Stress. It’s a feeling that everyone experiences at one time or another. These nerves can be caused by a number of factors, such as responsibilities at work and school, or familial or financial decisions. Understandably, another source of stress for many people is the inherent risks of the increasingly dangerous world around us.
In honor of November 2nd being National Stress Awareness Day, we’re breaking down the mental and physical benefits of self-defense training – and how learning to live defensively could actually help you live a healthier life overall.
The Mental Component of Self-Defense Training
There are a number of mental factors that play into making self-defense skills beneficial to learn. The first and most basic is your survival instinct. Self-defense fits perfectly into the second level of what’s called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Essentially, what this theory says is that in order to live a happier, healthier life, you must first satisfy your most basic needs. At the bottom levels of the pyramid are your most critical needs: food, water, rest, and safety. By dedicating time to learning self-defense now, you can devote more time and mental energy to pursuing more enjoyable levels of the needs hierarchy later, such as relationships and passions.
Self-defense training can also build confidence and help ease fears, both of which contribute to reducing overall stress levels. Fear of the unknown can be a powerful motivator, so powerful that it could interfere with your day-to-day life if you are worried about coming across an emergency self-defense situation that you are unable to diffuse.
Self-defense courses bring you face to face with the fact that yes, risks do exist, but the better equipped you are to handle these risks, the better off you will be.
For example, one lesson we teach as a part of our defensive living curriculum is situational awareness. Learning how to be more situationally aware allows you to get a read on your surroundings, alerting you to any potential anomalies and giving you more adequate time to react properly. When you know you can detect dangerous situations and respond appropriately, you’ll likely gain some peace of mind and an expanded sense of freedom that empowers you to tackle new challenges.
Physically Reducing Stress Through Training
Stress can also contribute to long-term negative physical effects, such as heart disease and hypertension. To combat these effects, it makes sense that you would want to be physically active.
Think about it: after a long day at work, wouldn’t you love to let your stress out in a healthy way? Self-defense allows you to physicalize your frustrations during training, which will in turn positively affect your stress levels.
In 2021, a study by the National Institute of Health actually proved the physical and psychological benefits of self-defense training. This study involved teaching middle-aged women Taekwondo for 12 weeks and measuring their stress and hormone levels throughout.
By the end of the training, the results of this study did in fact show that the women who engaged in self-defense training had a significant difference in stress hormones from the control group. This suggests that self-defense training is an effective method of exercise that translates into positive results for those seeking to reduce stress.
If you’re hoping to reduce stress in your life with self-defense training, we have a multitude of options for you. For virtual defensive living training you can complete in the comfort of your own home, check out Concealed Coalition University. To get hands-on classroom and range experience, find a Concealed Coalition class near you today!