There are many reasons students come to martial arts classes, but one of the lesser-known benefits is that of improved mental health. Martial arts classes can help reduce anxiety in a few different ways. Read on to find out more! (We’re not medical professionals and recommend you consult with a doctor to get the proper treatment and care you deserve.)
Reducing Anxiety with Martial Arts
Martial arts can be a huge help to help adults reduce anxiety (and kids, too- but that’s a topic for another time). Not only is it a highly physical sport (get all the adrenaline out), but it’s also an effective tool we can use to combat symptoms of anxiety.
A common symptom of anxiety is racing thoughts. If you struggle with anxiety, you may feel like you’re just your thoughts, not feeling present or even feeling sensations in your body. Martial arts can be a great solution for this. First of all, the excess of adrenaline that your brain can pump through you when you’re feeling anxious needs to go somewhere, or else you’re stuck in fight-or-flight mode for too long. Kicking and punching and channeling that energy effectively is really healthy and can even be necessary for your body, as it’s getting the adrenaline and anxiety out in an intentional way.
Secondly, using your full body in a self-defense workout in general is going to melt that stress away and help you get all of those feelings out. Work stress, kids stress, relationship stress, life stress … All the things you’re way overthinking come out on the mat. You channel it all into movement and it makes you a focused, clear-headed person off the mat- and an excellent martial artist on the mat, with real power and energy behind your moves.
Concentration and Motivation Through Martial Arts
Another symptom of anxiety is difficulty concentrating or feeling motivated. Sometimes you feel hyper-alert and hyperactive, other times you’re pretty sluggish and don’t want to do anything. You’re either frozen in panic or spinning your wheels with stress. If you’re experiencing this, show up to class. That’s all we ask you to do.
The only time we can really help you beyond the words of a blog post is when you’re standing right in front of us, ready for class. We will show you how to push yourself just beyond what you think you’re capable of, and you’ll feel your focus shift. If you can commit to making it through the door, soon the minutes will fly by as you’re having fun with your friends and getting your sweat on, and then you’ll wonder where that hour went. For this one martial arts class, you don’t have to be anything other than exactly who you are, anxiety or not, doing what you’re doing, exporting your thought process to your instructor, and getting it all out through physical movement.
Martial arts cannot cure or get rid of anxiety. Only a medical professional can show you how to do that. But moving your body, getting into a community and engaging in positive social interactions, learning about mindset, and looking forward to new goals and challenges. These are huge pieces of your whole mental health picture that martial arts can definitely help with.
Creating a Better Mindset Through Martial Arts
We say it all the time but it’s true, martial arts is about so much more than just punches and kicks.
Martial arts is actually an amazing tool that people have been using for centuries to improve their lives and mindsets dramatically. How? With the help of martial arts classes and the martial arts philosophy, you build confidence and physical and mental strength. You develop perseverance while achieving your goals and getting your belts.
You learn so much about how strong your mind is from such a physically demanding sport. Listen, martial arts is hard. It is a difficult sport. There’s a lot of coordination, muscle memory, focus, and discipline required to really be a successful martial artist. So martial arts is difficult, but guess what- so is life with anxiety, and we’re going to help you get through it.
Whether it’s just anxious feelings or full-on generalized anxiety disorder, we know the difficulty of life with mental health issues cannot be understated. But we also know it can be helped through the power of martial arts classes and the development of your mindset.
How Mindset Can Help You Reduce Anxiety
In our classes at The Training Edge, we are huge believers in the power of mindset because we’ve seen it work time and time again. One of our favorite quotes is “A black belt is a white belt who never gave up.” The only difference between the two belts, or any two belts, is the commitment to show up and keep at it, even (especially) when times are tough.
When you’re by yourself in a gym, for example, it’s you, the machinery or weights, and your brain telling you what to do. Sometimes, when you’re anxious, your brain is not your most reliable workout buddy. It’s easily distracted, it can say some pretty mean things to you and hype you up for “emergencies” (which are really non-threats) in the worst way possible. But when you’re in our martial arts classes, it’s not your brain telling you what to do (not yet, anyway), it’s our instructors.
Meeting them, you may be surprised to know that they have struggled with their own mental health issues, and have turned to martial arts time and time again for support from their own instructors, their peers, and this family here. Martial arts is an individual sport in a group setting, which means that you’re never alone, and that fact alone can be hugely comforting and helpful in reducing anxiety.
Last thing, Sometimes when you’re anxious you can’t see anything other than your own shortcomings and failures. But believe this, our instructors and the community here are going to support you. We are going to show you just how much you actually can achieve, despite (or maybe because of?) your mental health struggles. What’s so cool is that as you keep coming to classes, you start to internalize that positive mindset, and are able to carry yourself through tough moments with compassion and understanding. The whole self-defense piece of it, then, becomes just the icing on the cake.
Martial Arts and Mental Health
So now hopefully you can see that martial arts can really help with anxiety. Staying active, channeling racing thoughts into something positive through kicks and punches, and mindset/community support are martial arts benefits that are critical to staying well. With martial arts classes, your mood and health can improve tremendously right alongside your mindset.
Which can help give you the proper tools to reduce anxiety and push through those tough times. Ready to see what martial arts can do for you? Give The Training Edge in Clarence a try with our risk-free trial (yes, risk-free!) and see for yourself how it can change your life. You’ll love it! Free Trial Offer!