School is supposed to educate us, but it seems that when we leave we either forget a lot of the stuff we learned or we don’t even need it in real life. When was the last time you had to use trigonometry? Probably not at work when your boss slapped a short deadline on you. Definitely not when your kids were arguing over whose turn it is to choose a movie. Most of what we were taught in school we don’t need to know for day-to-day living and survival. Here are some life skills that we think are pretty essential for thriving and living a fulfilling life.
HOW TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS
Knowing how to resolve conflicts is a skill you can apply to any area of your life. While no one likes conflict, it’s important to know how to peacefully settle things without creating any further damage. A few tips include keeping your cool, expressing your concerns, listening while trying to be empathetic, and talking with the goal of reaching a solution that works for everyone.
Stress has been shown to be extremely unhealthy physically and mentally, and can even lead to death. That’s why learning how to cope with stress is essential to living a healthy and happy life. Meditation, keeping a journal, and even coloring have been proven to be effective ways for adults to find peace and calm. You can also try dancing, going for a walk, talking to someone, yoga, or taking a relaxing bath.
HOW TO FOCUS
There are many distractions out there today that make it hard for people to focus. Did you know that, on average, Americans watch over five hours of TV a day, and that doesn’t even include time spent on devices and online? You can improve your focus by getting more exercise, cutting back on screen time, setting goals, and taking small steps towards accomplishing them.
When we don’t get enough sleep everything in our life is impacted, including work performance, our relationships, raising our kids, and physical abilities. People who sleep restfully through the night are more focused, happier, and healthier. You can improve your sleep by not eating or drinking caffeine or alcohol before bed, keeping a consistent bedtime routine, and maintaining a cool room temperature.
HOW TO HANDLE CHANGE
Change is probably the one constant in our lives that’ll never go away. Many people have difficulty dealing with change, especially if it affects our personal lives. You can’t avoid it, so you have to learn how to embrace it and look at it positively. Exercising and writing in a journal are great ways to release any anxieties brought on by change.
Everyone feels burned out at some point in their lives. Our society works hard, plays hard, and many of us are hustlin’ just to get by. So how do we prevent burnout? You can do this by getting more restful sleep, keeping hydrated, eating well, exercising, and finding time for activities you enjoy.
Nobody has to be model thin, but keeping our weight at a healthy level is important because as the saying goes “health is wealth.” The truth is that the older you get, the harder it is to maintain your weight. Some tips for managing weight are drinking more water, avoiding packaged or processed foods, cutting out refined sugars, and working on bulking up your muscles, as they burn fat longer.
HOW TO HAVE GOOD MENTAL HEALTH
Mental health is finally getting the attention it deserves—people who are suffering don’t have to hide their problems anymore and can get the help they need. When you nurture your mind you have healthier relationships, sleep better, feel happier, and live more optimistically. Ways to avoid poor mental health is to talk about your feelings with friends and family, avoid stress, meditate, and exercise.
HOW TO FIND JOY
Life isn’t all work, and if it is, then it’s time to make a change. Taking the time to just have plain ol’ fun will make you happier and appreciate life more, and if you have kids it’ll show them that happiness is a priority. You don’t even have to go out and spend a lot of money. Some ways to have fun for cheap and at home are having an indoor picnic, playing games, having a movie night, doing karaoke, or making crafts.
HOW TO HAVE A GOOD CONVERSATION
Learning how to have a good and interesting conversation is definitely not something they teach in school. However, it’s a great life skill to have because it helps you to connect with people and to develop meaningful bonds. You can be a great conversationalist by putting away your devices, making eye contact, responding instead of reacting, and staying focused on the person you’re speaking to.