The 10 Skills For Healthy Life
The development of these skills favors people’s ability to choose healthy lifestyles. People, as social beings, are forced to establish relationships with their peers, whether in the family, educational, work, or leisure environment.
However, it is not always easy to function in a certain social context. And it is not because of a lack of skills, but because they have not acquired the necessary skills to do so. Within the field of health, it has been shown that teaching to develop these skills is the most effective way to establish healthy behaviors, both individually and collectively. What they are and the 10 life skills are described below.
What Are Life Skills?
There are many definitions that illustrate the meaning of skills. Some authors refer to them as the skills to navigate life skillfully and competently, within the social and cultural possibilities of each one: they act as a link between the factors that motivate knowledge, attitudes, and values; they promote the generation of protective factors against psychosocial problems derived from the environment, and they help to know how to face the demands and challenges that life puts before them.
In general, three classes of skills are identified: social or interpersonal skills (such as assertive communication or empathy), cognitive skills (such as decision-making or critical thinking), and emotional management skills (such as stress).
Skills For Health Promotion
Skills have been adopted as a health promotion strategy, especially in Latin American and Caribbean countries, as a line of work of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which In the 1990s -and only focused on psychosocial skills- it began to disseminate pedagogical materials designed to promote these skills in educational centers.
Since then, scientific evidence has been indicating that the teaching and learning of these skills are more effective tools to prevent harmful behaviors than isolated interventions aimed at specific problems. In fact, the WHO reports that programs are designed with the aim of helping adolescents acquire skills for a healthy life, in addition to avoiding smoking, improving relationships with teachers and academic performance, and reducing absences from school. They have even been shown to be mediators in problem behaviors.
Thus, within the health promotion approach, life skills affect the determinants of health -circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age, including the health system, policies, the distribution of power and resources – and favor people’s ability to choose healthy lifestyles and optimal physical, social and psychological well-being. For example, they help improve the environment, interact with peers and acquire good eating and physical activity practices, among others.
The 10 Skills, One By One
According to the WHO, the skills for daily living are the following: 1. Self-awareness. Ability to know oneself, to know one’s own strengths, weaknesses, attitudes, values, and personal and social resources that one has for life and to face adversity. It is discovering what you want and what you don’t.
2. Managing emotions and feelings. The ability to explore one’s own emotions and know how to manage their influences on people’s behavior. The most difficult to manage, such as anger and violence, can have harmful results on health, especially in the youngest.
3. Management of tension and stress. It is the ability to recognize life circumstances that cause stress in order to deal with them constructively and eliminate or reduce them in a healthy way.
4. Assertive communication. Ability to clearly express what one thinks feels or needs, asserting one’s own rights, without being manipulated or manipulated by others. It is the most efficient form of communication.
5. Empathy. The ability to imagine what another person’s life is like and what they feel and put yourself in their place to better understand their reactions, emotions, and opinions. Having empathy helps to accept diversity and improves interpersonal relationships. Being empathic also involves your own emotions: if you feel what others feel, it is because you share feelings.
6. Interpersonal relationships. Ability to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships to interact positively with the people around them, especially family members, and, at the same time, end relationships that are toxic, that is, that block their own personal growth.
7. Conflict management. Accepting that conflict is part of the human condition, the challenge is to develop constructive strategies, that is, that help manages them in a way that stimulates development and favors change and personal growth. This ability, in young people, helps reduce anxiety.
8. Decision making. The ability to choose helps to evaluate the possibilities and to take into account the consequences associated with choices, both for oneself and for the people in the environment.
9. Creative thinking. To make decisions and resolve conflicts, it is necessary to explore all the alternatives and consequences, beyond one’s own personal experience.
10. Critical thinking. It is the ability to objectively analyze the available information together with experience to reach your own conclusions. This helps the youngest to recognize what factors influence their behavior, such as the media or their peer group.