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Benefits of Martial Arts for Our Mental Health

Benefits of Martial Arts for Our Mental Health

Martial arts often suffer a bad reputation. People think that they promote violence and give bad guys a chance to be even worse. However, this cannot be more wrong! Aside from exercising one’s body, martial arts also exercise the spirit. They help people find balance, peace, and happiness that they didn’t know they had in them and provide them with discipline and motivation they didn’t know they needed. So, martial arts will not only do wonders for your endurance and strength but also provide you with various mental health benefits.

Here’s how you, your children, family, and friends can benefit from martial arts.

They help with anxiety and depression

They help with anxiety and depression

Do you often find yourself barely keeping up with deadlines and crumbling under the pressure of expectations? All of these feelings can trigger anxiety and depression that can be not only harmful to our mental health but also wreak havoc on your physical health.  One way to battle those negative feelings is to take up a physical activity like martial arts.

The physical activity you will get from martial arts (warming up, performing techniques, sparring and exercising endurance and strength) will boost your production of endorphin and serotonin, otherwise known as ‘feel-good’ hormones. They encourage feelings of happiness and satisfaction while blocking the perception of pain. Martial arts also employ meditation and breathing exercises which can help people relax and clear their minds. In Karate, many katas are focusing on breathing techniques and movements that are relaxing. Combined with proper professional help, individuals who suffer from anxiety and depression often reap many amazing benefits from martial arts.

It’s great for venting

It’s great for venting

Even if you don’t think you’re stressed and tense, life tends to throw all sorts of unpleasant experiences your way. Oftentimes we end up releasing all that negative energy onto our loved ones, friends and colleagues who definitely don’t deserve the negative treatment. At other times, we choose to bottle that rage which can be very harmful to our overall wellbeing.

However, martial arts give you a healthy and safe way to release anger and even teach you how to control it. Through meditation and breathing exercises you can learn how to calm your nerves and center your thoughts. Eventually, you’ll be able to deal with all sorts of emotions instead of harming your health or hurting the ones you love. 

It improves focus

It improves focus

Our everyday life is filled with distractions and hard challenges that make it very hard to concentrate. However, martial arts, especially taekwondo are a great way to build discipline and stay focused on the task at hand. Once the practice begins, all the other thoughts will simply leave your head and you’ll only concentrate on your movement and different techniques you need to master. Taekwondo can help you live in the present moment and help you “exercise” your perception and impulse control. If you find a good dojang (taekwondo school), all you need is some gear and you’re ready for your martial arts adventure. The right equipment is quite important for every martial art, so you’ll need some taekwondo foot protection and some gloves for starters. These will keep you and your sparring partner safe from injury and make your practice more comfortable and controlled.

It boosts confidence

It boosts confidence

Anxiety is one of the most common disorders and it affects millions of people across the globe. People who suffer from low self-esteem face anxiety every day and it can seriously affect the way they lead their lives and deal with challenges. When you’re feeling insecure and low, martial arts can make you feel better about yourself, your body and your possibilities. As you see your physical strength grow, you will also notice your confidence increase.

The group that especially benefits from this part of martial arts is kids and adults who went through abuse and bullying. Since martial arts give them a new way to protect themselves, their confidence often skyrockets. With skills, technique, and strength they gathered through their practice, their attitudes change completely and they become more open to new experiences and willing to step out of their comfort zone. It’s truly a wonderful feeling!

It offers an opportunity for retrospection

It offers an opportunity for retrospection

Learning martial arts is a great opportunity to fight your inner demons. Every good club teaches you to work on your body, but also helps you face your internal struggles. Throughout your martial art journey, you will make a lot of mistakes, but you will also learn how to fix them. The same philosophy can be employed in other parts of your life. There are no repetitive mistakes that can’t be fixed with hard work!  

If you need help improving your mental health, martial arts are often the best self-help techniques. Plus, there are many forms of martial arts from Karate and Taekwondo to Judo and Krav Maga, so you have a huge variety of options to choose from and find something that suits your lifestyle.

Credit

BIO:

stellaStella Green Thompson
Graphic designer and lifestyle blogger

Stella is a graphic designer and illustrator, a lifestyle blogger and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about the environment and her hobbies center around her love for nature, yoga and living in balance. Stella loves giving tips about healthy lifestyle and self-development. She is a contributor to several health and lifestyle blogs. 

You can find more about her writing by following her on Twitter

This article was submitted exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by Stella Green Thompson

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