Tips On How To Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

Tips to Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

How to reduce anxiety with martial arts? 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 people with 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.)

How to Reduce Anxiety with Martial Arts

Tips to Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

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 (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.

One symptom of anxiety is racing thoughts. If you struggle with 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, the excess adrenaline that your brain can dump into your endocrine system when you’re feeling anxious needs to go somewhere, or else your body’s thinking it’s “fight or flight” time all day.

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 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

Tips to Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

It’s no surprise that racing thoughts can lead to 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 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

Tips to Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

This is something you’ll hear us say a lot, but it’s totally 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 achieve real success and change their lives. How? Using ancient techniques that are mixed with a complete education on modern mindset in your martial arts classes, 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. Listen – martial arts is HARD. It is a difficult sport.

There’s a lot of coordination, a lot of muscle movement, a lot of focus, and discipline required to really be a successful martial artist. It’s not all peaches and roses in our class but neither is life, especially life with anxiety. 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 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

Tips to Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

In our martial arts classes here at U. S. Academy of Taekwondo, 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.” It’s true- that’s the only difference. And it’s the difference between perseverance and giving up, 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 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 instructors. And our instructors have been right where you stand. 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 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 struggling with anxiety you can’t see anything other than your own shortcomings and failures. But know this- our instructors and the community here are just that, here… for you.

We are going to show you just how freaking amazing you really are, despite (or maybe because of?) your mental health struggles. The best part is that over time, 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.

Martial Arts and Mental Health

Tips to Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

The benefits of martial arts for mental health, in general, are endless. For anxiety specifically, staying active, focusing those 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 U. S. Academy of Taekwondo in Stafford a try with our risk-free trial (yes, risk-free!) and see for yourself how it can change your life. You’ll LOVE IT!

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