The 4 A’s for Emotional Wellbeing


One of the highlights of my summer was participating in a one week Deepak Chopra yoga and meditation retreat in Banff.

Deepak shared his Six Pillars for Wellbeing. He stated, “consciousness is the distinction between every day wellbeing and radical wellbeing.” The key is making good choices, consistently, persistently and repeatedly that develop healthy rather than unhealthy habits.

I wrote a previous blog Six Life Style Choices for Radical Wellbeing based on Deepak’s six pillars. One of the six pillars is Emotional Wellbeing.

Deepak shared a simple yet profound piece of emotional wellbeing wisdom on what he calls the Four A’s – representing the four emotional needs babies, children, and all adults (family, friends, colleagues, everyone) need. If we treat one another and ourselves in the following four ways, we will contribute to emotional wellbeing and happiness:

Deepak’s 4 A’s of Emotional Wellbeing: Read more 

  1. Attention: We want to be heard and understood
  2. Affection: We want to be loved and cared for
  3. Appreciation: We want to be noticed for our unique and special qualities and abilities
  4. Acceptance: We want to be accepted for who we are

Deepak explained that if these emotional needs are not met, then fear arises. We wonder will it happen again? The emotional memory gets stored in the limbic brain as anger. Fear is the anticipation it will happen again. Hostility and resentment is the desire for revenge. Guilt arises when you blame your self. This progression may lead to shame, loss of energy and depression.

Deepak went on to share his formula for happiness: H = S = C = V

Happiness = Happiness Set Point + Conditions of Living + Voluntary Choices.

Happiness Set Point is determined in first three years of life by parents and caregivers. Happy people look for opportunities and unhappy people see problems. Fifty percent of our happiness is our set point. The 4 A’s contribute to cultivating a happy setpoint.

Conditions of Living is our economic situation, and represents ten to twelve percent of our happiness. He stated the very poor and very rich are often not happy, as their identity is money. To have money to pay your bills, make choices for fulfillment and not be stressed is happy.

Voluntary Choices

Choices for personal pleasure start off as pleasure, and may become addictions such as alcohol, Internet, working, learning, shopping to name a few.

Conscious Choices for fulfillment such as for creative expression, your purpose in life, your passions, contributing your talents, skills that make someone else happy and living by the 4A’s contribute to happiness.

Your set point for happiness can be slowly improved by meditation, reflective self inquiry on such questions as “Who am I? What is my hearts desire? What is my purpose?” and emotional intelligence development, including living the 4 A’s.

I invite you to reflect on the 4 A’s for emotional wellbeing and practice giving yourself and those around you the four A’s! I have had fun this summer sharing the 4 A’s with family, friends and colleagues. This wisdom is common sense, yet the practice is not so common. As leaders of our lives and in our sphere of influence the 4 A’s are essential!

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