Maslow’s Human Needs and Motivation

January 27th, 2020

human-needs-and-motivation

Maslow created a pyramid of basic human needs, where you have to get your most basic needs met before you are able to thrive. People in many cultures live on the bottom of the pyramid, without enough food and clean water. They are not able to get to the higher levels of fulfillment because they are always striving for the bare necessities.

Let’s take a look at the basic needs we have as human beings, and then we can talk about what we can do to advance to the higher levels of the pyramid to have more satisfaction in our lives.

Maslow’s Human Needs and Motivation

Maslow’s Needs:
A Summary by Rachel Evans

The process is simple: the bottom of the pyramid must be fulfilled before the next tier can be unlocked and used. Follow this pattern on up to the top, and you have a pyramid of things you need to gain self-actualization! Let’s begin.

From lowest tier to highest:

Psychological needs: You don’t have much freedom to do anything until you have your basic needs met, such as food, water, and the fact you’re not freezing to death every night.

Safety and Security: Having a steady place to live can do a lot for your mind’s health. And knowing you’re in a secure neighborhood helps greatly.

Love and Belonging: Knowing that you have good friends and family can serve as a great comfort when things don’t go as planned.

Self-esteem: This is being comfortable with who you are, and feeling good about how others see you.

Self-actualization: Being fulfilled in what you do with your life.

You’d be surprised at how many people are missing self-actualization.

maslows-needs

How can we go up the pyramid for a more fulfilled life?
by Susan Evans

First we need to learn how to manage our finances so that we are not living paycheck to paycheck. Whether that means not eating out, cancelling cable, or downsizing to a smaller house or apartment, there is always something we can do to better ourselves and not squander what little we have.

We can ask the Lord what He would have us do to earn some extra cash, or show us items in our house that we can sell to pay off debt. And we can ask God to help us stop being greedy to buy more objects just to go into more debt. Dave Ramsey is good at teaching all this.

Once you have money saved up, you know that you will have a roof over your head, and that you will have enough food to make it through each month. Then you can think about safety and security. If you feel safe in your own home and in your relationships, and if you don’t feel like you are under attack all the time, you are able to relax. It’s hard to relax when you don’t feel safe. Do what you need to do to feel safe in the place where you live.

Once you have safe relationships and live in a relatively safe environment, you can move on to love and belonging. Spend quality time talking with people instead of just watching television or being on social media. Real life people can be an encouragement and can give you a hug when days are hard.

You can find a group of like-minded people, either in a church, a mom’s group, a homeschool group, or a hobby group so that you feel a sense of belonging. Of course, you can feel that in your own home, too.

You need to be comfortable with who you are, to understand your own strengths and weaknesses, and be able to to accept yourself and others for who they are, with all their flaws. Learning forgiveness is key, especially to prevent bitterness in relationships that are closest to you.

And last but not least, you should live out your calling. Ask God why He put you on this earth, find out what you are good at, and do what makes you thrive. When you are involved in helping others in some way to make this world a better place, you have a deep sense of fulfillment in your life.

Final tip: Don’t focus on what you are lacking. Be thankful for what you do have, and work towards a safer, more fulfilled life.

In case you are wondering what curriculum we are using for psychology, we are studying {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool. We are learning the basics of psychology while dramatizing what we learn in a fun way.

If you don’t want to miss any episodes from our psychology series, sign up for our monthly newsletter below!

Goofy Skits: Nonverbal Communication

January 17th, 2020

nonverbal-communication-facial-expressions

Having lived in different cultures (Guatemala, England, and the USA), I have come to realize that nonverbal communication is vital to understand. Sometimes what a person is saying with words is not the same as what they are saying with their body language. I wrote a short poem about nonverbal communication with Guatemalans, since the British and Americans have a more reasonable sense of personal space:

Teen Girl Facing Nonverbal Conflicting Cues
Guatemalan teen boy
standing too close for comfort
diving in for a kiss on the cheek at church
a complete stranger
she holds back a slap
telling herself this is only cultural
or is it?

Yes, this actually happened to me! Not just once, but nearly every week, since I lived in a different culture. Now that I am in the United States, I am surprised at how far away people stand from each other, even when they are married. It seems cold…

Goofy Skits: Nonverbal Communication

Today my daughter and I will show you the basic types of nonverbal communication.

Communication: The World of Expression
by Rachel Evans

Often we forget just how complicated communication is. Simply put, there’s always a balance of expressions and positions in conversation, and when the balance is off, we notice. This is the same even without talking. Mainly, there are three non-verbal cues that balance into a normal chat.

1. Distance: If you have ever been in a conversation and suddenly feel the need to take a step back, the person you were talking to was probably too close while chatting. Perhaps they have a different-sized personal bubble than you.

distance-personal-space

2. Gesture: You can tell a lot about someone’s mood by the movements they make. The easiest to read are facial expressions. Most facial expressions stay the same around the world, with some cultures being more expressive than others.

