Karen Klibanow, MSW

Skills for Authentic Living

Skills for Authentic Living

Authentic Living is participating in life intentionally and skillfully in a manner consistent with one's values and goals. People often find these skills helpful in living authentically:

~Emotion Regulation Skills

Encountering and managing life experiences are greatly impacted by the ease with which we manage our emotions. Some people find their emotional reactions so intense they are unable to deal with themselves, others or life in a skillful way. We often focus our attention on what is “wrong” which creates negative feelings. Mindfulness of current pleasant emotions takes conscious effort, especially if you have been afraid of your emotions and used to avoiding them. Present moment mindfulness of joy and other pleasurable feelings will contribute to breaking the cycle of recurring emotional suffering and will add richness and meaning to your life.

Emotion regulation skills:

    Understanding your emotions,

    reducing emotional vulnerability and suffering,

    increasing positive emotions,

    quieting your mind and body,

    making choices that come from a calm and balanced mind

~Interpersonal Relationship Skills

The quality of one's relationships determines the quality of one's life. Managing conflict and creating intimacy are major interpersonal challenges. Learning to deal with conflict without damaging a relationship is a necessary skill for maintaining and growing intimacy in a personal relationship and for feeling competent in other interactions in the world. Interpersonal skills help you get what you want, while attending to and keeping relationships and maintaining your self respect.

~Crisis Management Skills

When it is not possible to solve a problem or escape from a painful situation in the short term, it is necessary to find a way to tolerate the pain without resorting to behavior that will make the situation worse.  Impulsive actions in response to distress will interfere with making desired changes in life.  Learning techniques for surviving a crisis will allow for effective decision making.

~Reality Acceptance Skills

Sometimes it is just not possible to change a bad situation.  You can't solve it, you can't make it go away,  you can't turn it into a positive.  Struggling against that reality leads to frustration and suffering.  Learning and practicing reality acceptance skills can help decrease the suffering associated with pain and distress and allow moving beyond a focus on changing what cannot be changed.