Maria Laquerre LMFT, RPTS
What Are Your Bear Necessities for Happiness?
Happiness is something everyone wants, but it can be hard to make real in your own life. When you are a child, your world revolves around getting your needs met and being happy or else cue the temper tantrum. But as you grow, you learn the role that you play in your family, who you have to be in school, who you want to be friends with, what you want to do with your life, and who you may choose as a partner. This path continues until you can pass it onto your children. Our family unit plays a role in helping us find who and what we need to be in the world to be happy. However, happiness can quickly be too wrapped up in priorities, responsibilities, and caring for others. We want to help you prioritize your bear necessities for happiness.
Look for the Bear Necessities
Before you can prioritize your necessities for happiness, you have to know what they are. Sit yourself down either in the morning or in the evening in a calm space and ask yourself what seven things you need in a week to make you happy. This could be things you may already be getting. Some examples could be that you need to work out “x” number of days to be happy or have a family dinner a certain number of times. Remember, these are your bear necessities. When Mowgli chooses to leave the jungle at the end of the first Jungle Book, he yearns to be in the wild again with Baloo. As you progress through the second movie, one of Mowgli’s bare necessities is being with his friends. This desire affects him significantly the longer he remains within the village walls. He wasn’t truly happy because he was not prioritizing his happiness.
Repercussions of not prioritizing your Bear Necessities
In the second Jungle Book movie, when Mowgli ignores the calls from the jungle, he begins to feel a sadness that cannot be explained. He then begins to pull back from his social circle. As much as he wanted to obey the closest thing he had to a family in the village, their fear kept them from realizing how truly unhappy Mowgli was without the jungle. When you continue to prioritize other things in your life over your own happiness, it starts to have an adverse emotional effect on your mental health. Your self-worth becomes affected, and you start becoming more reactive to minor life challenges. These feelings can be relative to codependency because you are putting your happiness in the hands of those you care for.
Mowgli finally reached his breaking point when Shante, the girl that lured him into the village, got him in trouble for almost taking the kids to the jungle without realizing it from the longing he had to go there. When he got sent to his room by his parents, he felt like they did not love him at all and wanted him gone. His heightened reaction pushed him to leave the village alone in search of a friend that provided him happiness. As Mowgli’s family searched for him, one thing they said was, “You can take the boy out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the boy.” When something makes you so happy, it feels as though it is a part of you, then you need to have that in your life to truly function in this world.
How to Prioritize Your Bear Necessities
Knowing what your bear necessities are, will help you make them a priority. To properly prioritize these, you should surround yourself with the right kind of people. If you have friends in your life that continually ask things from you that you feel you cannot say no to, they may not be supportive in your effort to create your own happiness. You should surround yourself with people who love and care for you and who respect your boundaries. These people will help you continually prioritize your happiness. Like the ending of Jungle Book Two, his family realizes the dangers of the jungle are not half of the dangers of neglecting your happiness to meet the desires of others, even if it's family.
If you need help finding out what your bear necessities are, schedule an appointment with one of our therapists today! We can help you prioritize your happiness.
Maria Laquerre is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, who specializes in addressing trauma with clients of all ages. Maria has practiced therapy in New Mexico since her return in 2008. Maria's current passion is supporting therapists in doing their best clinical work, which she pursues through offering supervision, consultation and trainings. Maria enjoys spending time with her family, watching Star Wars and Marvel movies, discussing the psychology of pop culture and loves a good book!