The World Health Organization has published a study in 2017 that affirms something a little bit scary: it is estimated that 264 million adults around the globe have anxiety, and nowadays this number is probably higher. The disorder that is getting more and more common is a body’s response to worry and fear that has the power to affect people’s quality of life. So, how can you relieve it?
Being honest, there is no way to cure it for good, the science says. There are, however, several other options to help to handle the disorder. In many cases, people use medication to treat anxiety, but there is something healthier that can help you heaps: physical exercises! Or even better, BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU.
Anxiety x Exercise
A Princeton University study figured out that the exercise goodness for mental health isn’t temporary, and it actually helps the mind to reconnect. We explain to you how: the act of exercising triggers the creation of highly excitable neurons in the hippocampus, the brain’s region associated with memory, learning and emotional responses.
These new neurons are able to produce and release more of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps to sedate agitated neurons, controlling stress peaks, for example. It sounds like something that doesn’t last too long, but actually the search says that this effect is kind of permanent, because it turns into a physiological mechanism. There’s no medication with this power.
Anxiety + Jiu-Jitsu classes
During 60 minutes of a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class your body improves cardiovascular function up to 50%, which makes oxygenated blood circulate more quickly through the brain, forming new and healthy neural sources and burning out the stress hormone cortisol.
A very common symptom of anxiety is having racing thoughts, especially about the future. In a Jiu-Jitsu training, you are told to empty out your thoughts completely to have better control so you don’t have anything else to care about but the present. At the same time, your focus is zeroed in completely on your opponent so you can’t think about other things. The redirection is very much needed for those who can’t seem to keep gaining control of their thoughts. Having this sort of stability is very beneficial for those who suffer from anxiety and in many cases can be the first step to healing.
Those who have the disorder live in a constant state of pressure when trying to balance their personal lives and anxiety. It’s stressful, and for many, it can be debilitating, especially with no understanding of how to control or escape it. Jiu-Jitsu provides the tools you need to survive and strive when put under pressure. When they are placed against an opponent or possible threat, they are taught what it takes in order to escape successfully. Anxious people can apply these same lessons to their own symptoms to learn how to better cope. Life becomes easier when you no longer feel the same stress level or learn how to better control it.
Once you join Gracie Humaita Sydney family you will find out real benefits and some amazing classmates who will support you. Combining it with the willingness of learning more and more about the sport, you will find motivation to get out of bed and come to class. The more you are there, the better results will be over time. We better warn: you will probably be addicted to it!
Anxiety before an important competition
Just as you prepare your body for a competition, you must take care of your mind. Try to adopt some habits that remind you that the big day is far or close, so you have time enough to get used to the idea of having a importante competition coming.
When the big gets closer, just trust in your whole traininment and process to be there. Take a time off technology and focus on why you chose to start in this sport, in the first place. Put your pleasure of being on a mat before everything and remember: Jiu-Jitsu is so much more than just winning.
You all can count on us to handle anxiety and any other mental health disorder. We are here for you and we are together on it.
See you on the mats,
Gracie Humaita Sydney.
by Fernanda Monteiro