How Martial Arts training can reduce stress and promote happiness
Martial arts (MA) is a type of sport combat which involves several styles and skill sets. It has been made popular by the media and legends such as Bruce Lee, Dr. Jigoro Kano and Jackie Chan among others. Martial arts is widely practiced for its benefits in; self-discipline, self-defense, physical fitness and health, self-confidence and self-respect. But did you know that martial arts has mental benefits which include stress reduction and in effect promoting happiness? Research has proven that martial arts training reduces stress. This is the result of individual benefits of martial arts which singly or collectively contribute to stress reduction. This can be seen in the following ways;
To begin with, martial arts training is an intensive form of exercise, which contributes to overall physical and mental health including. This comes in as a result of increased blood flow to the brain, production of endorphins which elevates mood and the removal of chemical wastes in the body. This is useful in stress reduction and emotional well being.
Martial arts training also involves the learning of techniques useful in stress management such as; breathing and meditation techniques and reacting calmly to stressful situations. Through constant practice of martial arts, these benefits are reinforced leading to stress reduction.
Martial arts leads to increased confidence – In the beginning of martial arts training, you will be faced with the challenge of facing and defeating a strong opponent, when a person progresses with the training and is able to grasps more and more skills on self-defense, their levels of confidence significantly increase as they are able to tackle their components leading to better communication, high self-value and ultimate stress reduction. Also, martial arts inculcates a warrior’s spirit and mind within you which calms your fears and helps you project self-confidence. This is particularly important in reducing anxiety and coping with stress, leading to stress reduction.
Martial arts’ improves socialization – No one can learn martial arts without advice, assistance or cooperation with others. During training, you will be able to meet new people with whom you will teach and motivate each other forming friendship bonds that may last a lifetime. Friendship ensures social support and connectedness, which has been proved to have qualities of stress reduction.
Martial arts’ improves goal setting and seeking skills – training in martial arts requires setting of workout goals and working towards achieving these goals. This repeated over time enables one to set realistic goals and gather the dedication and prudence to work hard and attain them. In effect, you learn valuable skills in goal setting and attainment, which can be replicated in real life occasions, making you to be more productive thus improving your emotional well being.
Finally, there are several forms of martial arts from which one can choose from, such as Aikido (Soft Style), Karate, Kung Fu, Brazilian Jujitsu, Tai Chi and Judo. It’s appropriate for people in most age categories, does not require special or expensive equipment and is of immense physical and mental benefits as shown in the predeceasing paragraphs. Harnessing the stress reduction qualities of martial arts is something we should all strive to do, in order to reduce stress.