Personal Skills

Personal Skills for Body and Mind

Perhaps the most fundamental of all skills are those concerned with self-preservation - that is, staying healthy in both body and mind. This section of SkillsYouNeed covers some ideas that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our pages will also help to make sure that you are able to feel good about yourself.

Without good personal (or intra-personal) skills, you are less likely to be able to develop good interpersonal, presentation or leadership skills.

We aim to provide practical advice about personal skills which can enhance your mental and physical health and wellbeing.

All of the information found on SkillsYouNeed is, to the best of our knowledge, correct. We are, however, not a replacement for professional healthcare providers. If you are worried about your physical or mental health then seek professional medical advice.

Learning about Personal Development

Personal development skills are the skills you need to enable you to set personal goals and to achieve personal empowerment.

You can build a strong and effective skill-set through personal development, and these will help you to make relevant and positive choices and decisions in the future.

Whether you want to start with Keeping Your Mind Healthy or Caring for your Body, there are plenty of ideas in this section to help.

Personal Development Skills

Our pages on Personal Development and Personal Empowerment provide a framework for setting personal goals and achieving your potential in life.

Become more self-aware, and learn to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and those of other people, for example, by developing habits of Reflective Practice.

Learn how to use language positively to encourage self-empowerment in our pages on Positive Thinking and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and also to help empower others. Remove the barriers to learning and developing yourself by discovering the Importance of Mindset and start to develop new skills today. And if you find personal change hard, take a look at our pages on Personal Change Management Skills and Self-Motivation for some ideas to get you started.

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

Character-Building Skills

Our section on Character-Building Skills focuses heavily on those perhaps old-fashioned terms ‘character’ and ‘virtue’, and their increasing importance in today’s world.

Learn about the importance of Emotional Intelligence and Managing Emotions in gaining mastery over yourself, and being able to understand yourself and others.

Managing your emotions effectively is crucial to learning to live well. For more about this, see our pages on Goodness: Learning to Use Your Moral Compass and A Framework For Learning To Live Well.

Ethics play an important role in life, although sometimes in the modern world it’s hard to remember. Find more about this in our pages on Living Ethically, Ethical Consumption and Ethics and Goodness in Professional Life.

You can also find out more about individual character traits, or ‘virtues’ on our individual pages. For example, you may want to explore issues of Self Control, Developing Resilience, Being Good Tempered, or even Friendliness or Compassion. There are plenty more to explore and help you to feel good about yourself.

How we feel about ourselves impacts on many aspects of our lives. By Building Confidence and Self-Esteem, we can overcome barriers and learn to accept our own strengths and weaknesses. Further your understanding of self-esteem and confidence by reading our pages on Personal Presentation, how we present or market ourselves to others, and Personal Appearance, how we dress and look after our physical appearances.


Developing assertiveness skills is important for self-development. Assertiveness is not about being aggressive or passive but a tool we use to develop an understanding of ourselves and communicate our beliefs, values and opinions to others.

Find out more on our assertiveness pages, including Assertiveness (An Introduction), Why People are not Assertive, Dealing with Non-Assertiveness and Assertiveness Techniques.

Time Management

The way that we manage our time has a direct effect on how we feel.

Our Introduction to Time Management page outlines some of the ways you can improve your effectiveness at getting things done, so that you achieve more and feel more motivated and self-confident.  Prioritise, categorise and organise your time to maximum benefit.

Take our How Good Are Your Time Management Skills? Quiz to find out if you're as productive as you can be.

Our lives are often full of things that waste time or distract us from doing what’s important. Follow our simple tips to avoid wasting time, and reduce these distractions, leaving more time to achieve your goals.

Stress and Stress Management

Stress is common in modern life. Many of us have demands that we feel we constantly need to balance–work, family, money, health and so on.

Stress can make you seriously ill, so we hope that you will find our stress pages useful in helping you reduce, manage and avoid stress in your life.

  • What’s Stressing You Out? - Take our quiz to find out what's causing your stress.

  • What is Stress? – This page is an introduction to stress, and will help you to learn more about what causes stress and how stress may manifest itself in behaviour.

  • Avoiding Stress – By understanding why we get stressed and the triggers for stress, we can potentially avoid or minimise stressful situations. Discover some ways in which stress can be avoided and some tips on relaxation.

  • Stress, Nutrition and Diet – Learn about the relationship between what we eat and how stressed we feel. Improve your diet, feel better about yourself, enjoy life, gain confidence and reduce stress.

  • Stress in the Workplace – Workplace stress is common and responsible for many lost work days. Why do people get stressed at work, what can be done to alleviate the problem and does your employer have a duty to minimise workplace stress?

  • Tips for Dealing with Stress – Practical and simple ways that you can deal with and help combat stress in your life.

  • Relaxation Techniques - Learn some simple and effective ways to relax.

  • Work-Life Balance - Find out how you can maintain a healthy balance between work and leisure time.

Anger, Anger Management and Aggression

We all get angry from time to time. Anger is a natural emotion that can be triggered by stress, frustration, feelings of wrong-doing and many other factors.

Anger should not be thought of as a negative emotion but rather a natural release - we all handle and manage anger in different ways.

Learn more about anger and how to manage it in our pages on What is Anger?, Anger Management and Anger Management Therapy (What to Expect). You may also find our quiz How Angry are You? useful to find out if your anger is appropriate.

Aggressive behaviour towards others is unacceptable and a criminal offence in many countries. As we are all aware, aggression can be very damaging both psychologically and physically for all involved. See our pages on What is Aggression? and Dealing with Aggression.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

This two-part guide is an easy-to-read summary of the essential skills you need for a healthy mind and body.

The first eBook, Looking After Yourself, covers some of our most popular content and will help you to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

The second eBook, Living Well, Living Ethically, considers how you can live your best life all the time. It helps you to answer the question: how can I avoid having too many regrets about my life?