How Can I Improve My Mental Wellbeing?
After more than a year of life as we have never known it, more people than ever are beginning to look into ways to improve their mental wellbeing. Mental health awareness grew enormously as the world locked down around us and has become more important than ever now.
As we regain some level of normality, you may be looking for a way to improve your mental wellbeing and trying to understand what different factors can affect it. If so, then we've got you covered!
We've done some research into mental wellbeing, what it looks like when it's good, and how you can improve your own mental health by yourself. To learn all about positive mental health and the impact of everyday things on your mental wellbeing, check out our blog post below.
What is mental wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing is linked to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Mental wellbeing and mental health are not synonymous and your mental wellbeing can affect your mental health over a period of time.
Low mental wellbeing can leave you with poor mental health and can sometimes lead to conditions like anxiety and depression.
Although there are lots of different examples of good mental wellbeing, the general idea is that you feel positive, comfortable, and confident, able to do things and progress, and you experience pleasure and joy.
Why is mental health important?
Good mental health is important because our mental health affects the way we experience life. Good mental health and wellbeing can be the difference between a positive outlook and a negative one. A mentally healthy person can experience joy, interact with others in a healthy way, and see a positive future.
Mental health can also have a profound effect on physical health and maintaining good mental health can improve your overall health. Physical and mental health go hand in hand, with one having a huge effect on the other.
Having a mental health condition, like depression, can actually increase your risk of physical ailments, like heart disease and mental distress can lead to poor health choices that lead to poorer physical health. The path between physical health and mental health is a two-way street, with the two affecting each other in equal amounts.
What do positive mental health and good mental wellbeing look like?
It is important to note that though good mental wellbeing and mental health can lead to a more positive outlook, it does not mean the total absence of negative thoughts. Good mental wellbeing simply means that when negative or challenging situations do arise, you are able to deal with them in a healthier way. Unlike when mental wellbeing is poor and normal stresses from everyday life can have you spiralling.
Positive mental health and wellbeing have many faces, but generally, a person with good mental wellbeing can feel a few things, which include:
- Confidence in yourself and the ability to make decisions you trust
- Building and maintaining healthy relationships
- Feeling like your life has a purpose
- Feeling productive in your work, and your life at large
- Having the ability to cope with normal stresses experienced in everyday life
- Dealing with change
Positive mental wellbeing doesn't necessarily have to include all of these factors and may include more depending on a variety of factors.
What affects our mental wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing and our mental health can be affected by a variety of different factors, from external sources to our physical health to our own thoughts and feelings. Below, we've categorised factors that affect your mental health and wellbeing under three headings, connections with people, physical health, and emotional health. Check them out to learn how different things can affect how you feel mentally.
Connection with people
The way we interact with other human beings can affect how we feel. Having good and healthy connections to our friends, families, and colleagues can help to improve mental health and wellbeing while missing out on socialising can make us feel lonelier.
Even introverts need friends and having genuine human connection can help to improve how you're feeling.
Physical health and mental illness
As already discussed, physical health and mental health go hand in hand and doing everything you can to keep good physical health will help your mental health too.
Getting enough sleep can affect how you feel in the mornings. A good nights rest can make the day seem easy whereas feeling tired can make you feel sluggish and generally down in your mood. If you struggle to sleep, consider using aromatherapy oils, like lavender oil or herbal remedies like this sleep aid from Herbal Wellbeing.
Exercise has always been known as a great aid to mental health. Getting out every day in the fresh air, even just for a quick walk, can get your heart rate up and your endorphins and dopamine flowing. These chemicals can help you to feel more positive and content and do wonders for your mental health and wellbeing.
The World Health Organization recommended that adults get between 150 - 300 minutes of moderate activity across the week to maintain good physical and by extension mental health.
Following a healthy diet can also help you to maintain good physical health. A good diet consists of lots of fruit, vegetables, grains, like wholemeal pasta, brown rice, and cereals, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats like those in extra virgin olive oil and other oils.
