Started from The Bottom: How to Become Self Actualized
Think about what you want in life. Is “happiness” one of those things? It usually is for most people. But, happiness is not a destination; it’s a state of being. In psychology, this state is often referred to as self-actualization.
What is Self-Actualization?
Psychologist Abraham Maslow created the concept of self-actualization. He presents it as the final stage of the hierarchy of needs, which depicts the physical and emotional needs of humans. The hierarchy of needs is often shown as a pyramid, with the most basic of needs at the bottom (food, air, sleep, shelter).
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Above the lower tier are the security needs (safety, a job, stability), social needs (family, friendship, love), and esteem needs (self-respect, self-worth, achievement). The highest tier (self-actualization) is described as self-fulfillment, growth, and independence.
Those who are self-actualized often have peak experiences, which Maslow describes as feelings of intense happiness and well-being. They are accepting of themselves, appreciative of their lives, and are interested in the deep and meaningful things in life. Don’t we all want to be secure with ourselves and free (from society’s pressures and expectations)?
Keep reading to find out how you can achieve self-actualization for yourself.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a state of awareness. When you’re mindful, it means that you are living in the moment and aware of your thoughts and feelings. Achieving mindfulness can be difficult, as we are often concerned about our past or our future. It can be done, though. By paying closer attention to everything you do throughout the day, you can train yourself to be more mindful. When you are eating, for example, think about how you feel, how much you enjoy the taste or the smell of the food, and how much you are consuming.
There is also a practice called mindfulness meditation, during which you focus on your body, your breathing and each thought that comes to your mind. When a thought does come to your mind, you should approach it in a non-judgmental manner.