With great organizations, spokespeople and initiatives out there educating people on mental health issues, our understanding of it has drastically improved, over the past 10 years. Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people, making it very common. While professional consultation with a doctor is required to properly treat a serious mental health condition, martial arts can help you in therapy, as well as aiding in increasing your mental strength and stability.
Physical exercise is one of major keys to improving your mental health but martial arts provides so much more than that. With its focus on tenets and philosophies that revolve around strong self-discipline, integrity and indomitable spirit, these are some of the best personality traits in promoting happiness and mental health.
Physical Exercise’s Role in Mental Health
With obesity issues rampant in the US, the importance of exercise is as high as ever. Not only does regular exercise reduce the risks of premature death, it also helps promote positive mental health. Exercise can help boost your positive emotions and mood, self-esteem, quality of life, social activity, sleep quality, cognitive functions and more. These are all very important factors to mental well-being and the martial arts are very effective at helping improve these specific variables.
Why Martial Arts?
Martial arts can be especially beneficial for mental health, compared to other physical activities. More traditional forms of martial arts teach much more than physical forms, strikes or submissions. To properly study these martial arts, one needs to learn the philosophies, while learning a lot about themselves. The challenge in obtaining a black belt is tremendous and strong self-discipline is required, in order to reach the goals you set. Thankfully, most martial arts have many stepping-stones towards mastery. These belts and ranks can help students feel a sense of progress, accomplishment, and goal setting.
How Discipline Helps You
Self-discipline is one of the biggest markers for personal success. With a strong sense of self-discipline, one can achieve their goals, through staying committed to the tasks at hand. This sense of accomplishment helps boost self-esteem, as it enables you to get what you want, knowing that you can put in the work to achieve it. It can also help alleviate depression, by keeping your mind productive and busy learning the many different skills and forms needed to obtain the next rank. With increased discipline comes greater life success, hopefully leading to more happiness.
Think of Others First
Helping others can help boost happiness, in a few ways. When you help others, you can help boost your sense of community and humanitarian values, leading to personal development and esteem enhancement. There are a vast number of ways martial arts helps students do this. First, we always encourage martial arts schools to give back to their community and, by doing so, they provide opportunities for their students to do things for others. In classes, helping your fellow students can help create bonds and increase social ties, while decreasing feelings of loneliness.
Along with improved mental health, martial arts can also help practitioners avoid negative influences like drug use and other addictions. Check out our blog post on the matter, to learn more.