What is mental wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing describes your mental state – how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day-to-day life.
Our mental wellbeing can change, from day to day, month to month or year to year.
If you have good mental wellbeing (or good mental health), you are able to:
feel relatively confident in yourself – you value and accept yourself and judge yourself on realistic and reasonable standards
feel and express a range of emotions
feel engaged with the world around you – you can build and maintain positive relationships with other people and feel you can contribute to the community you live in
live and work productively
cope with the stresses of daily life and manage times of change and uncertainty.
What can affect my mental wellbeing?
We all have times when we have low mental wellbeing – when we feel sad or stressed, or find it difficult to cope. For example, when we suffer some sort of loss; experience loneliness or relationships problems; or are worried about work or money. Sometimes, there is no clear reason why we experience a period of poor mental health.
Five steps to mental wellbeing
Evidence suggests there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing. Read our 5 Ways to Wellbeing booklet
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.