Can Martial Arts Help Kids With Anxiety and Stop Worrying?

One of the most serious issues that children face during their formative years is the inability to manage stress and worry. Martial arts offer a lot of benefits, but you’ve probably asked, will martial arts help my child stop worrying?

Martial arts can help children to stop worrying through a combination of stress-relieving breathwork, vigorous workouts, and improved confidence over time as a mastery of techniques begins to fall into place.

We may not realize it, but children experience a great deal of stress and anxiety in their lives.

Martial arts training has been demonstrated to provide a variety of good mental and physical advantages since it involves strength training, aerobic training, stretching, and mental focus exercises.

Indeed, martial arts practitioners report not only favorable physical changes but also increases in mental clarity and attention, as well as stress management.

So whether your child has frequent temper tantrums, or your child struggles with self confidence, personal growth, or mental health issues, a great martial arts school can be a great place to turn those things around.

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Is martial arts good for kids with anxiety?

Martial arts can help one be less anxious by using a regular deep breathing practice and incorporating elements of meditation into classes. By learning the importance of focus instead of the impossible task of focusing on the future or the past, we are naturally less anxious.

It’s easy to identify childhood with being always cheerful and stress-free.

But owing to numerous conditions at home, school, and other life events, children can hang on to worry and be confused about what they’re experiencing and how to articulate it.

Anxiety can manifest as anger or a quick temper in some situations, causing youngsters to engage in disciplinary difficulties when they are genuinely struggling to seek help.

Martial arts is a terrific way for youngsters to release pent-up energy in an environment of supportive teamwork while also learning the value of discipline and self-control from their instructors.

Martial arts therapy is now employed as an unconventional treatment for children and adults suffering from social anxiety disorder. (source)

This disorder, also known as social phobia, refers to excessive, long-term anxiety caused by a variety of anxieties, worries, and apprehensions.

People with social anxiety disorder, in general, are terrified of being evaluated or humiliated by others. People with this are frequently found in isolation or with few friends.

People with anxiety may be trained to improve their social skills while also learning self-defense through their martial arts instruction.

They are also taught self-esteem and respect for others. Attending self-defense classes help kids gain confidence and develop healthy connections with others both inside and outside of the class.

Regular martial arts practice not only teaches self-defense skills but also, more importantly, restores or improves the practitioner’s self-image and, for kids, also their overall behavior.

In a recent article of mine, I wrote on how karate can help your child’s behavior. In learning how to behave in a dojo, children are taught respect and honor, which will transcend into the home.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Is Taekwondo good for kids with anxiety?

Taekwondo is excellent for kids with anxiety due to its spiritual nature and the complexity of the techniques, which, over time, will boost a child’s confidence and self-esteem as they improve their technique and move up in belt colors.

Mastering Taekwondo at advanced levels over several years provides many advantages for children’s character development, well-being and behavioral development.

Second, contrary to popular belief, most studies show that learning Taekwondo does not result in aggressive conduct.

This recent study outlined the effects of regular Taekwondo practice on the moods of children in South Korea. It was found to be positive, with an emphasis on children from multicultural families.

In general, learning Taekwondo can reduce anxiety, boost self-esteem, and improve social skills. Taekwondo at advanced levels can even improve independence, mental math, self-regulation, prosocial behaviors, and better classroom behavior.

But is it the best martial art for teenage girls?

In a recent article of mine, I discussed the best martial art for teenage girls. Teen girls have a lot of unique challenges, and not every martial art will be right for them at this age. After all, many will not want to wrestle with teen boys or adult males. So which ones are best?

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Does Karate help relieve stress?

As a general rule, Karate can help lower stress through a combination of breathwork, focus, and an exhaustive workout which allows for a healthy outlet for pent-up stress and anxiety.

(source)

Numerous research has demonstrated the many advantages of Karate. Karate is great for any learner, from teaching self-discipline to enhancing self-esteem.

In fact. recent studies have proven that karate benefits children’s academic performance and behavior.

But did you know that Karate may make you joyful as well? Yes, Karate can boost your mood in a variety of ways, from releasing specific chemicals into the brain to reducing stress and aiding sleep.

Karate can help reduce stress in the short term by allowing you to focus your mind on something other than the tension. Karate can also help you reduce stress over time.

Exercise creates minor stress on your body, and when you deal with stress on a regular basis, your body adjusts and better copes with other sources of stress, helping you feel less stressed and happy.

In a recent article, I discussed and outlined how Karate helps with anxiety.

Anxiety is created when someone focuses either on past events or worries about what might happen in the future. Luckily, martial arts like Karate help us focus on being in the present moment. The natural result of practicing Karate is that we do feel less anxious.

Just click that link to read it and learn more on my site.

How do martial arts make kids worry less?

Martial arts help children eliminate tension and anxiety by training their minds to focus on what is happening in the present moment. Many Eastern martial arts are a form of moving meditation utilizing both breathwork as well as physical movements.

Ultimately worry is when we think either about the past or the future.

But through breathwork, meditation, yoga, or martial arts, we can train ourselves to focus primarily on what’s happening in the present; ultimately the only thing we actually have some level of control of.

One of the distinctive lessons provided by martial arts is that of mind-clearing.

To perform at our best and absorb the methods and ideas taught by martial arts, our minds must be free of the numerous things that clog them.

Meditation is essential in the path of a martial artist since martial arts is as much a mental activity as it is a physical one.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction is particularly successful in assisting youngsters, as well as any practitioner, in coping with stress and anxiety levels.

Furthermore, by pursuing something they enjoy, youngsters can escape the stresses of their personal and academic lives for an hour or more each day.

In fact, in a recent study, it was discovered that martial arts had a positive effect on mental health.

