What is mental health?

Mental health is the way we think and feel. We all go through times when we feel worried, confused or down.

Mental health problems are when difficulties get in the way of how we think and feel. This can mean that we find it hard to cope with family life, relationships, school or the wider world.

Mental health conditions include such things as depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

You’re not alone

It can be hard to open up and talk about difficult thoughts and feelings, but your friends and family really care about you and will want to support you.

Lots of people have difficulties with their mental health and being honest with how you feel is the first step to getting the support you need.

Finding life tough does NOT mean that you are weak – everyone finds life tough at times in different ways. You’re not alone.

Feelings and symptoms

We all struggle with our mental health in different ways.

Sometimes we can get ill with our mental health just like when our body is unwell, it’s important to get the help we need.

Because of these change in feelings, you might experience some of the following:

  • feeling shaky
  • fear
  • panic attacks
  • sleep problems
  • night sweats
  • putting on weight
  • losing weight
  • lack of interest in life
  • feeling bad tempered for no reason

Look after yourself

General ‘wellness’ is an important factor in improving self-esteem.

If you look after and respect yourself you will hopefully find that this positivity grows.

This will help you to feel better about who you are as well.

Not a sports fan? Don’t worry, exercise doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good.

Slower-paced activities, such as walking or swimming can have the benefit of making you feel good as well providing some level of exercise.

Find tips on what you can do to add some activity into your day on the NHS physical activity guidelines for  young people website.

As a teenager, your body is going through many physical changes – changes that need to be supported by a healthy, balanced diet.

The NHS website has some top tips for eating and being a healthy weight.

You’ll be pleased to hear that eating healthily doesn’t have to mean giving up your favourite foods.

One in three of us suffers from poor sleep, with stress and computers often to blame.

But lack of sleep can contribute to problems such as depression, and a solid nights sleep is important for being healthy.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, have a look at the NHS website for Sleep and Tiredness for some tips and ideas, or take a look at the resources on our Understanding and Dealing with Poor Sleep page.

How do you rate this page?

Thank you for your feedback

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Follow us on social media to stay up to date

Tell us how we can improve this page

Page last reviewed: 2 March, 2023