What is mental wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing is all about feeling good – both inside and out. Just as you need to keep yourself physically healthy, your mental wellbeing needs as much TLC as your physical body. How we feel mentally affects everything we do. Every single day. That’s why your mental health and wellbeing is as important, if not the more important than, how fit and healthy you are.
Mental health and wellbeing
There is more to your mental wellbeing than whether you suffer from a mental condition or not. Mental health is often solely associated with those that suffer from a mental health condition. But it applies to far more than those who are afflicted by these conditions. Everyone undergoes periods of stress, upset and anxiety during their lives. Some more than others. The difference between mental health and wellbeing is similar to your physical health and wellbeing. You could be the most active, clean eating, protein lover in the world (good physical health) and still feel unsatisfied with your body (bad physical wellbeing).
Mental health is the condition of your mental state – how you are feeling in regard to your psychological, social and emotional wellbeing. It includes how you deal with stressful feelings alongside everyday life. Although you may have good mental health generally, you can still struggle with day-to-day ups and downs.
Don’t be hard on yourself
Strong mental wellbeing is when you have good mental health, meaning that you are able to be mentally more resilient and adaptable to life’s trials and tribulations. You see yourself as a valuable individual who is worthy of appreciation and recognition. You judge yourself by reasonable standards and don’t set yourself unrealistic goals. Neither do you punish yourself when things don’t go to plan or you get something wrong.
When you set yourself achievable goals and our understand that no one is perfect, you can be more confident about who you are. You can identify how you are feeling and better express these emotions. You feel engaged in the world around you. Adapting and coping with change and uncertainty becomes easier. You can maintain relationships with others. You can cope better with the ups and downs of life. All this makes up positive mental wellbeing, which is essential for you to function and be happier.
What can affect mental wellbeing?
We are all individuals, with different things going on in our lives. What might be affecting your mental health might not affect others. How you are feeling in your everyday life is personal and unique. Identifying what could be preventing you from having positive mental wellbeing in your own life is the key to improving it.
It could be that you are going through a particularly stressful or upsetting time that is affecting how you feel. Or life’s commitments can sometimes feel a bit too much. You may be worried about one thing in particular, like money worries, relationship problems or difficult projects at work. Even tedious commuting can cause a daily amount of stress that will affect your mental state. Being easily overwhelmed, wound up, anxious or upset can all be signs that you are suffering from stress. Even at a low level that is hard to recognise.
Why mental wellbeing is important
When we encounter a stressful situation, our bodies have a built-in response. The hormone HQ in your brain (your hypothalamus) will signal for your body to send out stress hormones (responsible for your ‘fight or flight’ response) in reaction to a stressful experience. These include cortisol and adrenaline, which automatically increase your heart rate and breathing, and mobilises your muscles ready for action.
This response is your body’s protection. Preparing you for a quick reaction in an emergency. But when these stress hormones are released on a regular basis, it has a negative effect on your body. Prolonged stress levels, even at a low level, can increase your risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, weaken your immune system. This can leave you feeling drained and unhappy. Far from the person you want to be.
Taking small steps to alleviate your daily dose of stress hormones can have a significant impact on your mental wellbeing. Have 5 minutes a day to relax, breath, enjoy the moment. Something this small can dramatically change how you feel. For more tips on how to improve your mental wellbeing, look out for our blog on Improving Mental Wellbeing in 2019.
At Uncommon, we create workspaces that reduce stress and foster focus, letting you find your flow. Browse our locations our contact us to find out more about our creative spaces.