What Are Life Skills: Meaning, Types, Benefits, & Development Tips

Life skills are essential to helping us be adaptable and versatile enough to succeed. The expression “life skills” comes from the idea that there is more to living our lives than just fulfilling our needs and desires. 

A life skill is any skill that contributes to an individual’s or society’s well-being. They are transferable skills that one can use in multiple industries. These skills include things like communication, organization, and personal management.

Society requires that we learn how to function in society and meet the needs and desires of others. Also, these skills help us interact effectively with others, especially in the workplace. 

This article discusses life skills, how they affect your daily activities, and how to develop them.

What are life skills?

Life skills are the skills necessary to manage everyday life. The definition of a life skill is often broad. They include academic and behavioral skills and practical, social, and personal-care skills.

Also, these are the practical, everyday skills we use as adults to get by in our school, home, and workplace environments.

They include everything from getting dressed in the morning to cooking a meal, doing homework after school, and managing money. 

Additionally, they rely on observable behavior across the different life domains. This includes health and well-being, relationships and communication, work and contribution, and a sense of place. 

These skills also represent psychosocial competencies: sets of behaviors that get us what we want in a particular context.

What are the types of life skills?

These skills are learned in the informal settings of everyday living and involve a variety of cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and practical abilities.

Life skills, including personal skills, psychosocial competencies, literacy, and numeracy skills, are necessary for daily living.

They are acquired either through formal education or self-learning.

Listed below are the core aspects of life skills:

  1. Creative thinking
  2. Critical thinking 
  3. Problem solving 
  4. Cooperation 
  5. Negotiation 
  6. Self-management 
  7. Decision making 
  8. Effective communication 
  9. Empathy 
  10. Resilience and the ability to cope with stress

What Are the Benefits of Having Life Skills?

Life skills help to develop a person’s psychosocial, literacy, numeracy, and media competencies.

These skills are associated with higher self-esteem, better social competence, greater employability, and more initiative in seeking education and health services.

Also, psychosocial skills help you live a better life by improving your knowledge about different areas of life.

It makes managing multiple aspects of life easier, like home, work, school, and community. 

Listed below are some key benefits associated with life skills:

1. Life skills make you better at teamwork 

You can make your teamwork more effective by understanding psychological, social, and technical concepts such as temperament and communication styles. 

You’ll learn how to interact with colleagues in the workplace, be a good leader and mentor, avoid offending people due to improper language and attire, and know how to deal with conflict.

Also, with life skills, you will learn to work well with others. You will also be capable of setting and achieving goals and working towards them with your team.

2. Become happier, more fulfilled, and independent

Life skills empower you to make personal and professional choices and help you develop important competencies for getting along with family, friends, and coworkers.

In addition, these skills make life easier, more fun, less stressful, and more satisfying for you and your family. They are vital to having the freedom to do things you enjoy and to take care of yourself.

Strong life skills are also linked to better physical, mental, and emotional health and financial management. 

It also creates stronger social networks and employment opportunities, increased feelings of independence and confidence, and the ability to influence your community.

3. They teach you to be more organized and productive 

Isn’t it interesting that some people seem more organized and productive than others? That’s because they properly utilize their psychosocial skills.

The ability to organize is one of the most valuable skills. These skills help you in your professional and personal lives.

They also make a huge difference by helping you be more organized and productive at home, at work, and in everyday life.

You’ll also become more efficient, find extra time for your family and friends, free up your leisure time, and maybe even get a promotion at work.

4. Master problem-solving skills 

Problem-solving is your ability to figure out what to do in unexpected or difficult situations.

You use your ideas and knowledge of the world around you. Problem-solving involves a lot of different skills. 

For example, you can use reasoning skills, like figuring out how things work or learning from your past experiences.

You can also use analytical skills, like thinking about the best option given a set of circumstances and then using those circumstances to develop a plan. 

Life skills allow you to solve problems, meet your own needs and the needs of others, and cope with change.

These skills are about knowing how to stay healthy and safe, connect with others, and take control of your own life.

When you need to solve a problem or decide on your own, these skills help you find the answers and make smart choices.

5. Connect with others and be more sociable

Psychosocial skills are the ability to interact with others, take care of problems, and get on with your life. They help you communicate, be more independent, and improve your health and wellness. 

Also, they help you make friends, deal with change, and relate better to people and your community.

These skills distinguish between understanding a stranger’s point of view and simply judging them.

6. Increase your chances of long-term employment 

Abilities that develop your mental, social, and vocational skills can increase your potential for long-term employment with greater rewards during your lifetime.

Developing these skills can expand your life opportunities and help you succeed at work. Furthermore, people with these skills are more likely to get a job, keep it, and have a higher salary. 

7. Life skills help you overcome obstacles 

These abilities can help you overcome obstacles, manage your emotions, and be more effective.

When you have stable and positive coping strategies, you can have better health, land a good job, and accomplish your goals.

Also, these skills teach children how to cope with a problem, help them make decisions, and suggest ways to fix things or come up with solutions when they get stuck.

8. Build your confidence and give a boost to your self-esteem

You can live a confident life when you know how to take care of yourself and take control of your future.

Developing those skills is an important part of education and comes with time. 

Developmental skills are often learned at home and passed down through generations, but sometimes getting them can be difficult. 

These abilities help you stand tall, face your challenges and take control of your life. You’ll feel more capable as you’re less dependent on others.

9. Life skills increase your lifestyle options

Coping skills include basic living conditions and social competencies for daily living, work, school, and community.

Also, children need a good foundation of these skills from early childhood to adulthood.

That is because we all have to interact with others at home and in the community, cope with change in everyday situations, and make life choices.

This also means you can do more things, have a fantastic range of choices, control your life more, and reach your objectives.

Why are life skills necessary?

A life skill will help you deal with everyday situations, such as: making friends, finding a job or an apartment, and understanding finances.

It also helps with critical thinking and communicating with others. These skills may include communicating effectively, problem-solving, and using various equipment or technology. 

Study shows that people with a greater sense of life-skill competence have better health and wellness and participate more regularly in community life.

They also experience less stress, are more fulfilled, and find it easier to live a life they value.

We need life skills to function in the real world. They are crucial to navigating every day, no matter our industry. 

How do you develop life skills? 

Life skills are developed through continuous learning and are attainable by anyone at any stage.

Building on the skills you already possess is the best way to develop these skills. It’s not a quick process.

You might want to start with improving your literacy or social and communication skills, such as motor skills, problem-solving, and teamwork.

We learn these things over a lifetime and can be taught by our parents, school, work, social programs, activities, or communities.


How do life skills affect education?

Learning life skills in school is essential to helping students become well-rounded individuals. These skills help students connect the dots between what they learn in the classroom and how it applies to their daily lives.

How do life skills contribute to the workforce?

Life skills are vital in the workforce because they help us build relationships, manage stress, take the initiative and demonstrate creativity. They also help us think critically, remain open to new solutions and remain flexible when facing challenges.

Are life skills transferable skills?

Yes, a life skill is a transferable skill that you can use to make better choices, get along with others, and function in challenging situations.


Life skills provide you with knowledge and the training to make well-informed decisions.

These skills could be as simple as finding the right tool for a project or more complex, like learning how to repair something. 

Learning, communicating, and regulating emotions are all basic life skills. If you can’t do these things, you are unable to function independently and become a burden on society. 

In addition, this is a crucial life skill, and young children need to understand what they are to become responsible adults. However, having these skills may rely on using your cognitive abilities.

Finally, cognitive abilities are a broad group of mental capacities you rely on to carry out your daily lives. Learn more about cognitive abilities to understand how they correlate with life skills.

I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.