Many martial arts students come to the sport for different reasons but find that their anxiety is helped the more classes they take. How to reduce anxiety? Read on to find out! By the way, 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
Mixed martial arts classes can be really helpful for adults and kids who may struggle with clinical or just life-related anxiety. Not only is it a highly physical sport which means you’re doing something with all the adrenaline that the anxiety produces, but it’s also a unique tool we can use to combat symptoms of anxiety.
How to reduce anxiety? If you’re battling anxiety, you may feel like you’re living totally in your mind, not feeling present or even feeling sensations in your body. Martial arts can be a great solution for this. First of all, when you’re feeling anxious, your brain can pump out adrenaline and activate what’s known as your “fight-or-flight” response.
All that adrenaline usually just stays in your body because you’re not moving, you’re overthinking – but martial arts pushes you in a different direction. 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 a focused way.
Secondly, the full-body workout you get when learning self-defense, 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 – Everything you’re ruminating on or worrying about flushes 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
It’s not hard to correlate racing thoughts that occupy your brain space with difficulty concentrating, another symptom of anxiety. Often when you’re struggling with anxiety, you’re in a weird dichotomy- sometimes you’re sharply alert presumably of all things your brain may see as potential “threats” and almost hyperactive, and other times you’re fatigued and don’t want to do anything.
You’re either frozen in panic or spinning your wheels with stress. How to reduce anxiety with taekwondo – 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 you, even if you’re anxious, 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. How to reduce anxiety? By joining a community and engaging in positive social interactions, refining your mindset and slowly looking towards new horizons and accomplishments – these are huge pieces of your whole mental health picture that martial arts can definitely help with.
Creating A Better Mindset Through Martial Arts
This is something you’ll hear us say a lot, but it’s totally true – martial arts is about way more than just punches and kicks. Martial arts is actually an amazing tool that people have been using for centuries to achieve real success and change their lives.
How? With the help of martial arts classes and the martial arts philosophy, you build confidence and physical and mental strength. You develop discipline and perseverance by hitting your fitness goals and moving through the ranks.
And you learn so much about how strong your mind is from such a physically involved sport. Look – 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
Mindset is so important to us here at Striking 101 because we’ve seen it work time and time again, on and off the mat. 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. If you’ve ever been to the gym when you’re anxious, you’ll know that 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 instructors, who have been right there where you’re standing.
Many of them 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.
Okay, one more thing with the instructors. Sometimes when you’re anxious you can’t see anything other than your own shortcomings and failures. But please hear this- our instructors and the community here are going to support you.
We are going to show you how to reduce anxiety with karate, despite your mental health struggles. What’s so cool is that as you keep coming to classes, you start to internalize that supportive encouragement, and are able to carry yourself through tough moments with compassion and grace. The whole self-defense piece of it, then, becomes just the icing on the cake.
Martial Arts and Mental Health
The benefits of boxing for mental health in general are endless. For anxiety specifically, staying active, focusing those racing thoughts into something useful through kicks and punches, and mindset/community support are martial arts benefits that are critical to staying well.
With martial arts classes, your overall mood and your health can both 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 Striking 101 in Forest Hill a try with our risk-free trial and see for yourself how it can change your life. You’ll love it!