While learning about therapy and going to therapy for myself, I have come to learn about the importance of getting in touch with feelings and needs.

We are usually more aware of our thoughts and the images that appear in our minds rather than being in touch with our feelings and needs. However, that limits us in our functioning. It’s like using only one tool to navigate your way when you have got so many others.

This morning, I was feeling sad, confused and isolated. My usual tendency has been to think – to think what I want, what I can do to get it, what distorted thoughts and beliefs are appearing, and how I can fix them. This often turns into overthinking and ruminating. That’s not helpful; hasn’t worked so well in the past.

As I got in touch with my feelings, I reflected what I needed in that moment. The answer came – to be seen, to be held, to be loved. I continued contemplating (again thinking) about this for a while.

Then I got in touch with the sensations in my body. I recognised that I was feeling dehydrated – that my body needed water.

I had a glass of water and felt relieved – as if an emotional weight had been lifted.

I got the awareness that being dehydrated was somewhere generating all the feelings and thoughts. In one of the trainings about basic counselling skills, I had heard so many times about the importance of being hydrated. Today, I could recognise the truth in that idea.

So many times it has happened that I have grabbed something to eat, when I was actually feeling thirsty.

I recognise that so many times, all I needed was a glass of water but not being in touch with my feelings and needs instead lead me to eating and overthinking.

How can we get our needs met, if we are not aware of them?