Why Martial Arts Are Great For Supporting Adult Mental Health
There’s a lot going on in the world right now, with people’s livelihoods, safety and sense of wellbeing coming under enormous pressure. Social distancing, working all hours to make ends meet and all the day to day chaos can really take it’s toll on our mood and ultimately, our mental health.
Martial arts are well-known for improving and establishing a high level of physical fitness, but did you know that they’re also great for supporting mental health? That’s what we look at here, as we detail the many ways that martial arts can help people live calmer, more balanced lives.
Improved Focus & Mindfulness
Whilst it might seem counterintuitive at first glance, martial arts are something that allow people to avoid conflict. This is achieved through improved focus and mindfulness, as to be really successful in any given martial art discipline, you are taught to pay very close attention to yourself and your surroundings.
This mindfulness can be particularly helpful to those who struggle to maintain focus and studies have proven that overall levels of concentration go up when martial arts classes are taken. Whichever form of martial art you choose, the principle remains the same.
Boosting of Feel-Good Endorphins
When we exercise, we release a number of ‘feel good’ endorphins, with serotonin being one of them. This powerful chemical is produced during physical exertions and it’s known to lift your mood and with regular exercise, it can be a potent antidote to depression and anxiety.
Martial arts also add an extra dimension to this positivity that comes from feelings of accomplishment. When you master a discipline, go up a belt or successfully learn a kata, it boosts both your self-esteem and your confidence. It’s a great way to redirect that pent up energy that many are feeling during the pandemic.
Feel More In Control of Your Life
For people who are suffering with anxiety, depression or any type of mental health issue, there can be an overwhelming sense of not being in control or to put it another way, being ‘out of control’. Martial arts teachings could be said to directly oppose those feelings as they actively encourage people to take control of their body and the environment they’re in.
What’s more, martial arts help people to learn how to avoid fights, rather than engage in them. What comes with this is an ability to control your fight or flight adrenaline rush and an enormous sense of calmness. That calmness comes in part, from knowing that if necessary, you could diffuse any situation while protecting those you love. You can’t put too big a value on that kind of serenity.
Martial Arts Represent the Key to Contentment
There’s no mistaking that mental health issues are on the rise. Whether that’s due to being surrounded by digital devices all day, Covid-19, the pressure of work or just day to day worries, martial arts offer a way to grasp control of your life and your feelings. Martial arts also offer much to combat mental health issues and we’re here to spread the word about just how far that extends. Rather than just improving your calmness, confidence and self-control in the dojo, they provide tools that can positively impact all parts of your life.
So, if you’ve been thinking of taking up martial arts but have thought better of it, you should think of all the benefits that it offers to body and mind. Throw in the fact that it’s great fun to boot and you might start asking yourself “why don’t I try it?”.
And we’d absolutely love it and warmly welcome you if you did. Contact us today on 01442 795001 or see our adult classes on our website here – you are never too old to start!