The World Health Organisation defines mental health as “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Our psychological wellbeing is not only good for our general health, with a lower chance of a heart attack or a stroke; it can even mean that we live for longer. We also tend to make better decisions, have higher work performance, take fewer risks and have a lower risk of accident or injury.
If you are stressed, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause whereas the most unhelpful thing you can do is to turn to something unhealthy such as smoking or drinking. The key to good stress management is building emotional strength. By adopting lifestyle changes it is possible to build resilience against stress factors and guard against a first episode anxiety or a reoccurrence of depression. It is not always possible to change a difficult situation, instead try and concentrate on those things you do have control over as taking control can in itself be empowering.