Life skills are described as the ability to function in a reasonable way in our family circle, community, society and work place.This can be further explained by the individual's ability to anticipate and prepare for life events.By having and using this coping skill, or positive coping strategy, the individual reduces stress and anxiety to a manageable and normal level.This is described in psychology literature as proactive coping skill.Social coping is when one has the sense and the wherewithal to seek the help and support of others when doing so makes sense and ensures a positive and useful outcome. The other hallmark of effective life skills is the ability to self care. This includes physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.By learning and practicing life skills we will have a much easier time responding to everday life stressors.
For many resons some of us don't have the life skills described above. However, these skills can be learned over time by attending to and recognising the signs and outcomes of maladaptive life coping skills. This cohort of society create short term coping techniques that may reduce their symptoms in the short term, however, all this behaviour does is strengthen and maintain the present maladaptive and unfulfilling behaviour.There are many maladaptive coping behaviours, such as; avoidance, safety behaviours, escaping from responsibility and dissociation. These coping strategies interfere with one's ability to learn from life's experience.For example; safety behaviours are created when a person with anxiety comes to rely on, and depend on someone else to provide a safety net for them when they are exposed to anxiety provoking situations. An even more destructive dependency is of course when one turns to alcohol or indeed any substance abuse as a crutch to get over maladaptive behaviour.
In therapy, the above behaviours are identified during the initial assessment. More helpful, practical and adaptive behaviours are agreed on. Short term goals and between session work are planned. Life values are identified (what do I want my life to mean while i'm on this planet). Does my current behaviour take me towards or away from the things that are really important to me.