New students join martial arts classes for different reasons, like improved confidence and fitness with a purpose, and know how to reduce anxiety, but find that their anxiety is reduced the more classes they take. Why? Read on to find out! (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 to reduce anxiety (and kids, too!). Not only is it a highly physical sport (which means you’re actually 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. A common 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 your body at all. Martial arts can be a great solution for this. First of all, the excess 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 a superb way to combat the adrenaline pump and can even be necessary for your body, as it’s getting the adrenaline and anxiety OUT in an intentional 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 … All the things you’re way overthinking come OUT on the mat. You channel it all into motion, 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. If this sounds like you – 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.
You concentrate on one minute of each class at a time, and soon you’re having a lot of fun and the time is flying by. 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, engaging in positive social interactions, learning about mindset, and looking forward to new goals and challenges – these are vital components 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 improve their lives and mindsets dramatically. How to reduce anxiety with taekwondo 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 to reduce anxiety with karate from such a physically involved sport.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it: 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; 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 martial arts classes here at Gracie Jiu-jitsu North Palm Beach 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 gets distracted, it can say some pretty mean things to you, and it can hype you up for what it sees as emergencies 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 awesome instructors. Meeting them, you may be surprised to know that they have struggled with their own mental health issues, and have turned to the mat 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 really in the thick of it with anxiety, you can’t see anything other than your own shortcomings and failures. But please hear this- our instructors and the community here are just that, here… for you. We are going to show you just how much you can actually achieve, despite (or maybe because of?) your mental health struggles.
The best part 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 martial arts for mental health, in general, are endless. For anxiety specifically, staying active, channeling 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 mood and health can improve tremendously, along with your mindset, which gives you the proper tools to reduce anxiety with karate and push through those tough times. Ready to see what martial arts can do for you? Give Gracie Jiu-jitsu North Palm Beach in North Palm Beach a try with our risk-free trial (yes, risk-free!) and see for yourself how it can change your life. You’ll LOVE IT!