Seity Collective Wellbeing made simple

23rd january 2023

Wellbeing and Mental Health: What do they mean, and how do they work together?


Health and wellness aren’t one in the same, although they are closely related. Our physical health, however, is just one important part of a much bigger picture.

You’ve likely heard of the “mind-body connection” by now, but what does it actually mean? Often, we tend to think about our mental health from a reactive standpoint. Only when we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed do we stop and ask, “What’s wrong?” And even during those moments, it can be hard to pull ourselves out of an unhelpful mindset. Instead, we exist within it, and it affects everything within us and around us.

By learning more about mental health, wellbeing, and how they coexist, you can develop a deeper self-care practice that supports your greatest being.


Health vs Wellbeing

In the most simple terms, health is a physical or mental state of being free from any injuries or illnesses. However, looking more closely, we can recognize health as much broader. According to the Constitution of World Health Organization, health is “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Physical health is different for everyone, and the idea of being “healthy” changes depending on the person. Consider people who are born with disabilities, or those who live with chronic physical conditions or mental illnesses. These people can still be happy and healthy, not in spite of their diagnoses, but including them.

Wellness, on the other hand, relates to your wellbeing, or how happy and fulfilled you are in life. You can be physically healthy but still not well. In the Western world, the approach to wellbeing has often been closely tied to physical status and immediate needs. Instead of being proactive about their wellbeing, many people grew up reacting to any problems they encountered.

When thinking about wellness in your life, take a moment to sit back and “zoom out” from just your body. How do you feel emotionally? How are your relationships? Do you have the support you feel you need to be happy? Are you able to live in a safe environment, feed yourself nutritious food, and pay for things you need?

These types of questions all tie into your wellness, and how content you are with your life. Personal satisfaction directly impacts your physical and mental health, too.

This could be because people who are happy are naturally more energized. They can take better care of themselves because they have the means and motivation to do so. On the other hand, people who aren’t happy in life, who don’t feel very well in their current state of being, often struggle to do even the most basic self-care.


The Importance of Good Mental Health

One  in eight adults live with a mental disorder that affects their emotional regulation, thoughts, or behaviour. Our mental health affects how we feel, think, act, and connect with others. It also influences how we perceive ourselves.

One of the hardest parts of having a mental health disorder is struggling to accept it. When your condition affects your self-worth and distorts your self-image, even reaching out for help can feel insurmountable.

It’s important to always be in touch with your mind, and take time to check in with yourself regularly. Many people who live with a mental health disorder see themselves as “damaged” or broken.” Of course, neither of these things are true.

In reality, mental health is something we should think about just as much as our physical wellbeing. You might exercise to manage your weight and lower your risk for disease. There are similar actions you can do that improve your mental wellness and counteract the symptoms of conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

When your mental health is good, it’s much easier to handle stress and challenges in life. People with positive mental health are more creative, more social, have higher levels of productivity, and are expected to live longer.


It can be helpful to think of your mental health as a pendulum. It can move from one side to another, or exist somewhere in between. Instead of seeing your mental state as all good or all bad, it’s helpful to remember there are many varying shades of gray, too.

Beyond Blue, an Australian-based mental health organization, outlined a mental health continuum that can make it easier to recognize when to reach out for help. Here’s how it’s laid out:


  • Healthy. You feel confident, content, and generally happy in your daily life. You can comfortably manage stress and handle difficult emotions when they arise. You have an optimistic view about the future, and you enjoy beneficial routines and close relationships with others.
  • Unsettled. You don’t quite feel like yourself. You may be more anxious, stressed, insecure, or feel like you’re in a dark place. You might be trying different ways to cope or escape from your feelings, like drinking more, smoking, overeating, or gambling. There could be noticeable changes to your sleeping and eating habits, too.
  • Struggling. Your mood is more negative than positive most of the time, and you feel increasingly helpless in your life. You might start to think that there’s no point to trying anything, expect constant disappointment, and feel like the future is hopeless. Conversely, you may be having a persistent high mood that makes you feel invincible, and act impulsively, whether that’s by spending money, or taking risks. Friends and family could bring up concerns about your current state, but you might brush them off and assure them you’re fine. In either of these situations, seeking professional help could be beneficial.
  • In crises. You don’t feel like you handle anything anymore. Taking care of yourself feels impossible and pointless, anyway. You don’t know how you can go on feeling like this, and you’re unable to control your negative thoughts or emotions. You could also be struggling to work, isolated from people you care about (and who care about you), and feel worthless. At this stage, it’s essential to seek professional support. You can even call a lifeline (13 11 14 in the UK).


If at any point you feel life is just too much to deal with, reach out for help. You can talk to a friend or relative, or consider speaking with a therapist. We all feel down from time to time, but some moods and thoughts are much harder to control than others.


If you’ve been struggling for a while, you might wonder if there’s any hope in getting help. There always is. That brings us to the next stage of the continuum: healing.


When you’re healing from mental health, you notice life starts to feel like it once did. Or maybe it feels better than it ever has. Your moods are more stable, you are returning to or following new healthy routines, and you’re more aware of your feelings. You have greater belief in yourself, and you see hope for the future as you continue to look after your wellbeing.


How do you take care of your mental health?

The first thing to do is ask for help when you need it, even if it’s difficult. You deserve care for yourself and others.

In your daily life, healthy practices can help you maintain a positive mindset. These activities support your wellbeing on a number of levels, and they include actions like:

  • Staying hydrated (At least 2 litres of water per day)
  • Following a good sleep schedule (6 to 8 hours each night)
  • Exercising in a way that makes you happy for 10 to 30 minutes each day
  • Eating healthy foods that make you feel good
  • Spending time with people you care about
  • Making time for your hobbies
  • Taking time to appreciate nature
  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation


Above all, good mental wellbeing requires taking time to be present with yourself. Listen to your body, and don’t be afraid to admit when you aren’t feeling 100%. The more time you make to care for and nurture your mental health, the easier it becomes to enhance other parts of your wellness, too.