What Are The Mental Health Benefits of Boxing?

There’s no question that boxing is a fun and effective way to get a full body workout. Not only do you build muscle strength, you also increase your stamina and endurance as well as improve your cardiovascular health. But getting physically fit is not the only benefit to getting into this sport. When you box, you also get to reap several mental health benefits.

Relieves stress and helps overcome anger

Life can be full of stress. We all experience pressure whether it’s from family, friends, or work. Tension and anxiety are our typical companions everyday, no matter how positive your outlook may be. It’s not unlikely for all those negative feelings to turn into anger.

Boxing can give you an outlet, a way to safely release all your tension and anger, and get rid of all of your stress. You can punch out your feelings on a bag or against an opponent willing to spar with you. Strenuous activity can help ease muscle tension while the act of hitting something can enable you to get rid of any pent up rage in a safe environment. It’s actually quite cathartic. Maybe even more so if you tape an image of your stressors on your punching bag.

Boosts mood

Obviously, venting out your anger and stress can make you feel better. But you don’t need to be angry or stressed to feel good after a bout of boxing. Simply getting a good workout in the ring or a session of hitting the punching bag can boost your mood. That’s because exercise, whether it’s boxing or something else, causes your body to produce all sorts of chemicals that make you happy. 

These chemicals include endorphins (which you’re probably already familiar with), dopamine, endocannabinoid, and adrenaline. These feel good hormones can give you a post-exercise high. Endorphins, for example, is a neurotransmitter that is similar to painkillers such as morphine. They attach to the pain receptors in your brain which minimize the amount of pain you feel. In addition, it causes you to feel euphoria.   

But these brain chemicals aren’t the only reason why boxing can make you feel happy. Science and psychology have found that when we move around – engage our muscles – something changes in our brain chemistry. And this makes us more open to connect with others. It also enhances the positive feelings we get from social interactions such as when we hug another person or give them a high five. Now, one of the best things about boxing is that it almost always requires you to engage with others. It is, after all, considered a social sport. Whether it’s sparring with a friend or just someone holding a heavy bag while you hit it, you’re always working out with another person. So, when you box, you not only get support and motivation from another individual, you also feel less lonely and depressed. 

Improves mental focus and fortitude

There’s more to boxing than just throwing punches at a bag or an opponent. You need to be completely aware of what’s happening inside the ring – every move that your opponent is making. In addition, you need to  be able to tune out anything happening outside the ring. All your focus needs to be on your combinations. You can’t let yourself be distracted. Because this is one sport that requires strategy, not just strength. You need to be able to read your opponent, think of a game plan, and counter his/her moves. 

Of course, once you learn how to be more focused, you can easily use the same skill when dealing with the world outside the ring. You can tune out your daily stressors and give yourself enough time to plan and strategize on how to properly deal with your problems.

Aside from helping you learn how to focus, boxing can also help you become mentally tough. This activity is all about always pushing yourself – to go beyond what your body is capable of. It teaches you that your mind is stronger than your body. You should not be limited to your current physical capabilities. Aside from building your cardiovascular strength and muscle, you also need to memorize combinations and footwork. Moreover, boxing is a high-pressure sport. You are, after all, sparring with someone. You need to rely on what you’ve learned and pair it with cunning as well as quick reflexes. All the while, you will need to remain calm and focused on the task at hand. 

Build self-confidence

Boxing can help you help you lose weight and build up muscle. It can help you get in better shape. And when you’re physically fit, you feel good about yourself. You know you look better than you ever have, making you feel confident. 

That’s not all. Whenever you win bouts against other boxers, you also feel more confident in yourself. Not only do you look good, you’ve also learned a new skill. Plus, you’re now capable of defending yourself. All of these things can help boost your self-esteem.

Author:

I am a fitness addict who is always ready to help others learn through my experiences and encourage them to get on the right path and never give up! I share my thoughts and knowledge on NazoBoxing and other sports blogs. Remember that putting in the time and energy will always lead to results. 

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