Tips on How to Reduce Anxiety | Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

Benefits of Taekwondo in Levittown

Many martial arts students come to the sport for different reasons, 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.)

Reducing Anxiety with Martial Arts

How to reduce anxiety

Martial arts can be hugely helpful to help adults reduce anxiety (and kids, too- but that’s a blog for another time). 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 an effective 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 just your thoughts, not feeling present or even feeling your body at all. Martial arts can be an amazing solution for this. First of all, when you’re feeling anxious, your brain can pump out adrenaline and activate what’s known as your “fight-or-flight” response. All that adrenaline usually just stays in your body as you think, think, and (over)think – but martial arts pushes you in a different direction. Kicking and punching and channeling that energy effectively is really healthy 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

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.

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. If you can commit to making it through the door, soon the minutes will fly by as you’re having fun with your friends and getting your sweat on, and then you’ll wonder where that hour went. 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, 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

We say it all the time, but it’s 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 achieve real success and change their lives. How? With the help of martial arts classes and the martial arts philosophy, you build confidence, 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 get your mind on your side from such a physically demanding sport. Look – 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. Our classes aren’t peaches and roses and neither is life, and 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 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

How to reduce anxiety

In our classes at AmeriKick Martial Arts, 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. 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 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 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.

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 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 actually can achieve, 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 understanding. The whole self-defense piece of it, then, becomes just the icing on the cake.

Martial Arts and Mental Health

How to reduce anxietySo now hopefully you can see that martial arts can really help with anxiety. 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 overall mood and your health can both improve tremendously right alongside your mindset, which gives you the proper tools to reduce anxiety and push through those tough times. Ready to see what martial arts can do for you? Give AmeriKick Martial Arts in Levittown a try with our risk-free trial (yes, risk-free!) and see for yourself how it can change your life. You’ll love it! Free Trial!

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