What Are Life Skills?

What Are Life Skills?

Life skills help people navigate effectively through the personal and professional challenges encountered in daily adult life. To become a mature, stable adult, a person must develop life skills through parental nurturing in childhood, life experiences, work and education.

The number of skills that could fit under the "life skills" umbrella are virtually endless. However, life skills generally include mental, social and emotional abilities. Mental life skills include one's ability to apply reason and logic, make healthy decisions, learn from mistakes and think creatively.

Social skills include one's recognition of how he comes across to others. Empathy for others and the ability to interact at an age-appropriate level are also important social life skills. Elementary school teachers monitor social skill development in children. Children who show delays in social skill development may test for special needs to correct deficiencies. Early problems in social interaction with peers can negatively affect self-esteem.

Maintaining life balance, emotional stability and stress management are core emotional life skills. A healthy emotional balance means one does not fly off the handle, potentially committing violent acts, after a small trigger. Coping skills with stress can affect one's physical health and personal enjoyment of life.

A person with a high level of life skills tends to experience a better attitude, more positive relationships, better career development and a well-rounded quality of life.