International Stress Awareness Week: Can Martial Arts Relieve Stress?
Posted: November 10, 2022
It’s no secret that as well as lots of physical health benefits, practising martial arts offers an abundance of advantages for mental health. To mark this year’s International Stress Awareness Week, this blog aims to explore how martial arts can relieve stress.
What Is Stress?
Stress is a reaction, often to a situation which we feel we can’t control or manage. In small doses stress can act as a form of adrenaline, helping us feel motivated and complete tasks. Although, especially among adults, stress can sometimes become intense or last for a long time, which is when it becomes a concern.
Although everybody experiences stress at some point, and in some quantity throughout their adult lives, there are ways to cope with unmanageable stress and its effects of it.
When we feel threatened or under pressure, our body reacts with stress.
International Stress Awareness Week, is a global week of awareness revolving around stress prevention, and we want to do our bit! We know the mental health benefits that sports, particularly the practice of martial arts, have and by promoting the advantages we hope to build resilience and reduce stress.
Every business needs a Mental Health First Aider in the workplace. They're the first point of contact for an employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get appropriate help.
Can Martial Arts Relieve Stress?
The quick answer, yes. But how?
Martial arts hosts so many advantages for one's mental health, particularly in the reduction of stress. Stress is something that, as a society, we are experiencing more and more due to the effects of the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis we find ourselves navigating as a nation.
To combat this mental meltdown that we seem to have experienced across the country in the past few years, we highly promote the use of martial arts practice, not only for the physical benefits but for its effect on stress.
Off the back of the period of isolation, many families struggled with the idea of being ‘locked away’ and the lack of social interaction our country experienced throughout the pandemic. Now, out the other side of this isolation period, families are left with a lot of anxiety and stress about re-emerging into society, as things once were.
Martial arts classes are a safe, social environment where children and adults can engage in physical activity, among a class of other students.
Not only the direct link between exercise and mental wellbeing, but martial arts also offers so much more. The development of discipline, respect, and the feeling of being part of a community are all ways in which martial arts can reduce stress. For many, following a routine and progressing are huge relievers of stress, which is why when the pandemic hit, and the nation was shaken out of routine, the cases of ill mental health skyrocketed.
“Improvements in self-esteem (Fuller, 1988), a more positive response to physical challenge (Richard and Rehberg, 1986; Trulson, 1986), greater autonomy (Duthie, 1978), emotional stability and assertiveness (Konzak and Boudreau, 1984) and reductions in anxiety and depression (Cai, 2000) have all been associated with martial arts training.”
How We Can Help At Ellis Academy
We know the benefits of martial arts as a stress reliever and so at Ellis Academy, we promote martial arts classes to both children and adults, with the focus being on developing mental resilience as well as physical progression.
Combatting anxiety and stress is a priority of our teachers, every week, not just this week! Learning real-life adaptable self-technique skills as well as understanding morals and Ellis’ core values are key ways in which we focus on achieving mental goals.
We combat stress with fun and discipline.
Providing adults (and children) with a way of learning and progressing, without the risk of it becoming monotonous or routine is essential for avoiding stress.
Want to learn more about the classes we offer at Ellis Academy of Self Defence and how martial arts can relieve stress?
Give us a call today on 01737761999