Good mental health is more than just the absence of mental illness. A positive state of wellbeing includes feeling good and functioning well.
According to the World Health Organization, mental health is a state of wellbeing in which a person is able to:
- cope with the normal stresses of life
- work productively
- realise their potential
- contribute to the community
There are many different terms used to describe different aspects of mental health. It includes the concepts of emotional, social, psychological and spiritual wellbeing as well as resilience.
Types of wellbeing
Emotional wellbeing means feeling good. Being happy, experiencing positive emotions like love, joy or compassion, and feeling generally satisfied with life.
Social wellbeing is a sense of belonging to a community and making a contribution to society.
Psychological wellbeing includes a number of different aspects:
- autonomy: the freedom to make your own decisions
- self-acceptance: being able to like most things about your personality
- mastery: the ability to manage everyday situations
- positive relationships with family, friends or others
- a sense of purpose or meaning in life
- personal growth: facing challenges that are manageable and lead to developing new skills or becoming a better person.
Spiritual wellbeing can be hard to define and may mean different things to different people. This can include feeling connected to a higher power, a sense of meaning or purpose or feelings of peace or transcendence.
Follow these 8 tips for building good mental health.
Last reviewed: February 2017