Life Skills: Yoga, Fitness, Health and Hygiene

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Life skills are essential skills that enables one to effectively deal with everyday challenges of life. Life skills help people protect themselves and promote health by taking positive actions. We live in a dynamic world, in this constantly changing environment, having life skills is an essential part that would enable us to meet the everyday challenges of life. To cope with the increasing pace and change of modern life, students need new life skills such as the ability to deal with stress and frustration.

One of the important life skills is: Yoga. Yoga can help develop skills that helps one navigate through social and emotional challenges of life. By helping students learn regular meditation, intentional breathing, asana practice, they are practicing patience and single-minded focus, which is further improving their physical and emotional awareness and leads to development of resilience.
Yoga teaches the following Life skills:
1. Focus:
It is the ability to direct the flow of consciousness onto something specific. Yoga involves practicing of exercises that cultivates focus. If one develops focus or the ability to give a hundred percent to a task, life would become more efficient.

2. Stillness:
Yoga helps us learn and relish stillness, silence and just being. It helps us to be mindful, that is the state of being fully aware of the present. Mindful practices are important as it helps us regulate our emotions better thereby decreasing anxiety and stress. It also helps focus our attention and observe our thoughts and feelings without any judgements.

3. Stress Management
Yoga significantly reduces stress and anxiety. It relaxes the body and loosens the muscle tension resulted from stressors. Since it involves deep breathing, it also lowers the heart rate and blood pressure risen as a result of stress.

Another essential life skill is Fitness. Living an active lifestyle contributes to and strengthens all areas of well-being and success in life. Studies have shown that participation in sports and other physical activities provide developmental, emotional, and social benefits.Physical workout helps gain an understanding of the mental resilience. It also helps one learn how to deal with both loss and success.

Physical exercises have a lot of benefits as physical activity has been shown to stimulate chemicals in the brain like endorphins that makes one feel better. Whether it’s the improvement of self-esteem through accomplishments on the field, or emotional catharsis through sweat and exhaustion, physical activity produces endorphins that improve the ability to sleep, reduce stress and enhances positive emotions.

Exercise also has social benefits. When one engages in sports, they also receive a sense of belonging and build foundational life skills. They learn to cooperate and listen to one another that will pay dividends in other areas of their life. Adults, meanwhile, can rehabilitate old behaviours and learn new skills at the same time.

Another important life skill is Health and Hygiene. Personal hygiene and healthy habits are important life skills. World Health Organization in 1948 defined Health as “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Health does not just include physical health but also mental health.Mental and physical health is fundamentally linked. There are multiple associations between mental health and chronic physical conditions that significantly impact people’s quality of life. Thus, maintaining a state of healthy mind and body is an essential life skill.A good physical health is not just due to absence of diseases but also is result of a balanced diet and regular exercise. Physical well-being involves following a healthy lifestyle like having a balanced meal and exercising regularly that further reduces the risks of diseases. Maintaining physical health can enhance breathing and heart function, increase muscle strength and flexibility. To maintain and preserve health, it is essential to maintain hygiene. Hygiene includes both personal hygiene and also keeping your surroundings clean. Good hygiene practices can help prevent the spread of viruses or organisms that are potential carriers of various diseases. This helps decrease illness in the society as well as the consequence of these illnesses like suffering, loss of productivity and income. Improvement in hygiene can be linked to increased life expectancy, decreased mortality rate and decreased spread of infectious diseases. Hence, it is crucial to cultivate the skill of and practice hygiene.

On the other hand, emotional, social and psychological well-being is referred to as mental health.It is not just absence of mental disorders or psychopathology that ensures a good mental health but it is also the ability to make the most out of life and enjoy life, being able resume normal life after difficult experiences, adapt effectively to the environment being able to balance family and work and achieve one’s truest potential. To maintain and enhance mental health, it is also important to develop the skill and practice of mental hygiene. Mental hygiene includes all measures taken to promote and to preserve mental health. This includes looking after your self-esteem and learn to be trusting, managing emotions and learn self-control, manage expectations and set concrete objectives, think positively and be on the lookout for negative emotions and learning to relax and handle adversity.

Thus, the above stated psychosocial competences and social skills are crucial to develop as it would help students make big decisions carefully, communicate effectively with others, develop coping skills with surrounding circumstances and manage oneself thus leading to attainment of progress and success.

Uttaranchal University aims at making the students imbibe life skills. To fulfil this intent various events are organized from time to time wherein the students get an insight into and opportunities to develop essential life skills.

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