We start from the fact that the satisfaction of basic needs impacts human health. Several institutions have evidenced it. For instance, in 1986 the World Health Organization stated that an individual, to reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, must be able to identify and to realise aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment1.
The ways in which the satisfaction of basic needs impacts health are several. For example, having control (namely our need for being able to influence life outcomes) can have an impact on mental health. Being more specific, having a low sense of control at work and home is related to a higher risk of depression and anxiety2. Another example is self-enhancement (namely the need for feeling good and being motivated about the chance of improving oneself) can have an impact on both physical and mental health. For instance, a lack of self-esteem during the adolescence can report eating problems and other mental illnesses3.
What are the basic needs?
We can conceive basic needs as natural and universal elements, whose satisfaction is required, for the achievement of an optimal human subsistence and development.
Although there are several theories related to human needs and although still today there is a lot of work to be done in this area, Maslow's hierarchy of needs is one of the most popular theories of human motivation. Abraham Maslow stated in his original conceptualisation that humans are motivated by five basic needs: physiological, safety, belongingness and love, esteem, self-actualisation needs. In 1971 added a sixth level, the one of self-transcendence that depicts treats of self-actualisation. However, the five-level hierarchy of needs stays as the classical representation of human motivation.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is usually represented as a pyramid. The four first layers of the pyramid contain what Maslow called deprivation needs. In case these needs are not satisfied, the well-being of the individual will be jeopardised. The fifth layer of the pyramid contains self-actualisation needs. Once all these layers are met, the individual experiences a greater sense of fullness.
How to satisfy your needs and improve your well-being?
In a nutshell, the first thing to do is to identify your needs. Right after that, you will be able to intervene on them. The important thing here is to intervene by acting on the determinants of well-being.
It sounds easy, but the fact is that current lifestyles make us sometimes disconnect from our inner needs, making the whole process a little bit more complicated. We can face several situations:
1. The first is, as presented above, the case in which we are not aware of our needs.
2. The second is that situation in which we are aware of our needs, but we do not know how to satisfy them. This situation typically requires a lot of time and energy invested in researching meaningful insights (something difficult in today's information age).
3. The third (and the one that can trigger the worst consequences for us and the environment), is the situation in which we are aware of our needs, and we solve them without knowing, however, if the solution adopted is the proper one for our health.
How Smart Home Need supports you?
Smart Home Need wants to support you on anticipating and solving the three situations presented above. Specifically, we want:
1. First, to raise your awareness and to assist you in identifying your needs. To this scope, we have created a list of needs classified attending Maslow's hierarchy to facilitate your navigation.
2. Second, to save you time and energy on unnecessary errors. To this end, we provide you with a holistic overview of the impacts that each need has on your daily life and health as well as a summary of the indications that experts advise following to intervene on each determinant of well-being appropriately. Finally, we give you a benchmark of the most relevant products that can be used to intervene on the determinants of well-being, headlining the product characteristics that we retain essential for your decision-making process.
We want you to improve your health and well-being and at the same time, decrease your environmental footprint. And we want you to do it following a meaningful, conscious and holistic approach that saves you time and makes you grow.
1 World Health Organization, The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Accessed April 2019. <https://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/previous/ottawa/en/>.
2,3 Narváez, D. Basic needs, wellbeing and morality: fulfilling human potential. ed. 1. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Pivot. 2018.