This successfully recharges their energy, allowing them to better deal with their challenges once they leave the gym.

What martial art is best for mental health?

Karate is the overall best martial art for mental health due to its combination of Eastern philosophy, focus, discipline, and physical techniques. But Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Taekwondo, Aikido, and Tai Chi also have many benefits.

Because most disciplines demand you gain self-control, self-trust, and meditation, martial arts can be an excellent form of exercise for people who deal with anxiety.

Learning these disciplines can help you overcome anxiety spells and induce an easing response in high-stress conditions at school, work, or in other areas of your life that are not related to the martial arts classroom.

Let’s explore the benefits of some of those arts I mentioned:

Karate

Karate class, in particular, is believed to benefit those with anxiety since it allows you to let out your emotions and stress while executing a technique by kicking, hitting, and yelling.

Karate requires large spurts of explosive energy, providing a healthy outlet for both children and adults to work off their nervousness.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Furthermore, BJJ is a popular martial arts discipline for dealing with anxiety. Jiu-jitsu teaches people how to focus on the current moment and regulate their thoughts.

Jiu-jitsu also teaches you how to cope under pressure and in stressful situations, which many people who suffer from anxiety struggle with. But it also teaches us the power of persistence, valuable life skills, hand-eye coordination, and character development.

Taekwondo

One significance of Taekwondo is that, along with Judo, they are the only two martial arts that have been included in the Olympic Games.

Taekwondo will not only provide you with combat skills but will also sharpen your physical and cerebral ability.

It aids in the resolution of emotional issues as well as the enhancement of cognitive functioning by the generation of new brain cells.

Taekwondo fighters have more active minds, are able to think clearly, and even have sharper memorization skills.

How does martial arts training to be “in the moment” help kids with worrying?

Anxiety is a common problem among kids, and it can manifest in various ways, such as social anxiety, separation anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder. The root of anxiety is often a concern about the past or a perceived future, leading to feelings of stress, worry, and fear.

A good martial arts program provides a way for kids to be “in the moment” and focus on the present, which can be a powerful tool for alleviating anxiety.

Many martial arts styles emphasize mindfulness and meditation as key components of their practice. By focusing on their breath, body movements, and the present moment, kids can learn to quiet their mind and let go of their worries.

In addition to mindfulness, martial arts training also promotes physical activity, which is a known stress reliever.

When kids engage in physical exercise, their bodies release endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce stress levels. Moreover, martial arts training involves repetitive movements and techniques, which can help kids develop a sense of control and mastery over their bodies and their environment.

This can lead to increased confidence and self-esteem, which can also help alleviate anxiety.

Another way martial arts training helps kids be “in the moment” is through the practice of self-defense techniques. Many martial arts styles teach kids how to defend themselves in a variety of situations, which can help them feel more empowered and less vulnerable.

This sense of empowerment can translate to other areas of their life, leading to increased confidence and reduced anxiety.

Does martial arts boost kids’ self-esteem?

Martial arts training can provide numerous benefits for kids, including physical fitness, discipline, and self-defense skills. However, one of the most significant benefits may be its impact on self-esteem.

Several studies have shown that martial arts training can boost kids’ self-esteem.

One study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that children who participated in martial arts had higher self-esteem than those who did not. The study also found that martial arts training was particularly effective at boosting self-esteem in children who had low self-esteem to begin with. [1]

There are several reasons why martial arts training may boost self-esteem in kids.

For one, martial arts classes often involve structured, goal-oriented training that allows kids to see their progress and accomplishments over time. As kids learn new techniques and get new belts making their way to black belt, they can develop a sense of pride and achievement in their abilities.

Moreover, martial arts training can also help kids develop confidence and the importance of emotional control.

As they learn martial arts skills, self defense skills, and practice with others, they can develop a sense of control of their movements and their environment. This sense of control can translate into increased confidence and self-esteem in other areas of their life as well.

Finally, junior martial arts classes can provide a supportive and encouraging environment for kids.

Instructors and fellow students can provide positive feedback, support, and camaraderie, which can help kids feel valued and appreciated. This supportive environment can be especially helpful for kids who may struggle with self-esteem issues or social anxiety.

And it will foster their natural inquisitiveness in a collaborative enviornment.

How Martial Arts Improved My Mental Health| #WorldMentalHealthDay

Conclusion

As parents, we want our children to be happy, healthy, and confident. However, many children struggle with anxiety and worry, which can affect their well-being and ability to thrive. Martial arts training can be a valuable tool for helping children manage their worry and develop important life skills.

Martial arts training offers a unique combination of physical activity, mindfulness, and self-defense skills that can benefit children in many ways.

Through martial arts classes, children can develop core values such as discipline, respect, and perseverance, which can help them navigate hard times in their lives. Moreover, they can learn basic skills such as focus, balance, and coordination, which can enhance their physical abilities and overall well-being.

In addition to the physical benefits, martial arts classes can also provide an ideal setting for children to develop social skills and build relationships with peers and instructors. Many martial arts schools offer an after-school program that fosters a supportive and encouraging environment where good students are recognized and celebrated.

While martial arts training may not completely eliminate worry in young kids, it can provide them with tools and skills to manage it more effectively. By promoting mindfulness, physical activity, self-mastery, and self-defense skills, martial arts can help children develop confidence, resilience, and a sense of control over their emotions and environment.

Overall, the benefits of martial arts training for children are numerous, and martial arts make kids worry less, especially for children who are struggling with worry and anxiety.


Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell was Academy Director for a large martial arts school for over 7 years, and has trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, different styles of Karate, the Russian Martial Art of Systema, Aikido, and much more.

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