How to Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

How to Reduce Anxiety

Reducing stress and learning 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!


Reducing Anxiety with Martial Arts

how to reduce anxietyAdult mixed martial arts classes can be a huge help to help adults reduce anxiety. Not only is it a highly physical sport, but it’s also a unique tool we can use to combat symptoms of anxiety.

A common symptom of anxiety is racing thoughts. If you struggle with how to reduce 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, when you’re feeling anxious, your brain can pump out adrenaline and activate what’s known as your “fight-or-flight” response. All that adrenaline usually just stays in your body as you think, think, and (over)think–but martial arts pushes you in a different direction. Kicking, punching, and channeling that energy effectively is really healthy 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. Work stress, kids stress, relationship stress, life stress … Everything you’re ruminating on or worrying about flushes out on the mat. You channel it all into movement 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 anxietyIt’s not hard to correlate racing thoughts that occupy your brain space with difficulty concentrating, another symptom of anxiety. Sometimes you feel hyper-alert and hyperactive, other times you’re pretty sluggish and don’t want to do anything. You’re either frozen in panic or spinning your wheels with stress. You ask how to reduce anxiety. Our answer? 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 beyond what you think you’re capable of, and you’ll feel your focus shift. If you can commit to making it through the door, soon the minutes will fly by as you’re having fun with your friends and getting your sweat on, and then you’ll wonder where that hour went. For this one martial arts class, you don’t have to be anything other than exactly you, even if you’re anxious. Doing what you’re doing, exporting your thought process to your instructor, and getting it all out through physical movement.

Martial arts cannot cure or get rid of anxiety. Only a medical professional can show you how to do that. Though moving your body, joining a community and engaging in positive social interactions, refining your mindset, and looking forward to new goals and challenges; these are huge pieces of your whole mental health picture that martial arts can definitely help with.

Creating a Better Mindset Through Martial Arts

Adult Karate ClassWe say it all the time, but it’s 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 improve their lives and mindsets dramatically. How to reduce anxiety? 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 involved sport.

Look, martial arts is a hard and difficult sport. There’s a lot of complicated coordination between your brain, your body, your muscle memory, and your discipline skills required to really be a successful martial artist. It’s not all peaches and roses in our class, but neither is life. Especially life with anxiety! We’re going to help you get through it. Whether it’s just anxious feelings or full-on generalized anxiety disorder, we know the difficulty of life with mental health issues cannot be understated. We also know it can be helped through the power of martial arts classes and the development of your mindset.

How to Reduce Anxiety with Your Mindset 

how to reduce anxietyIn our martial arts classes here at Lynbrook, we are huge believers in the power of mindset because we’ve seen it work time and time again. One of our favorite quotes is, “A black belt is a white belt who never gave up.” The only difference between the two belts, or any two belts, is the commitment to show up and keep at it even 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. If you’ve ever been to the gym when you’re anxious, you’ll know that 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” in the worst way possible. But when you’re in our martial arts classes, it’s not your brain telling you what to do. It’s our instructors, who have been right there where you’re standing. Meeting them, you may be surprised to know that they have struggled with their own mental health issues, and have turned to martial arts time and time again for support from their own instructors, their peers, and this family here. How to reduce anxiety with Taekwondo? You see, 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 helpful in reducing anxiety.

Martial Arts and Mental Health

The benefits of martial arts for mental health in general are endless. Still researching on how to reduce anxiety with Karate? For 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 mood and health can improve tremendously right alongside your mindset, which gives you the proper tools to reduce anxiety and push through those tough times. Ready to see what martial arts can do for you? Give First Battalion MMA in Lynbrook a try with our risk-free adult Karate classes trial and see for yourself how it can change your life. You’ll love it!


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