How are you really?

Some questions to ask yourself.

How are you? That question is difficult to answer accurately. 

We all say ‘fine’ if someone asks. The fourteen questions here are widely used to help health professionals go a bit deeper than this. You can use them to help figure out how you’re really feeling. 

The more honest your answers, the better guide you’ll get. (It’s only between you and yourself, so be as accurate as you can.)

1. I’ve been feeling optimistic about the future.
2. I’ve been feeling useful.
3. I’ve been feeling relaxed.
4. I’ve been feeling interested in other people.
5. I’ve had energy to spare.
6. I’ve been dealing with problems well.
7. I’ve been thinking clearly.
8. I’ve been feeling good about myself.
9. I’ve been feeling close to other people.
10. I’ve been feeling confident.
11. I’ve been able to make up my own mind about things.
12. I’ve been feeling loved.
13. I’ve been interested in new things.
14. I’ve been feeling cheerful.

Score all the questions like this: 

  • If you feel like this NONE of the time, score 1 point
  • If you feel like this RARELY, score 2 points
  • SOME of the time: 3 points
  • OFTEN: 4 points
  • ALL of the time: 5 points
What's the score?

The questions are called the WEMWBS - the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
As a rule of thumb:

  • Under 32 points: your wellbeing score is very low.
  • 32-40 points: your wellbeing score is below average.
  • 40-59 points: your wellbeing score is average.
  • 59-70 points: your wellbeing score is above average.

Don’t get too hung up on your scores. They’re most useful for monitoring your mood changes over time. If you score higher in a fortnight than you do today, it suggests your head health is moving in the right direction.

But, however you score, the articles linked from this page and others on our site and in our booklets can help.

Talk about it

If you score low and still score low a fortnight or month later, you might want to talk to someone. This could be a friend, family member or health professional. 

But if you’d prefer someone who doesn’t know you, the Samaritans are not just for people who feel suicidal (although they are excellent if you do feel this way). You can talk to their volunteers anonymously about how you’re feeling at any time at all by phone (116 123) or by email (jo@samaritans.org).

Need NHS help now or soon?
This content is wholly based on the Men's Health Forum's man manual Man MOT for the Mind which was prepared in line with the NHS England Information Standard of which the MHF is a member. Follow the links to buy copies.

Date published 15/01/21
Date of last review 15/01/21
Date of next review 15/01/24

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