Boxing is the most popular combat sport in the world and has been for quite some time. Not just as a sport millions of people all over the world watch but also as a hobby and form of fitness that offers a lot of benefits. Although most would be quick to assume the majority of these benefits are to do with physical health and wellness, there is also an abundance of mental health benefits of boxing.
In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at the mental health benefits of boxing and why starting boxing can significantly benefit your mental health.
Anger and stress can prove to be a massive problem for your everyday and long-term health if you don’t find a solution. Many people relieve themselves of stress by exercising, pumping up their endorphins and providing the body with a sense of euphoria that replaces stress. Also, some people’s reaction to stress is physical venting, such as throwing things, slamming doors, smashing things, and even punching walls. This can prove troublesome for you and those around you if you don’t find a solution. Fortunately, boxing can help enormously in this regard.
One of the key mental health benefits of boxing is stress relief. It directly fights against the feelings of stress and allows you to calm down while benefiting from the post-exercise feeling you get from the endorphins — often referred to as ‘runner’s high’. Whether you struggle with stress or simply need a way to blow off some steam, boxing is a fantastic solution that helps many people with these exact issues.
Due to the physical nature of boxing and the fact that it is a combat-based activity, it’s a fantastic way to boost your confidence, be it day-to-day confidence or confidence within a training environment. With each punch, you feel more powerful, more skilful, and develop a sense of confidence that benefits you massively from a mental standpoint. As you improve your skills and learn more advanced techniques, there’s a natural feeling of confidence that comes with it. Think about it, any time in your life when you get better at something, you instantly feel more confident doing it. When you feel confident, you are much more comfortable and are more likely to enjoy what you are doing.
Improves Concentration & Coordination
Boxing is a sport that consists of many different techniques such as combinations, precise punch placement and effective footwork. As you can imagine, this requires a great deal of concentration and coordination if you hope to develop your boxing skills and continue improving. Regular boxing training forces your body and mind to focus and improve your coordination skills, which can apply to many aspects of daily life, not just boxing or sports.
While boxing, you’ll gradually develop the ability to concentrate more effectively, especially in situations where distractions are aplenty. This can prove to be a huge benefit for people who work in jobs or perform tasks requiring lots of concentration, even when there is ample opportunity to become distracted or sidetracked. Improving concentration and your hand-eye coordination offer many different benefits for life in general, and boxing is undoubtedly one of the best sports for achieving such improvements.
Combats Mental Health Issues
Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression are debilitating for millions of people all over the world. While today’s treatments and medication can help, many people opt for exercise as a solution. As we mentioned above, exercise makes your body produce more endorphins and provides you with a sense of happiness and satisfaction — something that people with depression or anxiety seldom feel. Boxing regularly is hugely beneficial for combatting the symptoms of mental health conditions. However, it also installs more routine into your life and quite literally adds more purpose to your daily life.
As we said, boxing requires motivation and dedication, and for people who struggle with their mental health, sports such as boxing can be the catalyst for much-needed change and self-improvement.
Empowerment is arguably one of the most crucial and life-changing mental benefits of boxing. Boxing teaches you to fight, but not just the physical act of combat. It empowers you to fight against any difficulties or obstacles holding you back in life. For some, this can be restrictions such as disabilities being overweight, for which boxing offers an incredible sense of achievement and pride. However, most importantly, it makes you believe in yourself. In boxing, the biggest obstacle is yourself, and it empowers you to push your limits and achieve things you never thought were possible.
In a physical sense, boxing also empowers you by teaching you to defend yourself. This is helpful for people who feel fearful in physical scenarios or vulnerable in any way. For example, many women gain a lot of physical and mental empowerment from boxing, and it offers immense peace of mind when it comes to self-defence.