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Top 5 Benefits of Martial Arts for Mental Health

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about.”- Socrates

Mental Health America is just one of the great organizations along with celebrity mental health advocates and nationwide initiatives educating people on the importance of taking care of our mental & emotional wellness. Mental illness affects 1 in 5 people. While a professional diagnosis is key to treating serious conditions, martial arts is a physical exercise that is proven to significantly improve one’s general mental well-being.

Martial arts focuses on tenets and philosophies that revolve around self-discipline, integrity and resilience which comes from within ourselves. According to Psychotherapeutic aspects of the martial arts, “MA’s enhance self-esteem through the provision of physical activity and group experience, and the teaching of relaxation, concentration, assertiveness, and directiveness and honesty in communication.” Obtaining a black belt is extremely challenging. Reaching the goals you set is a tremendous accomplishment and requires a lot of self-discipline and motivation. Earning these different belts and rankings help students feel a sense of progress and accomplishment. Our mental agility is strengthened on this self-mastery journey.

Top 5 Benefits of Martial Arts for Mental Health - Total Impact

Let’s take a closer look at the 5 Benefits of Adult Martial Arts for Mental Health…

Release Your Anger

Martial Arts is an intense aerobic workout, so it’s a very helpful (and fun!) way to release your anger. Kicking, punching, yelling, sweating. Research shows that martial arts training combats the harmful effects related to anger. Students learn to manage their reactions, calm their thoughts and even how to let things go. 

Mindfulness

Many traditional forms of martial arts emphasize meditation and mindfulness, as well as mental strength. Not only does mindfulness decrease stress but it also benefits anyone in addiction recovery. Practicing breathing techniques inside and outside of the dojo helps calm the mind and body. Concentrating on martial arts values can help people form healthier habits, increase self-control, and reduce impulsivity.

Meeting Like-Minded People

The dojo is a great place to meet new people and belong to a supportive community. Surrounding yourself with people who are all working towards common goals (such as weight loss, learning self defense, taking up a new hobby) is an easy way to make meaningful friendships. For adults who are navigating major life transitions, just moved into a new area, or want to step outside their comfort zone, attending regular martial arts classes is a sure way to make friends. Come check out our adult kickboxing class which meets on Friday evenings at 6:30p and jumpstart your weekend with a healthy habit!

 Increasing Confidence and Self-Esteem

The psychological benefits of martial arts training have come to the attention of western psychologists over the last thirty years and in particular within the last ten years due to the rise in popularity of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). It is acknowledged that martial art training embodies a system of moral values (e.g. respect property, be faithful and sincere, exert oneself in the perfection of character), that together can inculcate physical and mental relaxation, control of mind and body, and an increase in self confidence (Weiser et al, 1995).”

When you work hard to become a better person, you’ll bring physical and mental relaxation to yourself. Begin to see more opportunity in your life and less stress…

We also believe that students improve their self esteem through consistent positive verbal reinforcement from our instructors. When one masters a new skill or earns a higher belt level, their sense of achievement automatically boosts up confidence and learning to feel good about themselves!

 Learning to Go with the Flow of Life

Developing a flexible mindset helps students become more accepting of life’s situations. For our focus, it helps on overcoming stressful decisions in life. All of us will have periods of big changes in our lives (career, family, relationships, etc) – and how we handle these transitions on a psychological level is essential for long term success. Every martial arts class teaches the dynamics of change, response and reaction. Over time, a healthy mindset is developed and strengthened to embrace challenges and see how we are able to turn them into positive solutions!

Contact Total Impact so we can help you improve your mental well-being through Martial Arts training!

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