This World Mental Health Day – October 10 – the message from Mental Health Australia is simple: “Look after your mental health, Australia.”

Mental ill health is a growing problem for us Aussies. So looking after your mental health and wellbeing has never been more important.

So what is good mental health?

Good mental health might have different meanings for each of us. But, universally, it means you can cope with daily stresses and accomplish your personal and life goals.

Someone with good mental health will usually be able to manage a range of positive and negative emotions and carry out daily tasks like working, cleaning, social activities and getting regular sleep. They will also be able to build and manage relationships with other people.

You may not be able to avoid poor mental health altogether, but the healthy habits and actions you put in place now might just help you later in life.

  • Eating well

  • Being physically active

  • Getting regular sleep

  • Learning new things and keeping your mind active

  • Building and maintaining healthy relationships

  • Asking for help when you need it

How do you maintain good mental health?

At each stage of life, you might need to reassess the different challenges you face to achieve good mental health. Things that worry you in your 20s wont necessarily be an issue in your 60s.

Find healthy habits that suit you right now, listen to your body and mind, and take steps to avoid mental stressors. Adapting the six steps above to suit your current lifestyle is a great way to start.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s essential to seek support, whether that be with a friend or family member or reach out to your GP for professional support or utilise Lifeline’s no-cost, no referral counselling services. Remember, It’s never too early to ask for help.

Here is an excellent mental health exercise from the World Health Organisation (WHO), and it’s a great way to ground yourself and reconnect with where you are at this moment in time.

It only takes a few minutes and can be done outside, in your home, or even at your work desk.

Simply take three slow deep breaths

  1. Breath in 1…2…3… Breath Out

  2. Breath in 1…2…3… Breath Out

  3. Breath in 1…2…3… Breath Out

Feel your feet grounded on the floor and ask yourself:

  • What are five things I can see?

  • What are four things I can hear?

  • What can I smell?

  • What does it feel like to touch my knees or something else I can reach? How does it feel underneath my fingers?

Sit for as long as you want and listen to your surroundings. Give yourself permission to be in the moment as long as you need.

Try this a few times a week to start or add it to your daily life practice.

Here are some more resources to help you maintain good mental health.

If you are in crisis or just need support or advice, remember we're always here to talk on 13 11 14, text on 0477 13 11 44, or chat with us at