Mental Health Wellbeing

What is ‘good mental wellbeing?’

Good mental wellbeing can mean different things to different people. Here's what we think it is - and how you can achieve it.

By Clare Harland

Good mental wellbeing is something that you hear people talk about a lot these days. But unlike our physical health, good mental wellbeing can mean different things to different people.

We did some research and asked Telford people how they describe good mental wellbeing. Here are the words they used.

Enlightened, self awareness, happy, clam, satisfied, good personal realtionships, self acceptance, invigorated, enthused, capability, purpose in life, confidence, powerful, optimistic, content, autonomy

So good mental wellbeing is about more than the absence of mental illness or mental disorders – it’s about having a range of positive feelings and moods.

Our mental wellbeing changes all the time, for some of us more so than others. Generally when we’re in a positive mood we;

  • generate more ideas
  • are more resilient in stressful situations
  • become more generous to and tolerant of others

Basically life is better when we have good mental wellbeing and we cope better with the ups and downs that come our way. And that’s why its important to have good metal wellbeing.

How can we have ‘good mental wellbeing?’

Good mental wellbeing makes everyday life a lot better, The New Economics Foundation describe it as ‘feeling good and functioning well’. Basically, if there was a pill for it, we’d all want one.

To give ourselves the best chance of having good mental wellbeing (given that the pill doesn’t exist) there are some really simple things we can do every day. Adopting these will make us feel better in ourselves and able cope to better when things go wrong or get difficult.

These evidence based action were drawn up by research from The New Economics Foundation and are known as the five ways to wellbeing, which are:

  • Give – do something nice for a friend or a stranger, smile or thank someone. This can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with people around you.
  • Connect – connect with people around you, family, friends, colleagues, neighbours. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.
  • Take Notice – be curious, notice what is around you. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
  • Keep Learning – try something new. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.
  • Be Active – exercising makes you feel good. Discover a physical activity you enjoy and one that suits your level or mobility and fitness.

Putting the five ways to wellbeing into practice is easier than you think – for an example see how Jen uses the five ways in her everyday life.

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