Tips to Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

Why More Moms are Taking Karate: Martial Arts For Women

Martial arts for anxiety and depression? Looking for a way on how to reduce anxiety is often a sub-goal of martial arts students who are looking to get fit, have fun, and learn life-saving skills … But this sport can help students with anxiety directly in a few different ways. Let’s get into them. (We’re not medical professionals and recommend you consult with a doctor to get the proper treatment and care you deserve.)

Martial Arts for Anxiety and Depression

Martial Arts Anxiety Relief

Martial arts anxiety relief 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), it’s also a unique tool we can use to combat symptoms of anxiety.

One symptom of anxiety is racing thoughts. If you’re battling 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, the excess of adrenaline that your brain can dump into your endocrine system when you’re feeling anxious needs to go somewhere, or else your body’s thinking it’s “fight or flight” time all day.

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 an intentional way. Secondly, the full-body workout you get when learning self-defense, 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 … All the things you’re way overthinking come OUT on the mat. You channel it all into motion 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 Martial Arts Classes in Palm Harbor

It’s no surprise that racing thoughts can lead to difficulty concentrating, another symptom of anxiety. 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. We will show you how to push yourself just beyond what you think you’re capable of, and you’ll feel your focus shift. 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 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.

We can’t say that martial arts classes can “get rid of your anxiety- only doctors and therapists can show you how to do that. But we CAN say that physically moving your body, channeling your racing thoughts into something awesome, being a part of a fun community with rewarding social interactions, and setting and getting new goals – helps anyone’s mental health. They’re key pieces to the whole picture that martial arts classes can absolutely provide.

Creating a Better Mindset Through Martial Arts

Self Defense

This is something you’ll hear us say a lot, but it’s totally 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, and physical and mental strength. You develop perseverance while achieving your goals and getting your belts. And you learn so much about how strong your mind is from such a physically demanding sport. We’re not going to sugarcoat it – martial arts is HARD.

It is a difficult sport. There’s a lot of coordination, a lot of muscle movement, a lot of 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 living 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 Anxiety Relief

Mindset is so important to us here at D3 Martial Arts because we’ve seen it work time and time again, on and off the mat. 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’s easily distracted, it can say some pretty mean things to you and hype you up for “emergencies” (which are really non-threats) 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 instructors, who have been right there where you’re standing.

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 the 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 martial arts for anxiety and depression.

Last thing. Sometimes when you’re really in the thick of it with anxiety you can’t see anything other than your own shortcomings and failures. But know this- our instructors and the community here are just that, here… for you. We are going to show you just how freaking amazing you really are, 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 grace. The whole self-defense piece of it, then, becomes just the icing on the cake.

Martial Arts Anxiety Relief and Mental Health

Martial Arts for Anxiety and Depression

The benefits of martial arts for mental health, in general, are endless.

looking for how to reduce anxiety specifically, staying active, channeling 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 overall mood and your health can both improve tremendously right alongside your mindset, which can help give you the proper tools to reduce anxiety and push through those tough times.

Ready to see what martial arts can do for you? Give D3 Martial Arts in Palm Harbor 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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