6 Psychological Benefits Of Martial Arts In Improving Mental Health

Mental health issues have become more prevalent in the past few decades, and they often have multiple consequences on the lives of the afflicted. These disorders can significantly impact a person’s ability to be an economically productive adult and their ability to connect with others socially. Psychotherapy and psychotropic medication are often the optimal approaches for addressing mental health issues, but there are alternative practices that can also help to alleviate the symptoms of these disorders.

Training martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Judo can positively impact mental health. This article will examine how learning martial arts can help improve your mental state.


How Martial Arts Training Improves Your Mental Health

Countless martial arts styles have been practiced by cultures worldwide to prepare for battle, learn self-defense, and compete against each other. People have also trained in martial arts for ages for the mental and physical development they offer.

Martial arts have enjoyed a boost in popularity in recent years thanks to the fast growth of mixed martial arts. Martial arts are springing up everywhere today, giving most people access to these ancient arts that have been historically reserved for only a few select people.

Some of the ways learning a martial art helps to improve your mental health include:


1) Provides Stress Relief

Mental health problems can be exacerbated when dealing with lots of stress. Training martial arts is an effective way to keep stress under control. Martial arts training involves spending time learning, drilling, and practicing techniques. Doing these things helps improve your mindfulness, making it easier for you to remain calm when facing adversity.

Martial arts like BJJ, Muay Thai, and Boxing also give you intense physical workouts that lead to feel-good chemicals called endorphins secreted in your brain to elevate your mood and lower your stress levels. The less stressed you are, the easier it will be for you to manage your mental health issues.


2) Provides Purpose

Mental health issues like depression are often characterized by a lack of purpose or an inability to derive pleasure from things you once enjoyed. Learning martial arts can help some people snap out of their slumps by giving them a sense of purpose.

Learning any martial art style is fun, and you will make many new friends. You also get to master many techniques shown to you if you put in the work, which gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Martial arts training often becomes the favorite part of the day for those who train. It becomes something you look forward to, and it can give you the strength to stop some of the bad habits you might have that contribute to your mental health issues, like excessive alcohol consumption.


3) Provides Physical Exercise

A student throwing a kick in a Muay Thai class in Evolve Far East Square.

Training in Muay Thai provides not just an outlet for stress, but also serves as an exercise tool that can help you burn up to 1,000 calories per hour!

It’s pretty standard for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to advise their patients to increase their activity levels. Your body and mind are intrinsically linked, and research shows that those who exercise regularly typically have better emotional well-being and mental health. These studies also show that people who exercise regularly are less likely to develop mental health disorders.

Exercise can also be beneficial as a treatment for people with mild to moderate cases of anxiety and depression. Some research indicates that exercises can be as effective as taking anti-depressants or getting talk therapy.

Some of the reasons why exercise helps to improve your mental health include:

  • It alters the levels of chemicals like endorphins, stress hormones, and serotonin in the brain, improving your mood and helping to deal with stress.
  • Regular exercise improves your sleep quality, which helps to manage your mood. Poor sleep is also linked to some mental health issues like anxiety.
  • Exercise helps to improve your self-esteem and sense of control.
  • Martial arts training helps to distract you from negative thoughts while helping to create new positive ones.
  • Martial arts training and other group activities help to expand your social circle, leading to more support.
  • Martial arts like Muay Thai provide destructive therapy, which gives you a safe way to channel frustration.
  • Regular exercise helps to lower muscle tension, which makes you feel more relaxed.


4) Teaches Emotional Regulation

Learning martial arts teaches you how to master your mind and emotions. It can help to reduce aggression while increasing your assertiveness and emotional stability. Learning these skills will help you avoid negative behaviors and thoughts that could be contributing to your mental health issues.


5) Improved Self-Esteem

(Boxing Featured photo if possible?)

Learning martial arts is a journey that teaches you many lessons that will be helpful in other aspects of your life. It physically challenges your body, burning fat off your frame while your muscles become stronger and more defined. Over time, you notice your body looks better than ever and start feeling better about your appearance.

Martial arts training also has obstacles that force you to dig deep. You might encounter a complex technique, but your instructors and training partners will push you to overcome it. Over time, you become more mentally tough, disciplined, and adept at accomplishing goals. All these things will make you feel better about yourself and where you are in life.


6) Sets You On The Path Of Personal Development

Everyone starts as a white belt in all martial arts; if you keep at it, you’ll eventually become a black belt. You’ll learn many lessons along the way, like the importance of persevering when you face difficulty and the benefits of routine and discipline.

You’ll eventually start taking some of the lessons you learn in the dojo into other aspects of your life. You’ll become better at digging deep and overcoming any mental blocks holding you back as your confidence grows because of your training. You’ll be able to manage any symptoms of any mental issues better once you start training regularly.


Give Martial Arts A Try

Signing up for martial arts classes could be the best decision you ever made if you’re dealing with a mental health disorder. Stop by one of our complimentary classes to see what training with our world-class instructors is like.


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If you have any other questions regarding Evolve MMA and the programs we offer, you can get in touch with our membership executives at the following locations:

Evolve MMA (Far East Square)
26 China Street
Far East Square #01-01
Singapore 049568
Phone: (65) 6536 4525

Evolve MMA (Orchard Central)
181 Orchard Road
#06-01 Orchard Central
Singapore 238896
Phone: (65) 6536 4556

Evolve MMA (KINEX)
11 Tanjong Katong Road
#02-52 KINEX
Singapore 437157
Phone: (65) 6288 2293

Evolve MMA (Star Vista)
1 Vista Exchange Green
#02-26A The Star Vista
Singapore 138617
Phone: (65) 6539 9590

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