Positive Thinking and Martial Arts

Positive Thinking and Martial Arts

by Jeremy Lesniak

Stay positive. 

Currently, many people are suffering from a lack of motivation and facing anxiety in light of the ongoing pandemic. Some experts say that we are yet to see the full economic devastation caused by social distancing and sheltering at home. Many industries came to a screeching halt, and some people are fearing the worst-case scenario, even worse than the 1918 Spanish flu.

A great majority can only watch at the sidelines as front liners from the health and services industries try to navigate these troublesome circumstances. Because of all these changes that we did not expect to occur, we have to stay strong mentally as well as physically.

We need positive psychology now more than ever.

How Does Martial Arts Promote Positive Psychology?

Positive thinking is not wishful thinking. However, it is about focusing on what you can do, instead of what you can’t.

Psychologically, if we think about things that we can’t do, it can be very limiting. What happens is that our brains are wired to focus on the fear and the risk, rather than the possibilities.

Studies show that thinking is either positive or negative - there is no in-between. So, it’s actually a matter of choice and willpower on which end of the spectrum you would like to set up camp.

Martial arts boosts positive thinking

Martial Arts helps boost positive thinking because it trains your mental faculties to acquire learnings and skills. Martial Arts is, after all, a learned skill, so you need all your mental prowess in order to master a technique or a form.

As you apply Martial Arts techniques, your way of thinking changes. If you used to be a pessimistic person, that will (hopefully) change. You will need to source energy in order to apply the techniques well, and energy converts negative thoughts to positive. Even the mere act of waking up early in the morning, which for many people is such a chore, can become second nature too because you know you are going to use your time purposefully.

What Specific Positive Traits Can You Harness with Martial Arts?

A lot of positive psychology has to do with the positive traits that you acquire and therefore apply. In Martial Arts, it’s no different. As you train for a tournament, even as a student or beginner, you will find yourself developing these traits: 

  1. Perseverance. Martial Arts increases a person’s level of perseverance. A lot of skills development has to do with applying lessons repeatedly. And this breeds perseverance. Knowing that you need to overcome something, learn something new, or develop something further; that will condition this all-important mindset.
  2. A byproduct of having an optimistic mindset is carrying yourself with confidence. Your feet are lighter. You feel less burdened by smaller things because you know you have what it takes to overcome them. Martial Arts develops your stance, which leads to proper posture. So even by the way you stand and carry yourself, you already look confident.
  3. When you engage in Martial Arts, you develop a deep sense of respect - for others and for yourself. Lack of self-respect bleeds into a lack of respect for others. With Martial Arts, however, this is first and foremost what Is taught in most schools. Everything from rank to protocol is rooted in a culture of respectfulness.
  4. Critical Thinking. Now, this is one of the most important positive traits that you can enhance by committing to Martial Arts. Critical Thinking is an important attribute to have because it allows you to elevate your way of understanding the world. You will never settle for what’s already out there or what’s presented to you. You seek and find ways on how to improve the situation at hand. Martial Arts culls your critical side, and this translates to a stronger and healthier mindset.
Taking up martial arts for an optimistic mindset
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