I AM deeply grateful to psychologist Dr. Larry Crabb for expressing his views that humans have deepest longings for the two basic human needs of security and significance.
In my interviews with hundreds of clients, I have confirmed that these two basic inner needs reside deep in the human spirit.
The need for social-emotional security manifests itself as the need for a sense of belonging and being accepted.
The need for inner significance shows itself as the need to feel that we are important to other people and that we add value to others.
Individuals who are internally secure and significant are open to new ideas and creativity in their responses to challenges that the world presents. Conversely, those who are insecure tend to display negative behaviours.
Emotionally-excellent individuals have learnt that only when they have inner significance and security can they overcome the negative aspects of their behaviour.
TENT and the spirit
I have developed a technique called the TENT therapy to help individuals gain inner security and significance.
TENT therapy helps protect the spirit and mind from the elements of the outside world. When an individual’s spiritual tent is strong, he can better withstand the pressures from the external world. The individual is also in a better position to handle sudden changes.
TENT utilises a form of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is based on the discovery that our thoughts affect our feelings and behaviours.
However, TENT is based on the knowledge that the individual comprises spirit, mind and body.
TENT is supported by the two T’s: the twin poles of thankfulness. That thankfulness is one of the keys to our well-being has been substantiated by research.
The E in TENT stands for enjoyment. It includes enjoying the present, whether good or bad. Enjoyment enables you to focus, to be fully engaged in whatever it is you’re doing, and to do your best.
The N is a phrase: “(There are) No coincidences or accidents in life.” This is worth remembering especially when bad things happen to us.
In these situations, some people may use the cognitive distortion called personalisation — they blame themselves for what happened. A little self-encouragement goes a long way to attaining resilience.
Performing TENT therapy
You can perform TENT at any time. Many of my clients have found it very useful to start at 6am and then repeat the TENT every three hours after that.
Step 1: Thanksgiving attitude
Begin by closing your eyes and recalling a pleasant memory and dwell on it. This enables you to switch from a negative to positive mood.
Make this memory brighter, bigger and clearer in your imagination. Make any sound associated with the memory to be louder.
Step 2: Enjoy the now
Continue by enjoying the present in a wholesome way. Enjoying the present is a vital mental habit that can enrich the spirit because the mind is the doorway to the spirit. Say to yourself: “It is now 9am (or whatever time). I have this present moment as a gift. I am thankful for this moment.”
Step 3: No coincidence in my life
Remind yourself in the next few minutes of quiet meditation that there are no coincidences or accidents in life. Let go of any traumatic and oppressive memory of past failures or defeats.
Step 4: Thankfulness to God
At the same time, declare joyfully to God your gratefulness for all the blessings he has showered upon you. Be thankful for all the things that you have and enjoy them. Thank God for your health and your family.
By performing TENT every day, we can help stimulate the release of endorphins in larger quantities at a higher frequency. Delegates at our seminars have reported that exercising and practising TENT at three-hour intervals help them tremendously in managing their emotions. This will help us achieve emotional excellence.