What is Mental Wellbeing and How to Improve It
If you're feeling low, anxious or stressed, you may be considering whether your mental wellbeing is to blame. Poor mental wellbeing can cause you to feel low and it can be hard to feel better without changing some habits.
Your mental wellbeing is important to your mental health and your overall health. Keeping good mental wellbeing can help you to feel more positive and confident. We've been doing some research into mental wellbeing and how you can improve it.
In this blog post, we're going to be looking at mental wellbeing, how it differs from mental health, what good mental wellbeing looks like and how to improve your mental wellbeing. To find out more, keep reading.
What is mental wellbeing?
So, what actually is mental wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing encompasses your thoughts and feelings and how you cope with negativity and resistance in your life. Your mental wellbeing can influence your mental health, but they are not one and the same.
Good mental well-being is a state of overall wellbeing and a concept of positivity that helps you to deal with the normal stresses of everyday life. It means knowing how to cope and not feeling overwhelmed. If you are experiencing poor mental wellbeing, you may find this more difficult.Though not one and the same, good mental health can be influenced by good mental wellbeing. To find out more about the differences between mental wellbeing and mental health, keep reading.
How does mental wellbeing differ from mental health?
Though often used interchangeably, mental health and mental wellbeing are not the same. To be truly mentally healthy, you don't simply need to be free from mental illness or a mental health condition. Good mental health is influenced by good mental wellbeing and bad mental wellbeing, especially for a prolonged amount of time, can lead to poor mental health.
Mental wellbeing is considered more a state of being where you feel more positive and are able to deal with normal stresses in a healthy way, while mental health may refer to a number of different concepts, including mental health conditions.
Good mental wellbeing is essential for good mental health, but you don't necessarily need to be free from mental health conditions to have good mental wellbeing. For instance, someone with a mental health condition may learn to deal with their condition in a healthy way and thus can eventually have better mental wellbeing.
In the next section, we'll be discussing what good mental wellbeing actually looks like.
What does good mental wellbeing look like?
To understand what good mental wellbeing means, it will be useful to learn what good mental wellbeing looks like.
Good wellbeing can look like:
- Feeling confident in yourself and your choices
- Being able to maintain relationships and build new ones
- Feeling that you have a purpose
- Feeling like you are being productive in your life
- Having the ability to cope well with the normal stresses of everyday life
- Being able to manage change well
Mental wellbeing is not the absence of negative thoughts and feelings but more the ability to be able to deal with them. This negativity is common in life and being able to deal with it means being able to cope with mental distress. Mental wellbeing is not solely about having positive feelings.
Mental health and wellbeing are subjective. Well-being could mean different things to different people and these attributes of good mental wellbeing can look different in different people.
Our mental well-being is affected by lots of different things. These include our relationships, such as those with friends and family members. It is also affected by our physical and emotional health.
How to know if my mental wellbeing needs improvement?
If you feel you may need to improve your mental wellbeing, you may be wondering what poor wellbeing actually looks like. Perhaps you're concerned about a friend or family member or are looking for help yourself. If any of these apply to you, take a look below to find out more about what poor mental health looks like.
- Feeling sad, low, or down
- Feeling confused
- Lacking concentration
- Excessive fears and worries
- Extreme mood changes
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Significant tiredness
- Detachment from reality
- Inability to cope with normal stress from daily life
- Problems with alcohol and drugs
- Major changes in eating habits
- Excessive anger and hostility
Maintaining good mental health can be difficult sometimes, especially for those with an undiagnosed mental illness or condition. To find out more about mental health conditions, take a look at the next section.
A note on mental illness
Mental illnesses or mental health conditions refer to conditions that affect the way someone thinks and feels, according to the World Health Organization. Common mental health conditions include anxiety and depression. If you are concerned about yourself or a family member or friend, and wondering whether they may have one of these mental health conditions, be sure to speak with a mental health professional to find out more.
Mental illness or mental health conditions cause mental health difficulties, but those with mental health conditions are not unable to have positive mental health.
The link between physical and mental health
When looking into mental health, you are likely to come across information on the link between physical and mental health. Though this connection has consistently been made throughout the history of complementary medicine, the link isn't spoken about as much as it should be.
Poor physical health can affect mental health and vice versa. Poor mental health can lead to physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, digestive issues and more, and poor physical health can lead to poor mental health.
While one affects the other in a negative way, they can also affect each other in positive ways. This means that exercising and eating well can actually support good mental health. Getting exercise every week can help to release feel-good hormones like endorphins which help you to feel happy. Getting good sleep can also help you to feel better mentally too.
For more on how to improve your mental wellbeing, keep reading now!
How to improve mental wellbeing
Improving your mental well-being is quite simple. Though it may seem like an uphill struggle, these few simple steps can help you to feel better soon. Take a look below to find out more.
