Health Focus – What is good mental health?

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

What is good mental health?

Good mental health is more than just the absence of mental illness. It means you are in a state of wellbeing where you feel good and function well in the world.

 According to the World Health Organisation, good mental health is when you can;

  • cope with the normal stresses of life.
  • learn and work productively.
  • use your talents and abilities.
  • contribute to the community.

If you have good mental health, you might feel happy, confident, hopeful and generally satisfied with life. You are likely to feel connected to other people and to be making a contribution to society. You might also have a sense of meaning or purpose and a feeling of being at peace.

Good mental health in challenging times

Everyone has challenges in life. People who have good mental health are more likely to be able to cope with the ups and downs of daily life.

You are more likely to have good mental health if;

  • you are confident when you come across new situations or stresses.
  • you feel optimistic.
  • you do not always blame yourself.
  • you can set and achieve your goals.
  • you can stick to routines that are good for you, such as eating and sleeping well.
  • you can enjoy life even though you’ve had difficult experiences.

Building resilience

An important part of having good mental health is building resilience. This is when you can cope with unexpected changes and challenges in your life, by using your inner strength and the networks around you. You can learn coping skills to build resilience.

Daily actions for good mental health

Research has shown that the more often you do the following actions, the better your mental health may be.

Meaningful activities – These are any actions that you enjoy or that give you a sense of accomplishment. A meaningful activity could be listening to music you like or watching a favourite TV show.

Healthy thinking – Examples of healthy thinking include keeping perspective and talking to yourself with kindness.

Goals and plans – Having goals is important to keep you energised and motivated. Goals give you something to look forward to and can help to prevent dwelling on past problems.

Healthy routine – Keeping up a healthy routine doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, or a routine linked to our roles and relationships.

Social connections – Staying connected to friends and family helps you to feel validated and reminds you that you belong.

Sometimes the worst place you can be at, is in your own head.

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