Unfortunately, mental conditions like anxiety and depression are not always treated with the respect that they deserve. The people who suffer with these conditions can see the symptoms impact every aspect of their lives – personal, professional, and romantic. While medications have been designed to help, for most sufferers, the medication is not enough on its own. Counseling is also recommended. However, in addition to these tools, very often it is recommended that those struggling with depression seek exercise programs, like martial arts.
Chemical Changes in the Body Exercise really has been proven to alleviate many of the symptoms of depression. The physical activity of practicing martial arts can cause the body to release endorphins, which are the chemicals within us that cause spikes of good feeling and happiness. At the same time, the movement can reduce the flow of immune-related chemicals known to worsen depression. This is discussed in greater detail on the Mayo Clinic’s website.
Be Social It’s not just the chemical change that makes a person feel better. There is also the social aspect of activities like martial arts. Very often, socializing will improve a person’s mood, and thereby reduce the effects of depression during those periods of time. In other words, the martial arts classes are the breaks from depression.
Increased Confidence Martial arts training is a series of goals. With each goal accomplished, there is a sense of achievement and most students report improved confidence as they find that they are capable of doing just what they set out to achieve.
Distraction Not only is there the opportunity to excel and to socialize, but martial arts classes require concentration, which means that there is less time to dwell on the aspects of life that cause sadness and stress. This is a very powerful form of distraction. You can learn something new, while managing your depression.