Coping with life’s curveballs – The Hindu BusinessLine

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Equip people to handle pressure-cooker situations

Sometimes movies give us more than just the joy of entertainment. Take films like “The Pursuit of Happyness” or “Cindrella Man”, both are real-life stories of people who’ve seen the rough side of life, but hang in there and claw back up. And that’s the inspirational narrative that needs to be mainstreamed as “mental health” comes out of the closet, in a sense. Over the last few months, several sportpersons, from tennis players to gymnasts have opted out of high-profile games, putting the spotlight on mental health. And they’ve received much support for being able to call it, at a time when most may have swept it under the carpet. While that may be true, in that mental health is still spoken about in hushed tones, the takeaway from these experiences should be to create many more support systems to equip people, young and old, to be able to handle the curve ball life throws at us. That’s the important part, because opting-out does not ensure the end of pressure-cooker situations in life. The rush of speakers on mental health should be careful to not send out the wrong message, that it is okay to opt-out. That leaves the individual ill-equipped to handle the next difficult situation that crops up in life, and be sure it will.

Besides, the ability to cope also varies with people. While some are hard-wired to get back on their feet after multiple life-knocks, another may withdraw over the slightest harsh word spoken to them. The recurring mention of mental health concerns, highlights the need for support to cope with perceived failure, expectations and insecurities. Through counselling and therapy, it’s important to help people take time off and get back with a sense of well-being. Everyone loves a comeback story, and not just in the movies.

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