What is mental wellbeing?

Mental wellbeing describes your mental state, how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day to day life. Our mental wellbeing can change, from day to day, month to month or year to year.
If you have good mental wellbeing (or good mental health), you are able to:
  • feel relatively confident in yourself – you value and accept yourself and judge yourself on realistic and reasonable standards
  • 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

What can affect my mental wellbeing?

We all have times when we have low mental wellbeing, when we feel sad or stressed, or find it difficult to cope. For example, when we suffer some sort of loss; experience loneliness or relationships problems; or are worried about work or money. Sometimes, there is no clear reason why we experience a period of poor mental health.
However, there are some factors that may make someone more vulnerable to experiencing a period of poor mental health.

For example, if you experience:

  • childhood abuse, trauma, violence or neglect
  • social isolation, loneliness or discrimination
  • homelessness or poor housing
  • a long term physical health condition
  • social disadvantage, poverty or debt
  • unemployment
  • caring for a family member or friend
  • significant trauma as an adult, such as military combat, being involved in a serious accident or being the victim of a violent crime

Mental health problems and wellbeing

If you experience low mental wellbeing over a long period of time, you are more likely to develop a mental health problem.
If you already have a mental health problem, e.g. depression or anxiety, you are more likely to experience periods of low mental wellbeing than someone who hasn’t. However, you can still have periods of good wellbeing, where you are able to manage your condition and your life without becoming unwell.