July is Mental Illness Awareness Month in South Africa and we have seen stats rising around the different common mental illnesses and more and more people taking their lives. In as much as it’s so important to raise awareness about mental health we thought it would be great to discuss mental wellness and ways one can achieve it.

Mental wellness is a positive state of mental health. It is more than the absence of mental illness. Being mentally well means that your mind is in order and functioning in your best interest. You are able to think, feel and act in ways that creates a positive impact on your physical and social well-being and we should all strive to have a positive state of mental health.

Mentally well people are positive, self-assured and happy. They are in control of their thoughts, emotions and behavior. This enables them to handle challenges, build strong relationships and enjoy life.


Being mentally healthy means being happier, optimistic, positive, motivated, healthier and content self:

  • Learn to be at peace with yourself
  • Get to know who you are and what makes you happy
  • Acknowledge what you can and cannot change about yourself
  • Identify your abilities and weaknesses, accept them, build on them, and do the best with what you have
  • Pay attention to your own needs and feelings
  • Express your thoughts through a journal or blog to understand more about yourself
  • Work towards your objectives
  • Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-limited
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Take balanced meals
  • Exercising regularly
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Avoid cigarettes and other harmful substances
  • – Make time for family and friends, and share life’s joys and sorrows with them
  • Create a financial budget
  • Avoid overspending and focus on ‘needs’ instead of ‘wants’
  • Volunteer for a cause
  • Being involved in the community gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction

We need to start teaching & learning about being healthy mentally and also raise awareness around the importance of mental health. Should one find themselves in a negative state, we need to also learn how to support each other or how to get ourselves help.

What would you say is your current state of being mentally healthy?