Life skills have been defined by the World Health Organisation as “The abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”.
Self-awareness includes recognition of ‘self’, our character, our strengths and weaknesses, desires and dislikes. Developing self-awareness can help us to recognize when we are stressed or feel under pressure. It is a prerequisite to effective communication and for developing empathy with others.
Empathy –Empathy is the ability to imagine what life is like for another person and recognize their needs, desires, fears and challenges. Empathy can help us to accept others, who may be very different from ourselves to improve social interactions, especially,in situations of ethnic or cultural diversity.
Critical thinking is an ability to analyze information and experiences in an objective manner. Critical thinking can contribute to conscious decision making that will impact our life positively. It also helps us understand attitudes, behaviours and responses that help us view situations from various perspectives.
Creative thinking is a novel way of seeing or doing things that has four components – fluency (articulation of new ideas), flexibility (shifting perspective easily), originality (conceiving of something new), and elaboration (building on other ideas).
Decision making helps us to deal constructively with decisions about our lives . It involves making healthy choices for our physical, intellectual and emotional well being.
Problem solving helps us deal constructively with problems in our lives thus reducing stress visibly.
Effective communication means that we are able to express ourselves, both verbally and non-verbally, in ways that are appropriate to our cultures and situations. This means being able to express opinions and desires, and also needs and fears.
Collaboration help us to relate in positive ways with the people we interact with. This may mean being able to make and keep friendly relationships, which can be of great importance to our mental and social well-being. It may also mean being able to end relationships constructively.
Stress Management: Scientific research has established that stress is the core factor in physical, mental, and emotional disease. Discovering how unconscious physical, mental and emotional habits create stress, aging, addiction and disease helps build awareness that encourages simple lifestyle changes to reclaim joy and well being.
Managing Emotions : Our feelings are a wonderful barometer of our well being. When we are not caught up in negative thinking, our feelings remain positive, and we feel joyful, loving and peaceful. When we are feeling fearful, angry, or depressed it is a sure sign that our thoughts have become negative and dysfunctional. Developing this awareness and making the decision to eliminate negative thinking can be dramatically life changing.
Life skills education contributes to education, gender equality, democracy, good citizenship, child protection, mental health, positive relations, conscious actions, responsibility , empowerment , peace and harmony.
It would not be wrong to say that all DPSG students are 21st century learners who have the appropriate skills to use their head and heart both and would be the leaders in the days to come.