Martial arts is popular all over the world. It has many benefits like giving you confidence, making you stronger, both physically and mentally and it will teach you discipline and even make you more responsible. It can change a person. Perhaps there was a time when you were the first to throw a punch in a barroom brawl, but learning martial arts can make you want to diffuse the situation by staying calm now.
One thing that many people don’t realize is that it can also help those with social anxiety. Social phobia is a recognized mental illness that can affect children and adults. Let’s take a look at the ways it can help those suffering from this problem.
1. The Dangers Of Social Phobia
Many people do not really understand social phobia and what kind of effect it has on a person. People may laugh it off by saying things like, “You’re just shy”, or “You’ll get over it as you grow older” and other things like that. Parents of children may also be closed to the idea of seeking help for their kids. If left untreated, social phobia can destroy you as you end up with severe psychological problems later on in life. Martial arts can help, along with proper medical therapy for this problem.
2. Boost In Confidence
People who have social anxiety will shy away from a lot of things. They may be soft-spoken, shy, low in self-esteem and confidence and perhaps not as outgoing as they should be. Learning martial arts can work wonders for a person’s self-esteem and boost their confidence tremendously. It may be hard for them to actually join a class, but there are ways around this. A child, or even an adult may not want to join and ‘be in the spotlight’, so showing support, encouragement or perhaps joining class yourself and doing it together can help. Do whatever it takes to get them there. Once they do join, things will fall into place naturally.
3. Develop Mental Strength
Apart from the physical benefits of martial arts, it is also something that takes discipline seriously. This trains a student to develop their mental strength. This too requires time and practice. You cannot expect to develop mental strength in one class! However, as time goes by and students with social anxiety keep practicing every aspect of martial arts, mental strength and discipline will begin to develop and improve. When this happens, it also increases confidence.
4. Look & Feel Better
Training in martial arts will make you look and feel better. You get to increase your fitness with workouts, you feel healthier and stronger and the exercises release your body’s natural ‘feel good’ hormones such as dopamine. The better you feel, the more you want to put in, in order to improve. As you move through and have several sparring partners, you get better with self-defence. Having social anxiety can make someone become really motivated in other ways, so they may work harder at martial arts for instance, because now, they’ve been at it for a while and feel much better and more confident.
If a child or adult has social phobia, consider martial arts as part of the therapy, but do not rely only on just that. However, significant improvements can be made with the physical and mental training and challenges of martial arts. It can create a new you as you feel less anxious or nervous. Building confidence is key; once you build confidence, it will take a lot to stop you!