How to Achieve Mental Health and Wellbeing
It’s absolutely possible to achieve mental health and wellbeing. Mental health and wellbeing are in reach of everyone. They are a state of being, a way of approaching life positively. The components of mental wellbeing are part of our thoughts, behaviors, and actions. They make up who we are on the inside and how we project ourselves and act in the world. Yes, mental health and wellbeing are character traits, and they are also skills. No matter how young or old we are, no matter the physical and/or mental illnesses we face, no matter the adversity in our lives, we can all develop skills to achieve mental health and wellbeing.
“Mental health and wellbeing” is a huge concept. It can be both promising and overwhelming at once. One of the keys to achieving this wellness is to break it down into manageable bits. That way, it won’t seem too big to bother tackling. Once you’ve separated it into parts, you can pick specific aspects to develop.
To Achieve Mental Health and Wellbeing Look for Themes
Researchers have identified realms and themes of mental health and wellbeing. Knowing these themes help identify your starting point and narrow your focus. Different researchers label them differently or group them in their own ways. In general, the realms of wellbeing include:
- Relationships (with yourself and others)
Developing your mental health in these individual areas will increase your overall wellbeing and life satisfaction.
Within each realm are themes, or aspects, of wellbeing. These aspects, though, apply to all three life areas rather than applying specifically to just one or another. To achieve mental health and wellbeing, develop:
- Goals and goal-directed behavior
- Sense of purpose
- Feelings of passion, excitement for something
- Intrinsic motivation (motivation that comes from inside of you)
- Self-acceptance—understanding both strengths and growth areas
- Social connectedness
- A network for giving and receiving support
- Emotional health
- Stress management skills
- A plan for physical and mental self-care
- Optimism/hope/belief in the future
- Time for yourself
These aspects of wellbeing are the “what.” They’re the starting point in defining mental wellbeing goals for yourself. These help you know where to focus. The next step is determining the “how.”
How to Achieve Your Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental health and wellbeing aren’t passive. They won’t just magically appear, but that doesn’t mean they are out of reach. You accomplish them when you actively pursue them.
These ideas can get you started on the path to your unique form of wellbeing:
- Intentionally schedule time to spend with friends and family rather than waiting to be less busy (while this isn’t the reason to make time for friends and family, it’s an added bonus that doing this is shown to reduce stress and make you more productive in the long-run)
- Join a group that relates to your interests. Look at bulletin boards in community centers or libraries, or use Meetup.com to find all sort of groups and gatherings
- Volunteer with an organization you care about to find like-minded people with whom to connect
- Build a network for giving and receiving support
- Challenge yourself to learn and do new things
- Get out into nature
- Pause and breathe deeply several times each day, especially when stressed
- Be present in the moments of your life and calm your mind by learning and practicing mindfulness
- Develop a collection of relaxation techniques (in addition to breathing and mindfulness, do yoga, listen to music, read, etc.)
- Create a vision with clear goals and action steps. Make vision boards to keep you on track
- Hone your sense of meaning in both big and small things
- Find meaning in adversity
- Look at things in new ways
- Take care of your brain and the rest of your body with hydration, nutrition, and exercise
- Celebrate the little things every day
All of these are active approaches to mental wellness. By taking these action steps and/or developing your own that match your personality and dreams, you are achieving mental health and wellbeing.
In developing your healthy self and life bit by bit, in the areas that are meaningful to you and in ways that are workable, you are already achieving mental health and wellbeing. You see, wellbeing isn’t an endpoint; it’s a lifestyle. Live it in daily moments, and you will be mentally healthy every day regardless of what’s happening around you.
Peterson, T. (2018, May 12). How to Achieve Mental Health and Wellbeing, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, January 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/self-help-information/how-achieve-mental-health-and-wellbeing