The pandemic has taken an emotional and mental toll on people all around the globe. Many athletes have emphasized the importance of mental well-being and stability. At the webinar on “Defend Mind’s Googly with Mithali Raj”, organized by 1Life 24×7 Suicide Prevention and Crisis Support Helpline 78930 78930, the Indian ODI and Test Captain shared her thoughts on mental health.
“The mind is just as fickle as the people around us, you should train your mind and this has been part of my routine for a long. When you have affirmative thoughts, it registers in your mind. Emotions are normal but the way one deals with them decides the success of a person. Negative emotions should not be allowed to stay for long as they can affect a person’s performance in any field. We make conscious efforts at the nets but at the tournament, anxiety and peer pressure can hamper our performance. If an athlete knows how to balance these two, he/she can give the best result.”
Regarding the vulnerability aspect of players, Raj answered one of the participants in the programme, “Everybody is vulnerable. Even after playing 22 years of international cricket, I feel as though I have butterflies in my stomach before going out into the field everytime before a game. Criticism is a part of everyone’s life and is not confirmed to sportspersons and celebrities.”
She continued to talk about how there should be a balance between the evaluation of strengths and weaknesses and also touched on the subject of Constructive Criticism, “We are not perfect in everything. One should channelize his/her thoughts on their strengths instead of concentrating only on their weaknesses all the time. They should strike a balance between strengths and weaknesses. They should be able to differentiate between constructive criticism and the one done just for the heck of it. Constructive criticism could be used to improve upon one’s performance while the latter should be allowed to pass over. One should remember that if criticism comes, so does appreciation. It’s O.K. to fail once in a way and one should not think that it is the end of everything. Talent alone does not work all the time. Self-belief is important to face competition and once into it you should be in the best frame of mind.”
Lastly, Raj emphasized asking for help and support during tough times and stated, “I reach out to my dad and my friends when I am going through a low phase. Everyone in society is dependent on one another in several ways and there is no harm in reaching out for help. While emotions are normal, the way one deals with it is important to succeed in life.”
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