Learning Judo requires balance. Yin and yang, push and pull, the channeling of energy within yourself and against your opponent. To succeed in Judo, you must also be balanced, both mentally and physically. Learning a martial art can foster that balance, having a profoundly positive effect on your physical and mental well-being. The physical benefits of training in Judo speaks for itself, so in this article we’re going to focus specifically on how Judo can benefit you mentally.
The Benefits of Judo as a Physical Exercise
The mental benefits of physical exercise are well documented by science. Practicing judo releases endorphins and dopamine, both of which are your body’s natural mood boosters. An influx of dopamine and endorphins helps combat stress, anxiety, and depression.
The harder you train the more tired you are at the end of the day, so regular Judo training can also promote better sleep which has far-reaching mental benefits. Regular physical exercise, like Judo, can also reduce the risk of you contracting serious illnesses. The NHS points out that regular exercise reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and colon cancer by 50% and lists other such long-term health benefits associated with regular exercise. Chronic and even short-term illnesses are huge contributors to anxiety and depression, so practicing Judo regularly can help you stay healthier and happier in the long run.
There’s never been a better time to join a Judo Martial Arts dojo near you!
How Judo Helps with Emotional Regulation
Judo is well known for its values. Judo emphasizes the importance of performing techniques with maximum efficiency and minimum effort. To achieve equilibrium you need to stay calm and act from a place of rationale, not a place of anger. This can be difficult as you may experience frustration or anger when training and making mistakes.
When you learn to control your emotions to perfect your techniques you will notice the ability to regulate your emotions better in your day-to-day life as well. Judo will show you how to keep your mind and body in balance, using both together to perfect your art. The more you practice this emotional regulation the more it will help you outside of training. Regulating your emotions will help you to make more rational decisions, make you less reactive, less quick to anger, and calmer overall.
Judo Improves Self Esteem
Low self-esteem affects a huge number of people. Lack of confidence can really hold you back, but if you practice Judo you can give your self-esteem a huge boost.
Exactly how Judo improves your self-esteem will depend on where your self-esteem is lacking in the first place. If you have a lack of confidence in social situations Judo will help by giving you a like-minded community in which to contribute. If you lack confidence in confrontational situations, like walking home from work in the dark, Judo will give you the ability to defend yourself and the confidence you need to feel empowered. If your lack of self-esteem comes from not being able to see a project through, Judo will teach you how to work towards long-term goals and ultimately succeed.
How Judo Can Empower You
In the same way that Judo can give you a huge self-esteem boost, it can also empower you to go further and do more than you thought you were capable of. When you first start learning Judo you may feel like you’re a long way from achieving anything significant, but with training and support you’ll find yourself moving up the ranks and this is a great feeling of achievement.
Once you start achieving great things in Judo, you’ll feel empowered to take on other goals you previously thought were unattainable. Judo will teach you that with effort, practice, and patience great things can be achieved.
Using Judo for Personal Development
To succeed in Judo you have to practice and continually train. While you’re doing this, you will fail from time to time and you will make mistakes. For most people failure feels like an obstacle, a point at which to give up. Judo teaches you to move past failure and shows you how to treat mistakes as opportunities for honing your technique. This mental shift doesn’t only apply to your Judo training. You will notice that when you approach something new, different or challenging in other areas of your life you’re less apt to give up or to treat your failures as endings if you’ve also been practicing Judo.
As you continue in your Judo training you will be given the opportunity to work towards different ranks. This also teaches you how to be patient and to achieve larger goals, by working towards smaller ones along the way.
For these reasons Judo is a great way to further your personal development and learn about goal setting, working towards something long-term, and managing failure as a force for good. Find out more about Judo here.
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