Your mental wellbeing is about your thoughts and feelings and how you cope with the ups and downs of everyday life.
It's not the same thing as mental health, although the two can influence each other. Long periods of low mental wellbeing can lead to the development of diagnosable mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. And if you're living with a mental health condition, you may experience low mental wellbeing more often, although there will also be long periods where you're able to maintain good mental wellbeing.
What does good mental wellbeing look like?
Importantly, good mental wellbeing is NOT the absence of negative thoughts and feelings. We all face difficult and challenging situations that cause us to feel angry, sad, overwhelmed and everything in-between. Instead, it's about being able to understand and manage those feelings, so that generally you're able to:
- feel confident in yourself
- build and maintain positive relationships
- have a sense of purpose
- live and work productively
- cope with the normal stresses of day-to-day life
- manage when things change
What can affect your mental wellbeing?
Our mental wellbeing is often affected by big life events that we have little or no control over such as bereavement, illness or redundancy. In these situations, it's about how we respond - our behaviours and habits - that will determine the impact on our mental wellbeing. For example, do we tend to reach out for support or withdraw? Do we assume the worst or remain open to new opportunities?
It's here that our level of resilience comes into play. Resilience is your ability to cope with change and adversity. By strengthening your resilience, you're better able to maintain good mental wellbeing through all of life's ups and downs.
Learn more with our free e-learning course, Boost your resilience.
There are also factors that influence our mental wellbeing, which we can control.
1. Our relationships
Strong connections with friends, family and colleagues help to strengthen our confidence and self-esteem. Learn more about building positive relationships.
2. Our physical health
Through good nutrition and regular physical activity we can boost our energy levels, improve our confidence and relieve stress. Small changes make a big difference. Start building healthy habits today.
3. Our emotional health
Practicing mindfulness can help you understand and manage strong emotions so that rather than feeling overwhelmed, you're able to approach difficult situations with a sense of calm and clarity. Learn more with our free e-learning course, Mindfulness for beginners.
The big picture
At CABA, our vision is that all members of the chartered accountant community live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives. Key to this is empowering people to take care of their own mental wellbeing. Because when you don't feel quite yourself, other areas of your life are affected too. Our services can help you balance all aspects of your wellbeing. So you can live the life you want to.
Wherever you are in the world. CABA can help. All of our services are free and strictly confidential. They're available to all past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, past and present ICAEW staff and their husbands, wives, life partners and dependent children up to the age of 25.