Part of our daily lives is dealing with stress. According studies, stress is the cause of an estimated 75-90% of all doctor’s visits and is a key factor in six of the leading causes of death. Other studies show that stress is a root cause of 60% of all human illnesses. By now most people have simply accepted that stress is just an everyday part of life. While many simply walk around carrying all that stress with them as they go, there are several ways to relieve that stress. One of those ways is through martial arts. MMA has proven to be an incredibly successful stress reliever for those who partake in it.
The main way the MMA reduces stress is by releasing endorphins. People naturally release endorphins when engaging in physical activity. Endorphins are natural chemicals produced in our bodies to reduce pain and increase happiness. Everyone knows that awesome feeling that comes after a workout. That is a direct result of physical activity setting off the neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel happy. Endorphins are known in the medical world to be a kind of ‘natural pain killer.’ This also results in people getting better sleep which also reduces stress. Because martial arts is such a physical yet focus heavy activity, it hits on all cylinders; mental, physical, and spiritual, releasing a huge amount of endorphins in our bodies.
Learning through Physical Activity
Other studies have focused on endorphins in relation to learning. Physical activity is a crucial component to brain development. In short, when we feel better we learn better. Feeling better allows us to learn better and in turn that learning makes us feel better, creating a circular pattern to boost happiness and reduce stress. A reason martial arts works well in this equation is because part of martial arts requires strict attention to the instructor and their teaching techniques. Students of MMA must constantly focus and follow specific instructions. By doing this they engage in physical activity to learn which allows them to decrease stress they are carrying. This is particularly important for younger MMA students. MMA thus helps stimulate neurotransmitters in the body which then results in happier kids who then are able to learn better in all areas of their life including in school.
MMA helps Clear your mind
As any student of martial arts knows, clearing your mind is a necessity. MMA demands a clear mind. Meditation is a key component of MMA to clear one’s mind to ensure they are locked in and focused on the present task at hand. By going through the meditative process of clearing one’s mind, MMA gives people the tools necessary to declutter their minds. This proves not just to be an effective strategy in martial arts, but in everyday life as we try and reduce stress and let go of anxieties. The same meditative practices can be used in any scenario that induces stress.
MMA Teaches Patience
Martial artists know that patience is key to success. Nothing comes easy in MMA and at times it can be a slow and frustrating process. From not understanding a technique right away to losing spars against opponents, MMA requires patience and a steady drive. The idea that ‘nothing comes easy’ is a guiding principle that practitioners learn that translates into stress relief for regular stress situations. One thing people learn through practicing martial arts is what is of immediate importance and what is trivial. In our everyday lives, that provides a great tool for focusing on what’s important and learning to cancel out things that don’t ultimately matter. This is an excellent method for reducing stress and shaking off things that keep us up at night.
By practicing martial arts, practitioners not only learn techniques and methods for perfecting their craft in MMA but also learn valuable tools for decreasing stress in their life. From intense physical activity that improves our moods and mindset to the meditative practices that help us focus and clear our minds, MMA is a great stress reliever. It teaches patience, how to set goals, and how to focus in on what is really important in life.