Eating a good diet can help to maintain overall health and stop you from feeling sluggish. Limiting sugar intake can avoid crashes in your energy and eating a diet high in protein and whole grains can keep you energised for consistent periods of time.
Emotional health can have a huge impact on your mental health and wellbeing. If you're feeling low or stressed, especially for a prolonged period of time, it can start to have a huge impact on your mental health.
Practising mindfulness, getting out into nature, trying out yoga, and even trying meditation are all practices that can help you feel more grounded and calm throughout the day and can help to stabilise your emotional health.
How can I improve my mental wellbeing?
Now that we understand what mental wellbeing is and how it can be affected by external factors, it is time to look at ways we can improve our mental health and wellbeing. We've done some research and found a few different ways you can improve your mental health and wellbeing. Check them out.
Like we mentioned before, human connection is great for your mental health. Catching up over a cup of coffee or a nutritious meal can do wonders for your mental health when you're feeling low. Pick up the phone, send a quick email, and meet up with your nearest and dearest.
Human connection can help you to feel less lonely and can assure you that there is someone there for you when things get bad.
We've gone over how physical activity can help previously, but it's very important so we're reiterating it. Physical activity, of any kind that gets your heart pumping, can help you to feel better quickly. Staying in shape is great for your overall health and can encourage the release of chemicals in your brain that make you feel good.
Learning, evolving, and progressing
If we're progressing, learning new things, and becoming new people, we're dealing with change and finding joy and pleasure in life. Learn a new skill, like cooking or painting, take up mountain biking or rock climbing, or sit down and learn a new language. Keeping yourself busy and widening your mind can help you to feel fulfilled and joyful.
This is also an opportunity to connect with new people and build confidence in yourself, both of which can help your mental wellbeing. Always make sure you actually enjoy the new thing you're learning, of course. Don't force yourself to do something you don't like!
Choosing to be kind to others and giving to others can give you a sense of purpose and help you to feel more fulfilled. Offering help to friends, volunteering with a charity that interests you, or simply ensuring you thank the people in your life can help you to feel good.
Mindfulness has soared in popularity in recent years. The art of being in the present can help you feel grounded and help you to slow down, ensuring you understand yourself better and enjoy life more.
Take a moment to enjoy the world around you and practice grounding techniques, like noting the things in the room you can sense.
Mindfulness is a really great tool for calm. It can soothe you in the busy world we now live in.
Improving your mental wellbeing can help you to improve your physical as well as your mental health. Ensuring you have good mental wellbeing can ensure you lead a happier and more fulfilled life and help you to deal with everyday life.
We have laid out a few different ways you can improve your mental wellbeing here, but there are lots of others too! If none of these tips appeals to you, take a look at other techniques for good mental wellbeing and see how your thoughts improve quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I help mental wellbeing?
You can help your mental well-being in a number of ways. Helping your mental wellbeing can ensure you deal with everyday stresses more easily and have a better outlook on life. Getting out into nature, taking up physical activity, trying new skills, and connecting with others are all ways that you can improve your own mental wellbeing.
What is positive mental wellbeing?
Positive mental wellbeing can be characterised in a number of ways. Someone who has good mental wellbeing may feel confident and optimistic about the future and its progression. They should also feel able to make decisions easily and have belief in themselves, as well as be able to deal with everyday stresses and new changes happening around them.
What does mental wellbeing mean?
Mental wellbeing is to do with your thoughts, feelings and emotions and how they impact the way you live your life. Good mental wellbeing means being able to feel confident in yourself, feel pleasure and joy in life, and be able to deal with changes and stresses around you. Though not synonymous, your mental wellbeing can have a profound effect on your mental health and prolonged low mental wellbeing can lead to mental health conditions.
Are mental health and mental wellbeing the same thing?
Mental health and mental wellbeing differ a little. While mental wellbeing is about your thoughts and feelings, mental health is about the overall feeling and not just the absence of illness. Mental wellbeing can affect mental health and when not taken care of properly, your mental wellbeing can cause ill mental health. Sometimes, poor mental wellbeing for a prolonged period of time can even lead to mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.