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

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

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 people how to reduce 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

How to Reduce Anxiety

Martial arts can be hugely helpful to help adults – how to reduce anxiety (and kids, too- but that’s a blog for another time). Not only is it a highly physical sport (get all the adrenaline out), 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 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, when you’re feeling anxious, your brain can pump out adrenaline and turn on your fight-or-flight system. All that adrenaline usually just stays in your body because you’re not moving, you’re (over)thinking – but martial arts pushes you in a different direction. 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 a focused 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 … 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

How to Reduce Anxiety With Karate

Another symptom of anxiety is difficulty concentrating or feeling motivated. 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 you’re experiencing this – show up to class. That’s all we ask you to do.

Once you get here, we will help you. Our world-class instructors (most of whom have dealt with or still deal with how to reduce anxiety themselves) 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.

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 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. But moving your body, 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

How to Reduce Anxiety With Taekwondo

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, physical and mental strength.

You develop perseverance while achieving your goals and getting your belts. And you learn so much about how to get your mind on your side from such a physically demanding sport. Listen – 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.

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 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

Martial Arts Classes in Crest Hill

In our classes at MMA Stop Fitness 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’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. You’d be surprised by how many of them 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 helpful in how to reduce anxiety.

One more thing about the instructors. Sometimes when you’re struggling with how to reduce anxiety with taekwondo 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 positive mindset, 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

So now hopefully you can see that martial arts can really help with how to reduce anxiety. 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 mood and health can improve tremendously right alongside your mindset, which can help give you the proper tools to how to reduce anxiety with karate and get through those tough times. Ready to see what martial arts can do for you? Give MMA Stop Fitness in Crest Hill 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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