Emotional Well-being: A to Z of Word Meanings

You can search for anything linked to emotional well‑being in our handy A-Z guide.




A hallucination is when a person sees hears feels or smells something that isn't there. It can be a sign of a short or long term physical or mental health problem, happen because of medications, street drugs or other toxic substances, or can come when people need something like sleep, water, or a cooler place to be.

Hallucinations can be frightening, confusing, cool or OK. Having one hallucination does not mean it will happen again, but it is worth sharing the experience with a GP to help someone understand what happened and see if there is any tests or treatment necessary.

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Happiness is hard to describe as it means different things to different people – it often means generally feeling positive emotions from contentedness (being happy in our own life and own skin) to feelings of intense joy. Being generally happy does not mean people don't face issues or challenges in life, but that a person feels well, upbeat and able to cope despite them. They may feel able to gain and experience the positives in life and relationships and look forward to what the future holds. It's unrealistic for anyone to feel like they are a living in a musical all the time, but living generally happily means living without negative emotions or experiences clouding or damaging day-to-day life.

Have a read of our 'Emotional Fitness' section for tips on how to build resiience so you are better able to cope with life's tough moments. And some other useful links are below:

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Hate Crime

Hate crime is crime that is committed because of a persons’ prejudice or negative beliefs against a certain type of person, behaviour or thing. It includes hurting someone or their friends and family, damaging their property, or saying intimidating and abusive things to them because of who they are (or who people think they are). It can be a one off event or ongoing and can really harm people and communities.

You can find out more about hate crime and how to report it at Stop Hate.

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Hearing Voices

Some people hear voices that other people don't. For some people this can be scary and confusing – for others complimentary and not too much of a problem.

Voices can come from outside, inside a persons’ head or from inside their body. Sometimes people hear lots of voices at once. It can be quite upsetting and impact on a persons' day to day life if the voices stay for a long time, make threats or say hurtful things.

Hearing voices is quite common, but sometimes it can be a sign that someone has a mental illness.

Help and support for people hearing voices


“If you hear, see or sense things that others don’t and are 18 or under, we can offer:

  • Peer support groups, so you can meet with other young people
  • Creative workshops, where you can learn new skills and have some fun
  • 1-2-1 support around making sense of voices and finding coping strategies (email, phone and in person)
  • Information & signposting, to help you find the right services and support for you
  • Online support forum and Tumblr page
  • Website, including lots of information and ideas to help you understand your experiences and find ways of dealing with them “


020 7911 0822

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If you still have unanswered questions, you can go to a service in your area for information & advice:

Choose your area from the list below