Have you ever walked home alone late at night, and couldn’t help but look behind you constantly? Have you ever jumped at shadows, thinking they were something much more sinister?
What if they were? What would you do?
If you’re drawing a blank, don’t worry. Self-defense methods aren’t second nature — they have to be learned. And the truth is, defending yourself is crucial in today’s world.
Enter: Muay Thai. You may not have heard of this combat-style sport yet, but it’s catching on quickly as an intense, full-body workout that teaches self-defense techniques. It’s also an amazing outlet for stress.
Even celebrities like Ryan Gosling have been seen practicing the national sport of Thailand! Read on to learn how Muay Thai can benefit your life and make you a happier person.
Hit Something: The Best Outlet for Stress
Everybody gets stressed out. Regardless of yoga practices, drinking plenty of water, keeping a stress ball on the desk at work, getting regular exercise- it seems stress still has a way of seeping into our minds and driving us crazy.
It’s not only miserable to deal with, but bad for our health. Essentially, humans have become too smart to simply let things go. And that’s a problem, because it fights our innate nature as animals to seek harmonious equilibrium.
It’s absolutely essential to have an outlet for stress to keep you healthy. And if we can’t let it go, maybe we need to let it out.
You know it’s happened to you: You snapped at your significant other, afterwards apologizing and blaming it on stress. Maybe you started grinding your teeth at night, unconsciously. Maybe you’ve even gone so far as to punch a wall.
I bet that felt good.
Sometimes the best way to achieve that equilibrium is by just hitting something. And why damage your hand on the wall when you can take a Muay Thai class??
The combat-style nature of the sport involves kicking and punching in an intense, full-body workout. And instead of striking your opponent at random, your instructor will teach you how to kick and punch, so if you meet that shadow on the street again, you’ll be prepared.
Getting in the Zone
Letting it out can certainly be an effective stress-relief tactic. So can meditation. If only you could combine the two…
It seems contradictory to think of those two terms together: combative/meditation. Often, when we think of meditation, we picture someone sitting on a plushy pillow, legs crossed and hands on the knees, quietly humming “omm” with a slight smile on their lips.
But meditation can take different forms for everyone. For some, it’s exactly the picture described above.
For others, it’s writing in a journal. It’s going fishing. It’s Muay Thai.
Muay Thai requires intense concentration to learn and excel. So when you’re doing Muay Thai, you can’t really be planning your mother’s surprise birthday dinner in your head, or making a mental to-do list for the week, or thinking about what to cook for dinner.
You’re focused, and completely in the zone. It’s necessary because part of Muay Thai is predicting your partner’s next move, and thinking about how you’re going to defend yourself from that move.
That requires a mental clarity that can only come with intense and focused concentration. And this mental clarity is exactly what’s sought to be achieved through meditation.
Case in point: Meditation isn’t always a still practice. It can move around with you, a mental state achieved through a mean. And the intense motion of Muay Thai makes it an excellent outlet for stress.
It’ll Make You Happier: It’s Science!
Muay Thai is an intense workout. You’ll burn around 690 calories in a typical hour-long Muay Thai workout. You’re gonna get sweaty.
When you sweat, your body produces endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are produced in the hypothalamus and released in the body. In short, endorphins make you happy.
Have you ever heard of the “runner’s high?” That’s referring to these endorphins, which relieve stress hormones and send waves of happy signals throughout your body. They are natural pain killers, stimulating the part of the brain that responds to discomfort.
The “runner’s high” isn’t so aptly named- it could easily be replaced with the “Muay Thai High!”
Stress: No Place in Your World
There are so many proposed solutions for stress out there nowadays.
Some are minor like taking a bath, diffusing essential oils, or going for a long walk.
Some are more major, like seeing a therapist to discuss stress and anxiety.
They all have their place in the world of stress relief. It’s important to find the right stress relievers for you. Sometimes, it can be as simple as an awesome workout.
Why Muay Thai Works
A combat-style Thai sport might not be the first thing you think of doing after a hard day at the office, but Muay Thai has proven to be an amazing outlet for stress.
It will help get you into shape, facilitate a meditative state of mind for stress relief, and make you an all around happier person by increasing stress-reducing endorphin levels in your body.
Your Next Step: Schedule a Class!
If Muay Thai sounds like it’s for you, check out our beginner’s Muy Thai class. We’ll also teach you a simple and effective approach to eating nutritiously to help you on your journey to a happy and healthy body and mind! We work with all skill levels, and that includes kids!
Feel free to stop in and check us out in Seal Beach or Costa Mesa, CA, and Dothan, AL. Call or text for our most updated Muay Thai class schedule so we can get you on track to living a healthier, stress-free, peaceful life.