What is mental health and wellbeing?
- Overall health and wellbeing involves both the mind and the body. Physical and mental wellbeing are closely related
- Feeling happy is a part of mental wellbeing. But it is far from the whole. There is a deeper kind of wellbeing, which is about living in a way that is good for you and good for others around you
- Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental wellbeing. Self-esteem and self-confidence are, too. So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do. And so are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you
- Good mental health does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult. But it does mean that you feel you have the strength and resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual
- Mental health and wellbeing can take many different forms, but a useful description is feeling good and functioning well
Five steps to mental wellbeing
- Connect – connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.
- Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find the activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.
- Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?
- Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.
- Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your feelings and thoughts, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”, and it can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
This information is provided by Public Health England, for further information please visit their website here.
Whatever you need to know about coping with stress, anxiety or depression, or just generally improving your emotional wellbeing, the NHS Moodzone can help. It offers practical, useful information, interactive tools, and videos to support you on your way to feeling better.