It’s Time to Get Happy – 7 Essential Needs to Happiness

Kelly Calkins, BCHN®

For over a decade, Kelly battled six autoimmune diseases with unwavering determination. Her journey led to personal transformation, calming her body's autoimmune response, healing her gut, and banishing fatigue, sleepless nights, and brain fog. Today, Kelly is dedicated to helping others facing chronic symptoms, autoimmune diseases, and nutritional oncology concerns. She works with 1-on-1 clients, leads group coaching, and collaborates with organizations like the Arizona Foundation for Women. As a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist® and co-founder of Abundant Hope Nutrition, Kelly's expertise shines. Her core belief: we're meant to thrive, not just survive.
Published: September 28, 2023

Who’s ready to get happy? Happiness is not left up to chance; we have essential needs that must be met for us to experience happiness. Being intentional with this matters more now than ever! Did you know that happiness in our country is the lowest it has been in 50 years?! In fact, only 14% of Americans say they feel very happy. When we are unhappy we experience mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. Unhappiness, like stress, suppresses our immune function as well. Happiness isn’t just a want, it’s a need. When we experience regular happiness we enjoy life more and we even live longer. Who doesn’t want that? Today I am going to share with you critical areas of our lives we need to support to have happiness, lasting joy, and to experience fulfillment.

There are 7 areas that allow us to fulfill happiness and experience lasting joy. They are newness, supportive security, purpose, to love & be loved, to be heard, identity, and building the future.  Let’s take a closer look at each one. Yes, there are 7 needs or areas that need to be nurtured for you to feel personally fulfilled and have happiness.  I work with a lot of clients who have been struggling with their health for a long time. Self-confidence takes a hit.  So does self-esteem.  Depression and/or melancholy sets in.  It’s really hard to have happiness when your health is poor. This is because when we don’t feel well and are struggling we go into survival mode.  We stop doing the things that nurture us and help us feel fulfilled.  Being aware of and incorporating the 7 Needs for Happiness is one of those things that can make or break your health- emotionally, mentally, and physically.

The 7 Needs for Happiness and Fulfillment

  1. Newness – without newness in our lives we will not feel happy or fulfilled.  We are intelligently designed and wired with the constant need for newness in terms of stimulation because it nourishes our brain.  Have you ever had that moment where you realize you are living in Groundhog Day and it’s the day boring, dreary routine day in and day out?  I have.  It’s definitely not a happy feeling.  Variety, creativity, mixing things up, and change in general are all forms of newness.  Yes, I know the saying that change is not fun….but it can be!  Try it and see.  Step out of your normal routine and do something different.  Watch your creative juices start flowing and your happiness starts increasing.
  2. Supportive Security – this is basically trust.  Are we able to trust that even when life is messy or hard that life is still perfect?  Even when it really doesn’t feel that way at all?  That everything will end up being ok in the end?  Are we able to trust the people we love and those closest to us to have our best interests in mind/heart?  Do we trust ourselves to overcome and succeed?  These can be hard questions to answer but the reality is that supportive security is a need and not a want.  You will never feel completely fulfilled or happy without supportive security.    This was a really hard one for me in my season of caring for my mom as she fought pancreatic cancer.  There were a lot of times that many of these answers for me were no’s.  I’m a believer and am strong in my faith but that season was brutal.  Life has seasons that are brutal.  Even though I had moments when I felt like that I didn’t stay there.  My security doesn’t come from the circumstances around me, even if it’s hard to remember in the moment sometimes.
  3. Purpose – We are all created on purpose and for a purpose.  We are wired for purpose -to feel significant to ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us.  Without purpose, we will never feel fulfilled. We want to live a life that matters and makes a difference.  We want to leave behind meaning even after we are gone.  It’s building and leaving a legacy and it’s one of the needs for happiness.  When we are committed to a daily purpose we are able to satisfy this need.
  4. To love & be loved – Deep down we all want to love and to be loved.  We want to belong, to be appreciated, to be accepted, and to have relationships that feel right and effortless.  You know those relationships where you can have conversations without words…and be completely understood?  That’s love.  And it is necessary to feel fulfilled and happy.
  5. To be heard – We live in a busy world with noise and distractions everywhere.  It can be hard to feel heard.  There is a difference between physically being heard and feeling heard, or understood.  Have you ever been in a relationship or a situation where you didn’t feel heard?  I have, and it’s awful.  It makes you feel like you don’t matter.  We all want to matter; we’re wired that way.  When we don’t feel heard we either get ‘louder’ or we go ‘mute’.  There is no happiness in this.  We need to feel heard.  When we feel heard we come alive and our light and truth of who we are burn bright.
  6. Identity – We all were created with a hardwired need to belong to something bigger and greater than ourselves and to know that we are not alone.  There is something beautiful and powerful about being surrounded by like minds and hearts.  We need to have a tribe.  This is identity.
  7. Building the Future – It can be hard to even think about the future when you’re in survival mode but it may be the very thing that pulls you out of survival mode.   It gives you a focal point, a goal, and a plan.  Building the future means having a vision, having the conviction to acknowledge it and not dismiss that vision, and having the courage to act on it and work towards it.  Here’s the thing about this need – you can only truly achieve this one once the other 6 have been met.

Each and every day I intentionally try to fulfill these 7 Needs for Happiness.  I am a firm believer that we are never done learning or growing.  I want to keep growing into my best self for myself, my family, my friends, and my clients.  I am being poured into and I am pouring into others.    I have joy and happiness, and I am completely fulfilled. 

My challenge to you is to pursue and intentionally nourish all 7 needs for happiness.

I’d love to hear from you!

Which of your needs are currently met?  Which ones aren’t? 

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In Health,
Kelly Calkins, BCHN®
holistic approach to recovering your health.

LEARN MORE:  A Hope for Healing

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