By Bryanna Fissori
Many forms of anxiety stem from a feeling of fear and helplessness. One of the greatest benefits of boxing is the confidence it instills. This is derived not only from the physical ability of being able to punch someone should the need arise, but also the ability to react instinctively during a physical confrontation. The strength and fitness gained by spending hours a week with gloves on also instill a level of confidence that serves to minimize anxiety.
Many experts on happiness have stated that people who are able to live in the moment experience the most joy. This is easier said than done. Mediation is one method of attempting to block out all of the negative thoughts regarding failures of the past and fears of the future. The goal of mediation is to focus on nothing but breathing in the here and now. Boxing can trigger this same type of static-blocking mediation. Less static equals less stress.
In a bag-oriented fitness class, the instructor is likely to be giving instructions on which combinations to throw and at what speed. Without complete focus on the task at hand, the combination and pace will certainly end in frustration. This is even more true with partner drills in which complete presence in the moment is necessary to not get punched in the face. This type of meditative focus is a relief to the brain.
Sometimes you don’t even have to have something to be upset about in order to really need some sort of emotional release (for many women this is a monthly occurrence.) The emotional release of punching, moving and sweating can help cleans the body, mind and soul much like a reset button.
Physical exercise is proven to stimulate the release of endorphins, which work with receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain and stimulate a positive feeling in the body. Boxing reduces stress by your emotions from upset or meh, to oh ya!
People who get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day according to a study conducted by Bellarmine University assistant professor Paul Loprinzi. The study sampled more then 2600 adult men and women found a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality.
People who achieve adequate quantity and quality of sleep more like to reach the deep level of snoozing called REM sleep which has recently been equated with allowing the brain to reorganize and positively process memories thus subconsciously decreasing stress. This will have you waking up more bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to take on the world. All because you didn’t skip out on boxing class!
For a person with a normal healthy level of irritation, boxing can serve as a way to take out the day’s aggression. Everyone has at some point, been so angry they wanted to punch something. Boxing class allows you to safely do that. The act of punching a heavy bag can be very therapeutic. Though your best technique may not shine during these rounds, power and aggression will increase beautifully. The point of using boxing as an anger management tool is not to fuel the fire, but to allow the anger to surface and expel, leaving a level of clarity and calmness so that any real issues can be effectively dealt with.