Having good wellbeing is often described as having a positive level of life satisfaction, self-purpose and control. There are many areas of our lives that contribute to our wellbeing, therefore it is important to try and assess each area regularly in order to make the relevant changes and adjustments to improve our overall wellbeing.
Do you have good wellbeing?
Sometimes, even with a definition of wellbeing, it can be difficult to tell whether you have good or poor wellbeing! Here are a couple of questions that you can ask yourself in order to determine this:
- When thinking about your future, are you optimistic?
- Do you feel relaxed? Particularly in your spare time?
- Are you socially connected with friends and family? How often do you talk to them and/or see them?
- Would you describe yourself as being energetic?
- When faced with a problem, do you feel that you cope well in dealing with it?
- Are you able to make decisions for yourself?
- Do you find it easy to concentrate?
- Overall, do you feel good about yourself?
There is also a wellbeing scale, created by Warwick-Edinburgh in 2006.
This scale consists of 14 items, of which you rate 1-5 based on how you have felt over the last 2-weeks.
The score you receive can range from 14 to 70 – the higher your score, the better your mental wellbeing is said to be. You can take a look at the scale below: At the time of writing this article, my personal score here was 31 – which is less than half of the points available, indicating that my mental wellbeing is not at its best (Aimee, 25/06/23)
Area’s That Impact Wellbeing:
Health: Your own physical and mental health can have an impact on your overall wellbeing. If you are going through an illness, whether it be short-term or long-term, it can start to impact other areas of your life. For example, you may have less energy as a result of your illness, you may not be able to go to work and/or socialise with friends and family, you may not be able to focus on things very well and may fall behind in work/school… All of which can make you feel a little down in the dumps, it may even put you in a bit of a slump, making it hard to get back out.
Not only can your own health impact on your wellbeing, but also the health of your loved ones. If someone that you are close to is suffering, you may put more of your time and effort into helping them and being there for them and in turn, other areas of your life may start to struggle.
Relationships: If you are having a hard time in your relationship (whether this be relationship with family, friends or significant other) this can cause your mental wellbeing to suffer, especially if it is an ongoing problem and not a one off spat! Sometimes, we need to be a little bit selfish and put ourselves first. If ongoing issues are taking place, it may be time to take a step back and re-evaluate priorities. It is important to surround yourself with strong, supportive relationships.
What We Do: Things that we choose to do in our spare time can also help to improve our mental health. Being active and getting enough exercise on a day to day basis can really improve your mental wellbeing as well as your physical health. Spending time outdoors has also been proven to have positive effects on your mental wellbeing.
If you tend to stay home all of the time when you are not occupied with other commitments, it can be easy to fall into a bit of a slump or even get cabin fever from looking at the same four walls day in and day out.
Keeping busy can often be key to good mental health, it can take your mind off of any negative things that may be happening in your life, even only for a little while.
Living Conditions: Where you live, especially if you spend a lot of time there, can impact your wellbeing. If you are in an area where a lot of negative things happen such as knife crime, theft, vandalism and so on, this can really bring you down and in some cases may contribute to the lack of leaving your home.
Your own personal living conditions can also be a risk factor to poor mental wellbeing – if you are living in a place that is too small for you and your family, has problems with damp, or in the middle of bad neighbours, this can be very upsetting and draining to have to deal with, especially if this is out of your control.
Financial Status: Although money cannot buy happiness, it certainly can impact it! If you do not have enough money to live a healthy, substantial life, this can cause poor mental health and wellbeing. Especially if you struggle to put food on the table, you cannot send your children on school trips, you cannot fix problems within your home, you can’t afford to join in with social events with friends and family… life can start to feel very isolated and lonely.
These are just a couple of potential factors when it comes to our mental wellbeing, the areas that effect us are endless and can differ from person to person depending on their level of resilience and their own individual support systems.
If you think that you are struggling with your mental health and wellbeing, please do not hesitate to reach out, either to ourselves, to mental health charities or even to your GP, it is important not so struggle in silence.