Mental health is about wellness instead of illness. When you have good mental health, many things in your life reflect it. You experience increased learning, creativity and social connection. You have better relationships, productivity and physical health and you feel as if you’re part of a community.
Poor mental health can cause distress, impact relationships and day-to-day functioning, and is connected with poor physical health.
On this page:
What does good mental health look like?
- Positive emotions: all things considered, how happy am I?
- Engagement: do I take an interest in my work and other activities?
- Relationships: are there people I care about who care about me?
- Meaning: do I feel what I do is valuable?
- Emotional stability: do I generally feel calm and peaceful?
- Optimism: do I often feel positive about my life?
- Resilience: am I able to bounce back when I’m challenged?
- Self-esteem: do I mainly feel positive about myself?
- Vitality: do I generally feel energetic as I go about my day?
What can you do to improve your mental health?
Focus on your present emotions and thoughts in a non-judgemental way. By noticing your thoughts and feelings, you can question whether they're helpful and then encourage thoughts that will enable you make the most of a bad situation.
Remember, no one's happy all the time. Negative life events can strike anyone. That's why it's important to focus on aspects of your life you can control. Listing three things to be thankful for at the end of each day can help you view your life differently.
Keep in touch
Your friends and family make you feel connected and cared for. It's not always possible to catch up face-to-face, but you can give them a call or chat online.
You can also get outside of your head and engage with the world by becoming a volunteer, getting involved in a club or experiencing the free culture or nature your city or region has to offer.
Ask for help
We all have bad days when we get tired or overwhelmed, especially when things don't go to plan.
If you're continually struggling to feel happy, cope with everyday life, find meaning or feel connected to others, you could be experiencing one or more of the following:
- Personal crisis
- Stresses from work, family or society
- Abuse and trauma
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
Help is available. The earlier you seek support, the better.
- 24/7 support service for depression and anxiety
- Phone 1300 22 4636
- Chat online: 3pm – 12am / 7 days a week
- 24/7 personal crisis support and suicide prevention
- Phone: 13 11 14
- 24/7 speak with a mental health professional
- Phone: 1800 011 511
- Mental Health Association NSW
- 9:00-5:00pm / 5 days a week
- Phone: 1300 794 991 for issues relating to general mental health
- Phone: 1300 794 992 for support on anxiety disorders
- National Youth Mental Health Association
- Phone: 1800 650 890
- Confidential, free online counselling service