When we talk about ‘mental wellbeing’ there can be an assumption that this applies to only those people who have to deal with mental illness. In fact, mental wellbeing is something that we all need to be aware of and work to maintain.
But what is mental wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing is a way of describing your state of mind. If you have positive mental wellbeing you will be able to:
- feel relatively confident in themselves – value and accept yourself as you are and be realistic in how you judge yourself.
- 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.
This level of positive mental wellbeing can at times be hard to maintain. It can change due to life experiences such as abuse, unemployment, social isolation and loneliness, have a physical health condition or you are in poverty or debt. This could mean that you find it hard to cope with things as well as you would like on a day-to-day basis.
So how can mental wellbeing be improved?
Although these life experiences cannot often be changed there are still things that can be done to help improve your mental wellbeing.
The five steps to improving mental wellbeing
Connect – having a good relationship with the people around you. Share your feelings with friends, family and colleagues – don’t try to deal with it on your own.
Be active – Your physical wellbeing is linked to your mental wellbeing. Exercise can help to raise your mood.
Keep learning – A good way of improving your confidence is to learn a new skill. This could be learning to cook or having a go at a creative activity such as painting.
Give to others – Knowing that you have made a positive difference to someone else’s life can help to improve your mental wellbeing. This can just be a smile to someone or volunteering at your local charity, which would also help improve your social networks.
Be mindful – Be aware of how you are feeling in body and mind so you can make a positive change.
Liverpool Learning Matters Programme
Our Liverpool Learning Matters programme is designed to help improve mental wellbeing by giving people the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people. Activities are free and include Art & Craft, Cooking and Singing.
Sources: NHS Choices and Mind