Body position is equally important. Leaning forward shows interest, while crossing arms usually shows disinterest in talking or the desire to have an argument.

body-position

3. Eye Contact: This is different depending on where you look in the world. Americans find long eye contact awkward and uncomfortable. Native Americans prefer a person to look at the ground while speaking, especially if the person is of a lower rank or status.

nonverbal-communication-eye-contact

Paralanguage is equally important. This consists of variations of speech, like stresses on certain words, loudness, pitch, and rhythm. A sentence can have many different meanings depending on how the speaker says it.

Overall, communication is a complicated thing that most of us have expertise in identifying without even knowing it.


Now that my daughter’s portion is done, I challenged myself to write a poem about nonverbal communication in marriage. Here it is:

A Marriage Healed

A turned back
Shutting me out of your life
No more open heart
Gone away inwardly

When will things change
Get back the sparkle in your eyes
To connect and be together
Unified as one

Heartbreak persists
Arms hanging limp
Drooped shoulders
Trudging through the day

Until healing comes
Breaking forth as the morning rays
Warming not your back, but your face
At last we are one

———————————————————————————————————–

This episode was all about identifying the basic types of nonverbal communication.

To apply what we have learned, describe in the comments: What are some ways that you may have misread nonverbal communication in your interaction with others, especially those of different cultures?

In case you are wondering what curriculum we are using for psychology, we are studying {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool. We are learning the basics of psychology while dramatizing what we learn in a fun way.

Coming up next… What is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and how can we get these needs met to be fulfilled as human beings? (Sign up for our monthly newsletter below if you don’t want to miss a single episode.)

Famous Psychologists: Freud, Adler, & Jung

January 2nd, 2020

freud-adler-jung

We are continuing our series of psychology videos by introducing three of the most famous psychologists of all time: Freud, Adler, and Jung. My daughter Rachel did a great job summarizing the fascinating ideas from each of these famous men, so we dramatized the concepts in this video:

Sigmund Freud
by Rachel Evans

Freud invented an interesting map of the mind consisting of your conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind: conscious being your thoughts and immediate wants, subconscious being your memories, and the unconscious being someplace difficult to get to which contains hidden desires you know nothing of.

The best idea Freud came up with was the one about the couch. There was a comfy couch, and he put his patients on the couch so they could talk to him about life.

He also invented the iceberg theory: that is, far less than one third of your mind is your conscious thought. Your decision-making is affected by the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is like your instinctual wants for immediate gratification. The superego is like your conscience, mixed with social norms. The ego is the mediator between the id and the superego, trying to make a compromise between them.

id-ego-superego

Alfred Adler
by Rachel Evans

Alfred Adler! I like this guy, mostly because he was adventurous enough to get together a bunch of people and form his own little Psychology Society. He believed that everyone had a life goal they were striving for, and that translated into their lifestyle and short-term goals.

He also theorized that everyone naturally strives toward getting better at their skills, gaining positions of power, and so on, and that when a person feels that they can’t accomplish those things, they go into what Adler called an Inferiority Complex. He proposed that the feeling of inferiority depends on what the person defines as important. For example, a homeless man might feel hopeless and inferior because there’s not much he can do about his situation. If money is important to him, this may cause a feeling of inferiority. But if the man doesn’t care much for money, he could be homeless on the street and not feel inferior.

inferiority-complex

But what if a person isn’t homeless and inferior? Their lifestyle is categorized four ways:

~ Ruling Type: someone who is busy but shows no social interest (the desire to help people), someone who is more likely bossy and could end up homicidal. Watch your back.

~ Getting Type: neither busy nor showing social interest, someone who would be more interested in buying and getting a good deal.

~ Avoiding Type: neither busy nor showing social interest, but someone who is so afraid of being a failure that he avoids life to the best of his ability.

~ Socially Useful Type: both busy and socially interested, this person likes getting out into the world and solving problems. Sounds like Adler would be put under this type!

adler-life-goals

Alfred Adler was a man of many more ingenious ideas. One last one I’ll discuss is his theory that birth order may determine a person’s lifestyle. He determined that first children experience power, superiority, stress and pressure. The middle children usually learn to get along with lots of people, challenging the superiority of the older children. And finally, the younger children are often the ones who, by the time their parents get to them, get special attention and fewer strict rules. They also might have the most difficulty gaining independence from the household.

And so, Alfred Adler, who might just become my favorite psychologist, made many breakthroughs in awesomeness, although he was largely overshadowed by other more famous people. And guess what? He had four kids, and half of them became psychiatrists! I like that.

carl-jung-unconscious

Carl Jung
by Rachel Evans

Carl Jung’s grandfather was creepy and his parents argued a lot, some of which translated into this theory of introversion and extroversion: everyone has a personality that is inward thinking and external socializing. Also, each person has the following qualities:

Thinking: Most extroverts are objective and have concrete thoughts, and introverts are more subjective and are better at creating ideas.

Feeling: Extroverts are more socially aware and better at winning popularity, and introverts are better at roles that require careful thinking.

Sensation: The perception a person has on reality.

Intuition: Hunches that people have.

Perceiving: People who like to be spontaneous.

Judging: People who like to have a plan.

So… Jung sure did have lots to say about personality.

