Best things happen only when body and mind are in sync, says Mithali Raj

The importance of mental health has been realised by people after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The best things can happen only when the body and mind are in sync and this can be achieved through training, Mithali Raj, Test and ODI Captain of India’s national women’s cricket team, has said.

Speaking at a webinar on “Defend Mind’s Googly with Mithali Raj”, organised by 1 Life 24X7 Suicide Prevention and Crisis Support Helpline 78930 78930, on Sunday, Ms. Mithali Raj underlined the need to keep constantly reassuring oneself that he/she can achieve the goal.

“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 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,” she says.

“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 between these two, he/she can give the best result,” she said.

Replying to a question from one of the participants, on the vulnerabilities of cricketers, Ms. Mithali Raj says, “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 every time before a game. Criticism is a part of everyone’s life and is not confined to sportspersons and celebrities.”

“We are not perfect in everything. One should channelise 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.”

Underlining the need to confide in someone and take emotional support when going through a rough patch, Ms. Mithali Raj says, “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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