Most of us might have heard of life skills. But only a few are aware of what exactly life skills are and how they are significant for an individual. Life skills are necessary for everyone. 

What are Life Skills?

Life skills are the necessary skills one has to adapt to live their life fully. They are acquired by the experiences he/she has in their life or just by learning at any point time. Generally, a common man starts learning life skills from his childhood. Life skills are very basic and desirable for complete participation in everyday routine. 

World Health Organisation(WHO) defines life skills as “The abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable the individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.”

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund(UNICEF) defines life skills as “ The change in behavior or behavior development approach designed to address a balance of three areas: Knowledge, Attitude, and Skills.”

Life skills are classified into three broad categories: Cognitive skills for analyzing and using information, personal skills for developing personal agency and managing oneself, and inter-personal skills for communicating and interacting effectively with others. Let us have a look at the 10 Core Lifeskills by WHO(World Health Organisation):

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem-solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
  • Coping with stress
  • Coping with emotions

Self-awareness: Self-awareness is the ability to focus on yourself and how your emotions, thoughts, and actions do not align with your internal standards. Being conscious of your character and feelings can be simply defined as self-awareness. If you are highly self-aware, you can manage with your emotions, you can evaluate yourself objectively, and you can also understand how you perceive others and how others perceive you.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand others from their perception. It helps us to accept others if they are different from us and also improves social interactions more importantly, in a situation like ethnic or cultural diversity. Without empathy, our communications with others would be equal to one-way traffic.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information and experiences in an unbiased means. It assists to recognize, assess the factors that influence our attitudes and behaviors. Someone with critical thinking can determine the significance & relevance of arguments and ideas as well. People with critical thinking can approach problems consistently. 

Creative thinking: Creative thinking enables a person to look at the problems from a fresh perspective. It is a novel method to look at or do anything. It also provides us immense freedom. We can build great confidence through our creativity in our ideas and start to contribute them to our work or anything we do.

Decision making: Decision making is the process of making choices. It helps to identify and to choose the best of all the choices we have based on our preferences. The key to making good decisions is to educate yourself and make certain that you are fully informed about the contributing factors.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving refers to our ability to solve any problem we face with effective and timely techniques without impediments. This skill involves being able to identify the problem, to define the problem, to find alternatives, and implementing the desired solution, etc. Having this ability to solve issues will boost your confidence.

Interpersonal Relationship: Interpersonal relationship is the relationship between two or more persons. When you can maintain the interpersonal relationship, your workplace and social life will be filled with positive vibes. This can also help to have a friendly ambience at the workplace.

Effective communication: Communication is said to be an effective communication when all the parties(sender and receiver) in the communication, assign similar meanings to the message and listen carefully to what all have been said and make the sender feel heard and understood by the receiver. Simply, it is nothing but the presenting of views by the sender to the receiver in the best way of understanding. It helps in motivating, team building, and productivity as well.

Coping with stress: In this world full of stress, this life skill is crucial for everyone. It is the process by which a person consciously attempts to master, minimize, or tolerate problems in life. This skill promotes a balanced life with time for work, relationships, relaxation, fun, and the resilience to hold up each under pressure and meet challenges head-on. 

Coping with emotions: The high intensified emotions like short temper and sadness may impact our life with a lot of negativity. Hence, we should be able to respond to our emotions very appropriately. This skill is necessary to be aware of how emotions influence our behavior. You can express your feelings in a productive way when you cope with emotions. For example, When you know how to cope with emotions, you don’t hurt someone’s self-esteem instead you can confront them respectfully. 

Why are life skills essential?

Life skills help to develop self-confidence and successfully deal with vital life changes and challenges, like bullying and bias. They give voice to the people in their community & society.

Capacities like being responsible, informed about social and political issues, concerned about the welfare of others, being able to articulate the opinions they have, active participation in their communities are developed by these life skills. People with life skills will have lots of benefits to enjoy. The sense of positivity that life skills develop in every individual will lead them to attain a delightful and happy life. Life skills are predominant to every citizen irrespective of their age. They are unlimited to learn day-by-day in our life. They help us manage the problems encountered in our life with ultimate confidence. 

Everyone must learn life skills during their schooling or by experiencing different circumstances in life. 

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