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 simple ideas that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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.

A Healthy Mind

Personal Development

Personal development skills are the skills you need to enable you to set personal goals and to achieve personal empowerment. Build a strong and effective skill-set through personal development that will help you to make relevant and positive choices and decisions in the future.

Our Study Skills pages, not just for students, will help you develop your learning potential. Learning how to learn is central to personal development.

Our pages: Personal Development and Personal Empowerment provide a framework for setting personal goals and achieving your potential in life. Become more self-aware, learn to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and those of other people. Learn how to use language positively to encourage self-empowerment and also to help empower others. Remove the barriers to learning and developing yourself and start to develop new skills today. Personal development and personal empowerment skills are the foundations of other key life skills.

Building Confidence and Self-Esteem

How we feel about ourselves impacts on many aspects of our lives. By developing confidence and self-esteem we can overcome barriers and learn to accept our own strengths and weaknesses. Our pages explore the meanings of confidence and self-esteem and provide ideas of how they may be improved in ourselves and others. See: Building Confidence and What is Self-Esteem?

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. Being motivated to achieve your life goals and reach your potential is also a key skill that will help to boost your confidence and self-esteem whilst giving direction. See our page: Self-Motivation for some ideas of how you can get motivated and keep motivated.

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 - achieve more and feel more motivated and self-confident.  Prioritise, categorise and organise your time to maximum benefit.

Tips to avoid wasting time – our lives are often full of things that waste time or distract us from doing what’s important.  Follow our simple tips 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 many demands that we feel we constantly need to balance - work, family, money, health and so on.  Stress can make you seriously ill, we hope you will find our stress pages useful for helping you reduce, manage and avoid stress in your life.

  • What is Stress? – This page is an introduction to stress, you should start here to learn more about what causes stress in yourself and others and how this stress may manifest in behaviour.
  • Avoiding StressBy understanding why we get stressed and what the triggers for stress are 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 DietLearn 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 StressPractical 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.


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 or beliefs, values and opinions to others.

Visit our assertiveness pages for more:

Anger, Anger Management and Aggression

We all get angry at some time in our lives, anger is a natural emotion that can be triggered by stress, frustration, feelings of wrong-doing and 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, see our pages on:

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 Dealing with Aggression and Recognising Aggression in Others.

A Healthy Body


Although extensive research has been carried out we still don't know exactly why we need sleep. What we do know is that sleep is very important to our personal wellbeing and that lack of sleep can be dangerous. Explore and learn more about what we spend a third of our lives doing: What is Sleep? and Sleep in Practice - The Importance of Sleep.


The phrase ‘you are what you eat’ has become a bit of a cliché over recent years.  Most of us know that modern diets can contain too many processed foods that are high in fats, sugar and salt and that we should eat more fresh fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy balanced diet.  Obesity, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and type-two diabetes are all common problems in modern life and often a direct result of poor diets.  Our pages on diet and nutrition explain what your body needs and why – how some simple changes to your diet can make big differences to your wellness, increasing your energy levels, lifting your spirit and, hopefully, reducing the likelihood of becoming ill.

See our pages on:


Protein is an essential part of our diets; it is the building block for all cells in our bodies, organs, bones, muscles and blood.  Learn about the different types of protein-rich food sources and how your body uses these to keep you healthy. (See: What is Protein?)


Fat is an essential part of our diet – we can’t live without it.  However there are different kinds of fat, some good and some bad.  Modern diets can contain too much of the bad fats associated with various health and wellbeing issues.  Learn about fat and the types of food that contain both harmful and beneficial fats. (See: What is Fat? and Body Mass Index.)


Unlike protein and fat, carbohydrates (commonly abbreviated to carbs), are not essential to our diets.  Most of us consume too many carbohydrates – or the wrong kind of carbohydrate.   Learn about the types of foods high in different types of carbohydrate and how carbohydrate intake affects our metabolism.  Learn what the glycaemic index can tell us about foods rich in carbohydrates. (See: What are Carbohydrates?)


High fibre foods can help us to maintain a healthy digestive system and metabolism.  Consuming the right amount of fibre can help your body to run more efficiently and help you to feel better as a consequence.  We also look at why a high fibre diet can help you lose weight and be good for you heart. (See: What is Fibre?)


Vitamins are, by definition, essential to our health.  Our page lists and describes all 13 vitamins that we need in order to keep our bodies healthy.  As well as describing the known uses/benefits of each vitamin this page also highlights foods high in vitamins that you may wish to increase in your diet. (See: Vitamins)


Learn about the most important nutritional minerals, what the body uses them for and which foods contain them. From Boron to Zinc. (See: Minerals as Nutrients)