A common question you might ask before practicing martial arts is whether this helps with anger management issues. On the surface, MMA may not seem like an effective method to manage anger, but in reality, MMA teaches you how to regulate your emotions in a disciplined manner.
MMA helps with anger by instilling discipline, teaching self-control, and channeling emotions into physical activity. Practicing martial arts requires you to stay focused: to train your mind and body to be more efficient without the interference of emotions like anger or fear.
If you want a healthier mind and body, then MMA is a great option. Read on to learn all about the different physiological and mental benefits MMA can provide to help with anger.
Does MMA Help with Anger?
When practicing MMA, control and self-discipline will be emphasized in all of your movements and stances. Not only this, but MMA allows you to channel your emotions into physical activities, which reduces the intensity of what you are feeling. Emotions like anger fade away when you physically exert yourself and become more focused.
You will notice improvements in your mental and physical health as you overcome the challenges of MMA. The only prerequisites for starting MMA are that you stay committed and learn from your mistakes. If you can stay committed, you will establish a clear path towards greatly diminishing your anger and other negative emotions.
There are a few benefits that MMA provides that help with anger:
- Teaches discipline and self-Control
- Active stress relief
- Staying focused
All of these benefits collectively help with managing anger either directly or indirectly through health benefits by reducing stress and anxiety. Before that, let us discuss how these benefits play their role in helping with anger.
How Does MMA Help with Anger?
If you regularly experience difficulties controlling your anger, then MMA can put you on a better trajectory towards healthier regulation of your anger and similar negative emotions. MMA forces your mind and body to set aside anger and other distractions.
- Discipline and self-control: MMA’s emphasis on discipline and self-control, active stress relief, and staying focused is what makes MMA an effective way to deal with anger. Discipline and self-control not only help you regulate your impulses but also help you stay calm during adverse situations.
- Focus: Focus is the key to maintaining your composure in MMA and also better equips you to handle stressful situations which may contribute to anger.
All of these benefits from MMA play an integral role in helping with anger by equipping you with useful life skills that are transferable to other areas of your life.
Discipline and Self-Control
In MMA, discipline becomes a tangible part of your life as you begin to practice martial arts. You will need to learn how to pay close attention to how you position your body to properly learn stances and various movements. All the while, you need to stay focused for prolonged periods.
As you begin to grasp the strength and power at your disposal, you quickly start to understand the importance of self-discipline in every action you do. Like with any martial art form, the core principle of MMA is to use the knowledge of your own body and strength to carefully engage in controlled violence against others.
Generally speaking, your MMA skills will only be put to use either in the act of self-defense or in a monitored competitive setting. In both cases, you always need to keep your anger and other emotions under control, so you execute your movements properly and stay focused on the opponent in front of you.
If your attention strays away from the fight for even a second, you could forfeit the fight. This is why staying focused and casting aside your own emotions is important for maintaining your safety. As you hone your skills, you will also continually need to emphasize self-control to manage anger and anger-induced responses.
Martial arts movements require exceptional coordination, controlled breathing, and extreme focus. This means channeling all of your energy and attention into the movements you are performing. Consistent efforts devoted to improving your focus will better equip you to handle stressful situations as you try to find solutions.
Here are some tips to improve your focus during MMA and help with anger issues:
- Try meditation
- Get good quality sleep
Instead of letting anger prevent you from resolving a problem, you can condition your body and mind to calmly and effectively focus on finding a solution. Anger is a call to action in the face of stressful situations, but there is a difference between letting anger control you and vice versa.
Taking a deep breath and opening your mind to potential solutions is key, especially if you routinely direct your anger to maladaptive behaviors. Anger gets in the way of you being able to make rational decisions. Keeping your anger in check with your breath and focus allows you to think through any problems you encounter fully.
Meditation is proven to provide a multitude of health benefits, including lower stress and improved sleep quality. This is something you can do anywhere, although a quieter environment is usually best, especially for beginners. Meditation teaches you how to focus on your breathing to produce a state of peace and calm.
Another significant aspect of meditation is that it controls anxiety. Fear and anxiety sometimes serve as primary emotions underneath the anger. If you regularly suffer from anxiety-fueled anger, then meditation can serve a dual purpose for controlling both.
Regular meditation trains your mind on how to focus not only on the inhalation and exhalation of the breath but to heighten your focus during other activities as well, like MMA. This is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your focus.
Get Good Quality Sleep
Good quality sleep is not only necessary for cognitive function during the day, but also to avoid mood swings, irritability, or exacerbating existing anger problems. Sleep and wake up at the same time each day to ensure your circadian rhythms are functioning properly.
This can be as simple as setting the alarm in the mornings and setting a reminder to sleep at a specific time until your body adjusts. Better sleep quality translates into increased focus and improves your ability to manage anger.
Does MMA Help with Stress?
Like with any sport or martial art, MMA requires excessive physical exertion that consequently produces an influx in stress-reducing neurotransmitters and hormones. The primary vehicles for relieving stress and pain in the body are endorphins.
On top of this, MMA also instills patterns of behavior that help to regulate your anger. This goes back to MMA’s emphasis on self-control and discipline.
How Does MMA Help with Stress?
Although self-control and discipline greatly improve how you regulate yourself when angry, MMA also provides a healthy outlet for relieving stress. Since anger is a secondary emotion, oftentimes, other emotions are underlying the anger you feel.
- Emotional pain
Like with other martial arts or sports, MMA puts a lot of demands on your body. This results in endorphins and energy-releasing hormones like adrenaline coursing through your body so you can perform at your best. These endorphins help to lower stress, which is oftentimes a precursor to anger.
Stress relief is a natural consequence of any physical activity. Activation of the cardiovascular system and the release of endorphins accompany intense physical activities to relieve stress. This also results in the dissolving of anger and other negative emotions.
Negative emotions you are experiencing naturally dissipate when engaged in a physically intensive activity like MMA. Feelings like anger disappear so that your body can devote all of its resources to completing the task in front of you. This is not only adaptive but also an effective way to mitigate stress and quell anger.
To summarize, MMA is a great option for dealing with anger in a physically active and disciplined setting. You will learn how to control your mind and body with fluidity while dissolving your anger. MMA teaches you skills you can use in other areas of your life that can help you stay calm in stressful situations and control anger.
If you are interested in martial arts or struggle with anger problems, then consider starting MMA and see what you can accomplish. You will be surprised by how well your body learns and adapts.