Couch-to-5k app is great for building up to achievement in small, manageable steps.

We also need to feel valued, like we have a place in the world and a standing in the communities we’re part of. The Strava app tracks your progress as you run for slightly longer, or slightly faster, and shares that progress with people who can give you “kudos” is a great way to meet that need for Status – to feel proud of what you’ve accomplished.

In Kesgrave, where I live, just outside Ipswich, runners have been dressing up as superheroes, sharing a little excitement with local people, particularly children, but also meeting the Emotional Need for Meaning & Purpose. This simple activity, helping to bring some joy to the local community, helps to keep people going.

As we possibly look forward to some kind of return to the way life was before lockdown, it’s possible we will be able to participate in sports and activities that bring us into contact with others again. But in the meantime, there are online groups and social media pages that can help us feel part of something bigger than ourselves – getting our need for Community met. Even now, this can be met simply by going for a run and saying hello to fellow runners you meet.

And an often forgotten Emotional Need is that of Privacy.

This isn’t about keeping things secret or data compliance. It’s about getting away from the many distractions of the modern world. Getting out of the house and going for a walk, run, cycle ride, scoot…whatever takes your fancy, getting a little exercise is a great way to get some time to yourself.

Stay safe and stay well

Jon Neal

Suffolk Mind


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