Mental wellbeing describes our mental state – how we are feeling and how well we can cope with day-to-day life. Our mental wellbeing can change, from day to day, month to month or year to year.
When we have good mental wellbeing (or good mental health), we are able to:
- feel relatively confident in ourselves
- feel and express a range of emotions
- feel engaged with the world around us
- live and work productively
- cope with the stresses of daily life and manage times of change and uncertainty
Evidence suggests there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing. If you approach them with an open mind and try them, you can judge the results yourself.
- Connect. Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships. Learn more in Connect for mental wellbeing
- 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. Learn more in Get active for mental wellbeing
- 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? Find out more in Learn for mental wellbeing
- 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. Learn more in Give for mental wellbeing
- Take notice. 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. Learn more in Awareness for mental wellbeing
If you need to talk to someone about something that is troubling you, or are worried about your mental health, you can contact the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 at any time or make an appointment to see you GP. You can also get more information from the Mind, Rethink, or LIFT psychology websites.
Last updated: 11 March 2014