There are many reasons students choose martial arts, but one of the lesser-known benefits is of improved mental health. Martial arts classes can help reduce anxiety in a few different ways. There are many ways how to reduce anxiety. some people may need medication to get their anxiety under control, but there are many things that can be done to help reduce anxiety naturally. 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.)
How to Reduce Anxiety With Martial Arts
Martial arts classes can be really helpful for adults (and kids!) that may struggle with clinical or just life-related anxiety. Not only is it a highly physical sport (get all the adrenaline out), it’s also an effective tool we can use to combat symptoms of anxiety.
Learning how to reduce anxiety with martial arts can be a valuable tool for managing stress and dealing with difficult situations. If you’re looking for an activity that can help you feel more confident, focused, and calm, martial arts may be the perfect solution.
One symptom of anxiety is racing thoughts. If you’re battling anxiety, you may feel like you’re just your thoughts, not feeling present or even feeling sensations in your body. Martial arts can be an amazing 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. Stress at work, stress with your kids, your partner, your life … 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
It’s no surprise that racing thoughts can lead to difficulty concentrating, another symptom of anxiety. 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 this sounds like you – show up to class. That’s all we ask you to do.
Once you get here, we will help you. Our world-class instructors (who have probably experienced something very similar) will show you how to take your stress and tension and “help, my shoulders are stuck to my ears” feelings and channel them into your moves. 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.
We can’t say that martial arts classes can “cure” your anxiety- only medical professionals can show you how to do that. But we WILL say that physically moving your body, channeling your racing thoughts into something awesome, being a part of a fun community with rewarding social interactions, and setting and getting new goals- these help anyone’s mental health. They’re key pieces to the whole picture that martial arts classes can definitely provide.
Creating a Better Mindset Through Martial Arts
We say it all the time, but it’s 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, physical and mental strength. You develop perseverance while achieving your goals and getting your belts. And 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 complicated coordination between your brain, your body, your muscle memory and your discipline skills required to really be a successful martial artist. Our classes aren’t peaches and roses and neither is life, and furthermore, neither is life with anxiety. So let us help you get through it. Whether it’s just anxious feelings or full-on generalized anxiety disorder, we know the difficulty of living 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 American Top Team Ashburn, 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. 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 gets 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. You’d be surprised by how many of them have struggled with their own mental health issues, and have turned to martial arts time and time again for the 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.
One more thing about the instructors. 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 butt you can actually kick, 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 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 cherry on top.
How to Reduce Anxiety with Martial Arts and Mental Health
So now, hopefully, you can see that martial arts can really help with anxiety. Staying active, focusing those racing thoughts into something positive through kicks and punches, having a positive mindset, and having community support are martial arts benefits that are critical to staying well.
How to Reduce Anxiety: If you’re struggling with anxiety, know that you’re not alone. There are many resources available to help you cope with your symptoms. With the right help and effort, you can manage your anxiety and live a fulfilling life. With martial arts classes, your overall mood and your health can both improve tremendously, right along with your mindset, which gives you the proper tools to reduce anxiety and push through those tough times. Ready to see what martial arts can do for you? Give American Top Team in Ashburn a try with our risk-free trial (yes, risk-free!) and see for yourself how it can change your life. You’ll love it!