It will come as no surprise that martial arts are one of the best stress-busting activities around. Through the combination of solid striking and patient and mindful learning, martial arts provides a variety of outlets in which stress can be eliminated. While we often think about relieving stress for adults, it’s important to remember that children tend to carry stress too.
Teaching children to handle and relieve stress in a healthy manner while they are still young will have benefits that last long into adulthood. Here are four reasons why martial arts is the best stress-busting activity for your kids.
1) Physical Outlet
Martial arts offers a physical outlet for children. From head to toe, martial arts will engage your child’s entire physical body as they punch, kick, move, grapple, and playfully explore their physical abilities. Every child finds relief when they slip on a pair of gloves and strike a bag using their full force and body weight behind the strikes. Striking a bag provides a quick and healthy outlet for pent-up energy and stress.
Martial arts offer a physical outlet in which your body must be entirely present to participate. This is true across almost all types of martial arts sports and styles. Your entire body, including your mind, must participate, as you direct strikes toward an opponent or a bag in Muay Thai, or while rolling around with a partner in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Martial arts will get your child’s heart rate up and begin to release endorphins. Endorphins are the stress-relieving chemical that every child needs after a hard or long day. A steady training schedule will keep your child’s endorphins up as they use their physical body to release their stressors away.
2) Mind-Body Connection
Martial arts bring your child’s mind and body into a deep connection with one another. When learning new concepts, techniques, or moves, it takes a little time for the body to catch up to what the mind is understanding or trying to make happen. Martial arts will teach your child to hone in on helping their body to connect with their mind. As they do this, they will find that having a sole focus will help them to accomplish the tasks at hand, and thus, it will help to eliminate the stresses currently in their mind.
As children learn to make these connections between their body and mind, they will inevitably find relief from stress as they let go of their worries and work to make their body accomplish the goals that their brain is attempting to follow. It will be incredibly difficult for them to roll with a partner and do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu if they allow their mind to be thinking about anything else.
It helps bring focus and mindfulness to one’s body, and forces your child to be entirely present in the moment. Because of this mind-body connection, children will instantly find stress relief as they engage in martial arts.
3) Social Network
One of the greatest stress busters for children is a community of friends engaging in a shared activity. Fortunately, martial arts is an excellent environment for children to make healthy, long-lasting friendships that will aid in their overall well-being and health, including their stress levels. Surrounding themselves with other children that are also aiming to excel at martial arts will give them an excellent social support network.
Your child will quickly find that their martial arts friends are some of the best and closest friends they will ever have. Due to the nature of martial arts, children learn to engage in close physical proximity and have great trust in their partners as they roll or spar together.
The social network and relationships that your child will make while training in martial arts will be ones they know they can rely on for busting stress at the end of the day. They will find themselves looking forward to their training days for the simple fact that they know their social network will be there to support them at the end of a long day.
4) Mental Focus
Training in any type of martial art requires a large amount of mental focus. Since one of the best ways to let go of stress is by thinking about something else, this offers a large benefit for children. The mental focus required while practicing martial arts requires your child’s full attention. Without your child’s full mental attention and focus, they may make minor mistakes like forgetting the instructions or practicing a technique incorrectly. Alternatively, without full mental focus, your child can make bigger mistakes, like hurting themselves or their partner.
Learning to focus their attention to the task at hand is a skill that will benefit your child for the rest of their life. Not only does it provide a valuable life skill, but the very nature of it allows your child to rid themselves of any thoughts that might be causing them stress. They will learn that they can only focus on one thing at a time; they’ll have to choose between the task at hand or the thoughts that are causing them stress.
Additionally, there are often many times in martial arts where your child will find themselves independently working, whether that be on a bag, shadowboxing, stretching, or doing mobility work. The peacefulness of these times will require them to learn how to mentally focus on what they are doing. Peaceful moments in martial arts offer quiet moments for reflection, as well, which will aid your child in overcoming the things that are causing them stress.
The Best Stress Busting Activity For Kids
Martial arts is one of the best and healthiest outlets for children to learn to rid themselves of stress. Children carry enormous weights of stress, whether from school, relational issues, or home life. The best thing we can do is teach them how to handle and manage their stress from a young age. Starting your child in martial arts will give your child a wide range of ways to release their stress.
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