Learning how to reframe unhelpful or negative thoughts
This is a step that may take more work than others. Overwhelming anxiety and negative thoughts can have a real effect on your mental wellbeing but learning how to deal with them can be much more difficult than it seems.
There are some techniques you can learn to help you with this. One of the best ways to learn to reframe negative thoughts is to practice meditation. Meditative practice can teach you how to accept these negative thoughts and then move past them without worrying.
Learning to see something as a negative and unhelpful thought can help you not hyper-focus on these issues and feel much less anxious.
Learn to be in the present
This next step involves moving your meditative practice into your daily life. This process is called mindfulness and involves learning to notice the things around you, learning to live in the present, and practising grounding techniques.
Mindfulness is a well-known practice and is often used in mental health therapy to help people to live in the moment and feel more gratitude for the life around them.
Get better at sleep
We all love to sleep but sometimes we can't seem to get enough of it. Maybe you can't seem to sleep for more than a few hours, or maybe you seem to be sleeping for much longer than you should be, either way, getting healthy sleep is important.
If you're struggling to sleep, you could consider misting your pillow with essential oil-based pillow mist, diffusing sleep-friendly essential oils like chamomile oil and lavender oil, or try taking a magnesium supplement to encourage healthier sleep.
Getting enough sleep is important for both your physical health and your mental health. Sleep helps your body to fight off disease and repair and rejuvenate, but it also helps to improve focus and concentration and can help you to feel more positive.
Connecting with others
Taking the time to socialise and connect with other humans is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Whether a Zoom catch up or a quick coffee date, spending time with others can help you to feel more grounded and more grateful.
Spend time with family, where it is possible, and foster healthy friendships that make you feel good about yourself. Don't maintain toxic relationships and don't feel guilty if you remove negative people from your life.
Live in a healthy way
We've discussed the link between physical and mental health which is why this step is here. Keeping your physical health boosted can help to keep your mental health in good shape.
You should ensure you get enough exercise. The WHO suggests getting 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, so whether you do a high-intensity resistance band workout or a soothing and calming yoga session, moving your body is good for your mental health as well as your physical health.
Along with exercise, ensuring you eat a well-balanced diet, filled with grains, beans, pulses, fruit, and veg, can help to maintain your physical health. Ensure you're eating nutritious meals and try reducing your sugary snack intake too, instead you should snack on healthier options like nuts and seeds, and popcorn.
Do things for yourself
Sometimes referred to as self-love, doing things that make your soul happy can help to boost your mental health. Self-love can be anything from taking time to burn your favourite candle while reading a good book to immersing yourself in a calming bath using fragrant bath salts.
Self-love isn't all face masks and good skincare though. You should also practice healthy self-talk, where you speak kindly to yourself, and make healthy decisions as well as learn to say no when you know you are unable to carry something out.
Self-love is all about allowing yourself the time and space to be happy and can mean different things to different people.
Your mental well-being is incredibly important to your mental health. Feeling positive and confident in yourself can help you to cope with everyday stresses and ensure you are able to deal with change. Poor mental wellbeing for a prolonged amount of time may lead to a mental health condition and so keeping your mental wellbeing boosted can be in your best interests.
There are many ways you can boost your mental wellbeing, from connecting with others and practising self-love to learning to be in the present and reframing negative thoughts. Trying these few steps can help you to feel better quickly. If you are concerned about yourself or a family member, remember there is no shame in seeking help for mental health issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I improve my mental wellbeing?
There are many ways that you can improve your mental well-being. These include getting out and connecting with others. This means building and maintaining healthy friendships. You could also try practising mindfulness and meditation to help you live in the present and reframe unhelpful thoughts. Along with this, you should aim to maintain good physical health through a good diet and exercise and try to get a good amount of sleep too.
What is good mental wellbeing?
Good mental wellbeing means feeling confident and sure of yourself. It means you are able to cope with change and the normal stresses experienced in everyday life. Good mental wellbeing also means having good self-esteem and feeling like you have a purpose. Someone with good mental wellbeing will feel productive too. Good mental wellbeing is not the absence of negativity but the idea that you can deal with negativity when it comes your way.
Why is mental wellbeing important?
Good mental wellbeing is important as you are able to deal with changes in your life and are able to cope with the stresses of modern life. Mental wellbeing is linked to mental health and if you have prolonged poor mental wellbeing, this could lead to poor mental health. Your mental wellbeing is important to your sense of purpose, your self-confidence and your productivity.
What affects mental wellbeing?
Your mental well-being is affected by your relationships with other people. Ensuring that your relationships are healthy is good for your mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing is also impacted by your physical health, which, if poor, can lead to poor mental wellbeing. Finally, mental wellbeing is also linked to your emotional health. Poor emotional health can lead to negative thoughts and feelings and lead to poor mental wellbeing.