Other psychologists we studied from the 6th chapter of our psychology book are Victor Frankl and Joseph Breuer. Rachel summarized some of their views on the test she took for this chapter:

freud-test

In case you are wondering what curriculum we are using for psychology, we are studying {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool. We are learning the basics of psychology while dramatizing what we learn in a fun way.

Coming up next… Have you ever stood too close to somebody, and they backed up from you? Learn more about non-verbal communication in our next episode. (Sign up for our monthly newsletter below if you don’t want to miss a single episode.)

Have a Restful, Refreshing Year

January 1st, 2020

restful-refreshing-year

How would you like to have the most restful, refreshing year you’ve ever had? You can make changes to your life that will result in less stress and more satisfaction with the life you have.

Unless God has specifically led you to do something, don’t do it, especially if it is stressful or draining. Make up your own list of things that refresh you. Doing more of what you love will cause endorphins to be released, which will help you have a sense of well-being so you can thrive rather than just survive.

Pay attention to activities that give you energy. Make your own list. Here’s mine:

Things that Relax & Refresh Me

  1. Nature (ocean, lake, river, mountain, beautiful garden with flowers, waterfall, sunset, star gazing, cloud watching)
  2. Art (painting, coloring doodle books, watercolor, mixed media)
  3. Talking to friends (phoning/visiting family and close friends, talking about things that matter)
  4. Reading refreshing books (non-fiction self-help in fun areas like gardening, Christian books that uplift rather than drag down)
  5. Going to yard sales and resale shops (clothing that fits and is feminine, fun activities/homeschool stuff, gifts to give the people I love, how God has provided for me all these years)
  6. Brainstorming fun blog posts & YouTube videos
  7. Writing poetry
  8. Planning something (the homeschool year, date nights/weekends away, the garden/backyard, one of my kid’s themed birthday paries)
  9. Organizing things (seeing orderly rooms, drawers, shelves is satisfying)
  10. Watching YouTube videos (building my learning in different areas)
  11. Going on field trips with my family (adventures, family bonding time, hands-on learning)
  12. A fire in the fireplace (s’mores in the fire pit outside, candles lit in the living room or dining room)
  13. A hot bath (Epsom salt, bubble bath)
  14. Writing from my heart (do more 10-minute writing prompts for the sheer joy of writing)

More Ideas for Making Your Life Less Stressful

Fatigue, studies suggest, often has its source in emotional rather than muscular or cardiovascular exhaustion…” – Richard A Swenson, author of Margin. Find out how to create margin (space) in your life so that you are not always tired:

Make sure you get enough quality sleep:

Find a form of exercise that you enjoy (mine is Zumba), and do it several times a week. You will feel way better and think with a crisper mind and not feel bogged down. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Have more fun with your spouse:

If spending time with friends energizes you, work that into your week. But if being around people all the time drains you, reduce the amount of time spent with people. You can still invest in the lives of others by writing encouraging notes to the people you love instead. Most people I know keep every encouraging note they’ve ever received, and often you minister more to people with something tangible.

Don’t feel bad if you have to drastically reduce the amount of time you spend with groups of people that drain you rather than refresh you. Ask God how you can thrive given the limits of your personality.

I’ve been reading a book called Psychology Through the Eyes of Faith, and one of the chapters talked about ways to bring about more happiness in our lives:

  1. Break the cycle of negative thinking.
  2. Compare ourselves with those less fortunate.
  3. Take pleasure in the moment.
  4. Focus beyond self.
  5. Exercise, sleep, and silence create a sound body.
  6. Give priority to close relationships.
  7. Take care of the soul.

Have a More Restful Homeschool (+ Giveaway!)

Many of you who homeschool feel pressured to do more and more activities. One of the homeschool blogger friends I met at the 2:1 Conference this year (Aimee Smith) wrote a book called The Restful Homeschool Resolution. I’m giving away a copy of her book.

The-Restful-Homeschool-Resolution

Here is a blurb from the back of the book: With personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, The Restful Homeschool Resolution helps you discover deep soul rest as you learn to trust God’s perfect plan for your family’s homeschool. Your resolution to seek Jesus first will transform your homeschool as your own heart grows more restful.

Along with this new book, I will also throw in two gently used books to go along with this restful theme: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives and The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life.

Finally, to start the new year, I am giving away two refreshing audios to everyone who signs up for my monthly newsletter below: “Overcoming Burnout” and “Relieving Stress & Tension.”

Overcoming Burnout: Do you wonder why you never have any energy? Do you feel guilty for not being able to give more to your husband and children because of tiredness? Leave the guilt behind while listening to this refreshing one-hour audio, which gives three examples from Scripture of people who were exhausted, why they were exhausted, and how they overcame their exhaustion. I also give practical ideas from my own life, to help you avoid burnout in the future.

Relieving Stress and Tension: This one-hour audio workshop will show you:

  1. How to get immediate relief from tension by pressing trigger points, minimizing noise, and other simple tactics.
  2. How to get long-term relief from tension by trusting God, nurturing your marriage, and connecting with your children. Practical ideas to accomplish these. This section includes a short talk about intimacy.
  3. How to build rest into your day, your week, and even your year, so that you don’t feel constantly depleted.

If you would like the gift of these two audios at no cost to you, sign up for our refreshing newsletter below!

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