‘Mental health and wellbeing’ is often used as a single, coverall term. But they’re actually two areas that, while heavily influencing each other, have distinct differences. Our training courses often cover the relationship between them and how they can affect you in the workplace, but we thought we’d dive a little deeper to explore what the differences between mental health and wellbeing are.
Defining mental health and wellbeing
‘Mental health’ is different from ‘mental wellbeing’. While being linked, in a nutshell ‘mental wellbeing’ is all about your own thoughts and feelings and how you’re able to cope with the challenges of everyday life. Whereas ‘mental health’ is more about certain indications and symptoms that can affect you in the long-term and develop into mental health issues.
Every day we can all experience feelings of sadness, anger, or frustration at certain things that happen during the course of each day. But having good mental wellbeing means you can understand what those feelings are and why you’re having them, so you can manage them accordingly. In general, good mental health means you feel:
– confident in yourself
– a sense of purpose in what you’re doing
– able to cope with everyday challenges
– productive at home and work
– you can live life as you want
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), among other things, poor mental health can be down to “rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, physical ill-health, and human rights violations”.
Any ongoing issues in your life like these can mean a depleted and more fragile state of mental wellbeing, affecting how you feel, think, and act. Over time, the effect of these issues can mean your life becomes impaired, stopping you from doing certain things and affecting your ability to deal with information effectively or cope in certain situations. These signs are often symptoms of long-term poor mental health which can include:
– Anxiety, fear, or panic
– Persistent mood swings
With our wellbeing affected by sudden or ongoing life events, especially those we have no control over, our ability to deal with them comes down to how we respond to them. Whatever the issue is, we can either internalise it and try to suppress the problem, or open up and seek support to help us. But by supporting ourselves, we can often strengthen our mental wellbeing to help us in the long term.
How to support your mental health and wellbeing
With mental wellbeing and mental health so closely linked, when you improve one, you naturally improve the other. So the more positivity you can bring into your personal or professional life, however big or small, it can be another step towards the goal of overall good mental health.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to support and improve your wellbeing. The key is to focus on what we can control and do for ourselves. According to research carried out by the New Economics Foundation, there’s a set of five, evidence-based mental health messages which you can put into action and use every day to help you.
1. Connect with other people
Build stronger relationships and connections with people. So whether that’s regularly meeting up with family, friends, or relatives, or having more interactions with colleagues, neighbours, or in your local community, investing time in people is one of the best ways to support your own wellbeing.
2. Get active
Be more physically active. Whether that’s a short or a long walk, a gym session, gardening, running, cycling, or any other physical exercise. Finding an activity you enjoy and making it part of your daily routine can release endorphins and give you a mental boost.
3. Be mindful
Concentrate on the present moment and what’s around you. Mindfulness helps you appreciate the everyday sights and sounds around you as well as reflecting on your own thoughts and feelings. It can help you appreciate all the good things in your life and give you a more positive outlook.
4. Keep learning
Learn a new skill or just try something new. You might find yourself without the time or desire to learn anything new, but there’s any number of ways you can learn something new. From figuring out how something works to taking on added responsibility at work and everything in between. Learning in any form will build self-confidence, self-esteem, and help you connect with other people.
5. Give back
Do more for others. Acts of kindness or just doing something for others is a great way to improve wellbeing. Giving your time to support people, volunteer for a worthy cause, or helping people with any problems they have, can be rewarding and give you a positive sense of self-worth.
Mental wellbeing and mental health
Our mental wellbeing and mental health are an important part of our overall health. While they’re linked to each other, they also have an impact on our physical health as well. So the phrase ‘healthy mind, healthy body’ isn’t too wide of the mark.
Mental health problems are more common than we think and can affect anyone at any time. Knowing the differences between mental health and mental wellbeing, and knowing how they can affect us in general, will give you a good foundation to work on your long-term positive mental wellbeing and avoid mental health issues in the future.
Clearfocus for mental health training
As workplace mental health and communications training providers, we’re well aware that work is where many of us spend a lot of our time – and many people see their work colleagues more than they do their own families. While this is sometimes seen as ‘normal’ it can often affect the mental welling of staff without realising it.
This is why we highlight the importance of mental health training in the workplace among our specialist training. These include our Mental Health Training For Employees and Mental Health Training For Managers courses. Suitable for any staff, each course aims to help raise awareness, recognise, and understand mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Suited to groups of up to 15 people, training is delivered by one of our fully qualified mental health professionals and can be tailored to meet the needs of your business and your employees. And the training can be held at a time, day, and venue of your choice anywhere in the UK or online via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
For more information and to book your course, call us today on 07831 119 941 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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