On mental well-being - BBC

Mental well-being is important to all of us, whether we have a mental health condition or not. Mental well-being is a continuum and we need to know how to maintain and improve our mental well-being and resilience at work.

Mental well-being is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as:

“Mental health is not just the absence of mental disorder. It is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community"

When we are mentally healthy, we can form positive relationships, cope with day to day challenges, and use our skills and abilities to reach our full potential. Here are some key pointers:

Identify and try to remove / reduce your individual sources of stress – at work and home. There are often things that can be done to remove or at least reduce the causes of stress – so the more we can understand those, the easier it is to do something about them. Also, know what you can control and not control. We can waste time and energy on things that we simply cannot change but have to cope with in a productive way.

Build psychological resilience - psychological resilience is about adapting and maintaining emotional strength in the face of adversity. Building resilience helps us manage difficult experiences and maintain positive emotions. Resilience is partly determined by personality, but aspects can also be learned and developed and people are very capable of learning the skills that it takes to become more resilient. Observe what resilient people do and learn from them.

Healthy lifestyle – exercise, diet and sleep are the cornerstones of resilience – remaining fit and healthy is a key factor in fighting stress and staying well. It is often the last thing we feel like focusing on when we are under pressure, but it is so important to keep an eye on this when the pressure is on.

Social support is a key factor in promoting mental well-being, so seeking support from whoever you feel is appropriate during difficult times is really important. This might be family / friends, colleagues and religious groups.

Develop a resilient thinking style – take a step back and consider how you are interpreting the situation that is causing you stress, as it is often how we perceive and make sense of a situation that determines how we feel about it, rather than the situation itself. Sometimes we can suffer from blind spots when we are under pressure and negative thinking can spiral out of control. Remember, seek truth from facts.

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