The Seven Chakra’s Vs Maslow’s Hierarchy
Aligning the Chakra’s to meet Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
What is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs originated as a theory of motivation in psychology. It is a five-tier model centered around basic human needs shown visually through hierarchical levels in a pyramid. Beginning on the bottom of the pyramid and working the way up, it starts with physiological which boils down to food and clothing. Next comes safety needs, such as job security or a home. Next comes love and belonging needs which consists of friendships and relationships. Second to the top is esteem, and last but not least is self-actualization. Maslow has said that people feel motivated to achieve these needs and some feel more important than others.
The most basic and biological need is survival, which is one of the initial experiences that motivates behavior and action. Therefore, once those physical needs are met, people become motivated by what is the next level up or what is next in the pyramid image.
- Physiological Needs: As briefly described above, Maslow’s first need is our basic biological needs for survival. These needs consist of food, drink, clothing, shelter, sex and sleep. If these needs are not met, the body cannot function the way it should. Maslow concluded that these needs should take priority over all other needs.
- Safety Needs: When physiological needs are met, our focus can shift to our safety needs. Generally, people need to feel a sense of organization, order and control in their lives. Finding physical safety can be done through an active police force, schools, business and medical care. Emotional security can be found through steady finances and employment, law and order, property, and general well-being.
- Love and Belonging: One physiological and safety needs are met, we can move onto love and belonging. This is mostly the need for relationships and emotional connection. These connections include friendship, intimacy, trust, giving and receiving affection and ultimately love. Many people fulfill this need by being a part of a group or community.
- Esteem: Maslow classified esteem within two categories, esteem for oneself and desire for respect. Esteem for oneself includes dignity, achievement, mastery, and independence. The desire for respect can be fulfilled with a positive reputation and status. The need for respect is a higher priority to children and teens.
- Self-Actualization: These needs are the highest in Maslow’s Hierarchy. This is referring to the realization of one’s self-fulfillment, potential and personal growth and experiences. This is the desire to accomplish everything one can to the highest order to ultimately become the best version one can become.
What are the Seven Chakras?
The seven chakras refer to the seven main energy centers of the body. Many people refer to the chakras as something to unblock and rebalance. This is referring to the idea that when the chakras are all open and aligned, energy can easily and freely run through them which promotes peace between the mind, body and spirit. The word Chakra actually translates to the word “wheel” in Sanskrit, which further described this energy wheel that should flow smoothly through the body.
The Root Chakra
The root chakra is the first chakra and is located at the tail bone or the base of the spine, deeply connected to the reproductive system, tailbone, and legs. This chakra is the “root” of one’s being. It establishes the deepest connections between the body, the environment and the earth. The root chakra is very connected to one’s overall sense of comfort, safety and security. If someone does not feel safe, their automatic nervous system comes into play. This is the system in charge of unconscious functions of the body such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestion. If you’ve heard the term fight or flight, this system in the body is responsible for that as well.
The Sacral Chakra
The Sacral Chakra, which is at the base of the pelvis, is also connected to the reproductive system and in women it is very connected to the uterus. It is also connected to blood sugar, the urinary tract and adrenals. The Sacral Chakra also controls sexuality, emotions and one’s spontaneity or sense of adventure. While many initially think of sexuality when referring to the sacral chakra, creativity also plays a big part in this chakra as well.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
The Third Chakra, or Solar Plexus Chakra, is located right above the belly button. This chakra is connected to the stomach, liver, digestion and blood sugar. This energy source is connected to self-esteem, confidence and self-control. The balancing of this chakra can be a very empowering experience.
The Heart Chakra
The heart chakra is, understandably so, located in the chest. It is connected to one’s ability to develop bonds and relationships with others. Self-love, generosity, respect and compassion are all intertwined in the heart chakra. When opening one’s heart and balancing this chakra allows one to receive the same love and compassion they can express to the world as well as develop a stronger level of flexibility for change.
The Throat Chakra
The second, or throat chakra, is focused on expression, whether that be communication, how one expresses themselves, and inner truth. It is very interconnected to the respiratory system, neck, ears and sinuses. If someone has trouble expressing their feelings or communicating with those around them, they may have a blocked throat chakra.
The Third Eye Chakra
The third eye may be one of the more popularly discusses chakras. Located at the brow or in the center of the forehead, this chakra is very physically connected to the nervous system and the eyes. This is where our true consciousness is located. An open third eye allows for heightened intuition, foresight and can increase one’s awareness of the world around them.
The Crown Chakra
The crown chakra, very notably, is located at the top of the head and is very connected to the nervous system as well. This is the chakra that is supposed to help one tap into higher states of consciousness. This is also the center of peace, compassions and inspiration.
How Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and The Seven Chakras are Connected
Based on the descriptions above, the similarities between Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the Seven Chakras are not easy to ignore. While it is unclear if Maslow was familiar with the seven chakra’s and then translated that concept into something easier for western culture to digest, it is evident that all cultures and studies believe self-development and actualization are important aspects of the human condition.
Balancing the chakras feels like a very similar process to fulfilling Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. It is clear that Self-Actualization in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is linked to the second or Heart Chakra and the first, or Crown Chakra. Esteem is linked to the Solar Plexus Chakra, Belonging and Love is linked to the Sacral Chakra, and physiological needs are linked to the Root Chakra.