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. If you're living with a mental health condition, you may experience low mental wellbeing more often, but 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.
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 online course.
CABA provides lifelong support to past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff and their close family members. Learn more about how to strengthen your mental wellbeing and support others on our dedicated hub.
If you'd like to know more about support from CABA make an enquiry today or chat with a member of our Support team at caba.org.uk/letstalk.