What Do You Need?

By Maria Miller, MA, PLPC

In the quest for a life of contentment, I’ve done what many others do: I’ve confounded “more” with “enough.” 

Not connected enough? Scroll through one more Instagram post. Not fun enough? Drink one more glass of wine. Not fulfilled enough? Work one more hour. Not happy enough? Eat one more cookie.

But it’s impossible to get enough of what we don’t really need. Somehow, the contentment tank never fills, and we continue to seek “more” when what we are really seeking is something else entirely. For me, contentment can’t (usually) come from an extra cookie or one more social media scroll. It comes from giving myself what I really need: A cozy snuggle with my baby girl. A deep life talk with my loving partner. A shared belly laugh around the dinner table. Watching my furry puppy catapult his way towards his favorite ball. 

Connection. Belonging. Laughter. Ironically, when we give ourselves enough of what we really need, we have little want for anything more.

What about the research?

If you do “more” in pursuit of feeling that you have enough, you are not alone. Studies show that the average person spends 144 minutes on social media sites *alone* each day. At the same time, recent research finds that limiting social media usage to 30 minutes per day is optimal for mental health and wellbeing.

How about you? Try this:

Ask yourself…

  • What are some ways in which you mask what you really need? (for example, for me, it’s social media use and eating)
  • What are 2-3 tangible things you really need in this season of life? (for me, it’s 30 minutes in the morning with my baby & a lunch date with my partner each week) 

Cheers to honoring what we need. May we give ourselves this gift and, in doing so, inspire others to do the same.

If you’re interested in becoming more mindful about your life, check out the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Course starting February 1, 2023. During 8 virtual sessions, you will learn to become more aware of the present moment, engage in healthy behaviors that are consistent with your values, and be more mindful of your thoughts & feelings before they spin out of control. Learn more here.