Stress Relief: Using Mixed Martial Arts to Tackle Stress

Mixed Martial Arts to Tackle Stress

Many adults feel as though they are unable to cope due to stress. This constant pressure people are under seems to be increasing – and stress has been proven to cause a multitude of issues, leaving people physically and mentally vulnerable to illness. 

Looking after mental health has never been more important, and it may come as a surprise to you just how much stress management behaviors are incorporated into the world of mixed martial arts. With this in mind, it’s time to take a look at how mixed martial arts help manage and alleviate stress.

Breathing Techniques

One of the most common forms of immediate stress management is breathing exercises. Many exercises control stress variables, including maintaining control of blood pressure which is a huge help when relaxing your muscles and tight areas of the abdomen. 

These techniques are widely used in combat sports because you must learn to inhale and exhale at the correct times when striking an opponent. When undertaking martial arts, you will practice this from day one to help you gain clarity and focus. What’s more, these habits will begin to form outside of the gym, allowing you to handle pressure in many situations and further prioritize your multitasking abilities.


The organic pain killer, endorphins, are produced by the human body when experiencing pain or stress to help relieve negative symptoms. Endorphins, for that reason, are known as natural pain killers. 

Endorphin production increases when challenging the body and is the perfect side effect of strenuous exercise. You can experience this euphoric state regularly by stepping into the ring and sparring with an opponent, helping you to develop a more relaxed and mindful attitude to life as you experience the ultimate runner’s high.

Physical Health

Training yourself physically is an obvious way to tackle stress. Mixed martial arts require full body workouts, meaning you must exercise all of your key muscle groups, leading to more calories being burnt naturally. What also aids this is the natural muscle mass gained, which promotes the body to burn even more calories since muscle requires more calories to maintain than fat. 

As such, engaging in combat sports can turn your body into a fat-burning machine, helping you control your weight and boost your self-esteem. Self-care is very important when it comes to mental health, and giving yourself a new look physically can help you appreciate the hard work and effort you put in. 

Break Stuff

Anger is another emotion closely related to living a stressful life, and this can be the result of anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. However, sports such as mixed martial arts are the perfect outlets to experience destructive therapy’s stress-busting wonders. 

Whilst in this environment, you might physically strike a bag or an opponent, allowing you to dispel any pent-up anger that may have developed throughout your busy schedule. This is a unique attribute associated with combat sports and can be experienced in places such as

Excess Energy

Though stress and business can lead to fatigue and lack of energy, having excess energy is a side effect of leading a stressful life. The likely symptoms of this are feeling like you can take on more even when your schedule is full, lacking sleep due to increased brain activity (feeling as though your brain is moving at a million miles an hour), and generally being unable to sit still. These are typical effects of stress that have begun manifesting into anxious tendencies. 

Unlike traditional exercise, MMA is a skill you will be investing yourself into, and this will cause you to focus on your physical health and also hone mental skills such as focus, stress handling, and energy management. This multitude of cognitive development easily burns off excess energy in your mind to help scratch that anxious itch that may be keeping you up at night.