10 life skills for improving your health 10 life skills for improving your health

Social, cognitive and emotional skills are important for making healthy, positive life decisions. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Association (PAHO), improving one’s life skills has a positive effect on personal and public health. This is why these organizations have included life skills as part of their health promotion strategy.

As part of their project, Habilidades para la Vida (Life Skills), the Edex de Bilbao organization has identified 10 skills that we should all develop and promote among young generations:

  1. Self-knowledge: The ability to know oneself through identifying one’s own strengths, weaknesses, attitudes, values and personal and social resources.
  2. Control our emotions and feelings: The ability to explore and channel our own emotions to avoid detrimental behavior when feeling overwhelmed. The most difficult emotions to handle are anger and violence.
  3. Stress management: The ability to recognize situations that cause stress and address or eliminate them in a constructive and healthy way.
  4. Assertive communication: The ability to clearly express what you think, feel or need with conviction and without putting others down.
  5. Empathy: The ability to understand the lives, situations and feelings of others. Being empathetic helps us to accept our diversity and improve our interpersonal relationships.
  6. Interpersonal relationships: The ability to interact with others and establish and maintain healthy and independent relationships that are not toxic and do not inhibit personal growth.
  7. Conflict management: The ability to accept the fact that conflict is part of being human and to develop useful strategies for dealing with it. This skill helps to reduce anxiety.
  8. Decision-making: The ability to evaluate your options and decide on one while understanding the consequences they have on you and on the circumstances.
  9. Creative thinking: The ability to go beyond using just your personal experience to improve your decision-making and conflict resolution skills.
  10. Critical thinking: The ability to objectively analyze situations in order to draw your own conclusions. This skill helps you identify how your environment (the media, music, etc.) influences your behavior.