For this essay, I will be discussing ways in which Susan Sharp can change her lifestyle so that she won’t be putting herself through so much risk. It will be discussed with regards to motivation, nature and nurture, stress and coping, looking at psychological and biological theories. I will then be discussing ways in which health care professionals could help Susan change her lifestyle to become healthier. I will be referencing some of the text to psychological theories and concepts and exploring various literatures and finally concluding the piece and putting my opinions across and exploring the benefits of healthcare professionals help.
‘Motivation is the reason for an action which gives purpose and direction to behaviour’ (motivation for dreamers, n.d.) It is what drives us to behave in a certain way or take a particular action to accomplish the required goal or achievement.
(Kendra Cherry, 2005)Psychologist Abraham Maslow introduced his concept of a hierarchy of needs in his 1943 paper ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’. The hierarchy suggests that people are motivated to fulfil their basic needs before moving on to other needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is most often displayed as a pyramid going from basic needs at the bottom to more complex needs at the top.
The bottom layer, basic needs, is what Maslow defines as the ‘psychological’ layer. This contains basic living factors such as breathing, water, sleep, food which are all essential for living; ‘people can die due to lack of biological needs and equilibrium’ (George Norwood, 2009).
The second layer, ‘safety’, depicts safety and security of: body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health and property. The lowest levels of the pyramid need to be met before a person will move up the hierarchy. For example, it’s not uncommon to see someone sacrifice personal safety in their search for food. This appears to be the case for Susan; she knows that her unhealthy lifestyle is carrying life threatening risks however she dismisses this turning to food and alcohol through temptation and lack of motivation. Some biological factors that encourage people to smoke are influences such as the nicotine addiction, habit/action, the satisfactory feeling afterwards. Then there are psychological factors such as: enjoyment, stress relief, boredom relief, socially or they just think that they need it. These are just mental wants, not needs.
Self-actualization is the higher tier of the hierarchy of needs. Susan needs to find the desire for self-fulfilment to the tendency for her to unleash her potential and give her self-motivation. By not realizing these potentials, she doubts herself and gains no willpower towards a better lifestyle. Self-actualisers are often: creative, natural, responsive, enjoy life. It should be noted that there can only be self-actualising people, probably never any self-actualised people. It is a process, not a state (Rowan, 1988).
Maslow considers that when you have life choices, you should opt for most demanding and risky one, rather than the one that is safe. This opens up opportunities for personal development. He also recommends trying to open up opportunities for peak experiences (Roth, 1990).
The nature/nurture theory debates whether human behaviour and characteristics are down to nature (inherited from your family), or nurture (being taught). Some scientists believe that people think and behave in certain ways because they’re taught to do so. Fast growing understanding of the human genome has recently made it clear that both sides are partly right. Nature endows us with inborn abilities and traits; nurture takes these genetic tendencies and moulds them as we learn and mature (Kimberly Powell, 2010). However, the debate still goes on as scientists fight over how much of whom we are is shaped by genes and how much by the environment. Susan Sharp claims that her family have always been overweight and becomes