This month, our nation focuses on mental health awareness. Mental health remains a concern as more violent acts and suicides make headlines. Thankfully, with national recognition, the entire month of May is dedicated to mental health awareness. This month, everyone is encouraged to stop, reflect, and take an honest look at their mental health.
As the focus in May shifts to the very important topic of mental health, many look to activities that promise to boost mental health. Physical activity is well known to have many mental benefits due to the increased endorphins released during exercise. Many claim a rigorous routine can clear the mind and keep the blood flowing – both of which are good for the brain! Although physical activity temporarily relieves stress, thinking about longer-term things that one can integrate for sustained mental health is worth considering. Our body’s health correlates directly with our mind’s health. Trauma and mental health issues can often manifest in physical ailments.
This month, martial arts are recognized as one of the most effective mental strengthening activities for children and adults. Practiced for centuries, martial arts continue to teach students personal and physical development, self-defense, focus, self-awareness, and mind-over-body control.
Martial Arts Reduce Stress
One of the strongest reasons people give for sticking with martial arts is the increasing ability to manage and handle stress. Parents see their child’s coping skills develop, and adults find they can roll with the punches as life continues its roller coaster of events. Martial arts require focus, balance, and controlled breathing while performing moves – no other sport or physical activity values these more. Mindfulness and meditation are necessary to bring the mind into a calm state which reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.
If someone becomes stressed, we often tell them to “just breathe.” Since breathing is a core teaching of all martial arts, it makes sense why this training is so effective in encouraging more vital mental awareness.
Martial Arts Help Increase Self-Control
Self-control is something many Americans struggle with in their lives. Whether it comes to eating, binge-watching television, or chasing down another driver, self-control is a crucial component of mental health. In May, as our nation focuses on mental health, learning and practicing self-control can substantially benefit a person’s mental health. Many families have seen life-changing results in children struggling with self-control in school and socially. Adults continually share their stories of surprising shifts in their emotional charges and reactions to other people and scenarios.
Martial Arts Enable Followers to Lead
The combined physical and mental aspects of martial arts training naturally build confidence and self-esteem in children, teens, and adults. As martial art students progress through training, the new skills and techniques they learn naturally build up their confidence in their abilities on and off the mat. Reputable studios include sparring and board-breaking events as part of training. Once students participate in these unique opportunities, their confidence and self-esteem are elevated. The confidence gained through continued martial arts training often helps people break out of their follower roles, as they are confident in volunteering or leading.
Martial Arts Build Mental and Physical Strength
Developing strength of mind and body sounds too simple. Instead, think of it as pushing past limits you never thought possible. The unique building progress of the best martial arts training programs helps students move beyond their mental and physical limitations. Throughout the process, mental toughness and resilience are developed. This mental strength allows martial arts students to handle stress and adversity throughout their lives better.
Martial Arts Create Community
The peer-to-peer setting of a healthy and reputable martial arts studio fosters a sense of community. A family-friendly studio like SwiftKick, ensures all students are encouraged and motivated to be their best selves. Those who face mental health issues often feel alone and are unsure of where to start. When children, teens, and adults find an activity in a healthy environment that encourages community, it will have a significant impact.
If you struggle with loneliness or isolation, martial arts training can be an incredible resource for connecting with others. Through support, proper training, and commitment, many children, teens, and adults find refuge in a professional martial arts studio. The best studios are safe spaces to learn and be among supportive peers and leaders. Studios like SwiftKick thoughtfully choose instructors, not only for the studio but for each group of students. Every student’s mental and physical health is of the highest priority.
As we spend May focusing on the mental health of ourselves and those we love and care for, calling to schedule a free trial class is a first step. There is no financial obligation or commitment when taking a class, but you may find it is precisely what you need.
Call today and schedule a free martial arts class.