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The Mental Health Benefits of Martial Arts – Andy Britnell – Medium

The last thing you might want to do after a stressful day is hit the gym. Exercise, however, has proved to have many benefits, including making you happier, less stressed and anxious, and more relaxed. Exercise comes in many different forms and a popular practice is martial arts. Martial arts contains a variety of disciplines and all require agility, endurance, and strength. Additionally, martial arts benefits your mental health along with your physical health. You will also gain mental stability, focus, and control via meditation and your search for your inner strength.

Stress-Reliever

Stress, otherwise known as the Silent Killer, is an ever-present health issue in the UK and North America and contributes to many health problems. Since martial arts demands a high level of concentration and cardio, those who practice are better able to forget the day’s worries because of the need to concentrate on the body’s movements. Many forms of martial arts also include breathing techniques and meditation, which involves control and discipline over one’s emotions. The combination of the mental techniques and physical activity are great combatants of stress.

Relaxation

While martial arts is a stress-reliever, it also encourages relaxation. Martial arts requires mental control and teaches you the ability to mentally relax through breathing techniques and meditation. Rather than ingesting harsh prescription medications, this form of exercise and mental stimulation is a natural relaxer. Learning the skills associated with martial arts will help cope with sudden stress and frustration that may crop up during everyday life.

Mood-Booster

Exercise releases endorphins in your brain also called the “feel-good” chemicals. Not only are endorphins a natural pain reliever and stress fighter, they contribute to increased energy, euphoria, and overall optimism. Physical activity and mediation both release endorphins into the body, so the combination of the two in martial arts has a profound impact on the mind and body.

Constructive Outlet

Stress and frustration tend to go hand-in-hand, and martial arts provides an outlet for the build-up of frustration. Martial arts is practiced in a safe and controlled environment, so after a long, frustrating day, it is a constructive outlet for releasing that anger and frustration. Your opponent is someone with whom is willing to spar and has given consent to fight, and you are overseen by your instructor.

Builds Self-Esteem

Exercise, in general, is rewarding and provides you with a sense of achievement when you complete a goal or put in an extra effort. As you continue to practice martial arts, you are able to measure your progress through the development and improvement of your form and ability. This can lead to an increase in your confidence and self-esteem since you are actively improving a skill, and the physical results contribute to making you look and feel better.

Andy Britnell has been passionate about fitness and Martial Arts since he was young.

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