Image Credits: Evolve MMA
Anyone who’s spent any time training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has noticed the tremendous benefits it carries… And not just in regards to physical health; but, moreover, in regards to mental health as well.
Jiu-Jitsu makes you feel better, more energized, and (at the very least) less anxious and sad about a day that’s gone wrong. But, why is this the case? How is it possible that BJJ is so great for mental health?
Instructor & “Rising Tide Academy” owner Mike Stewart shares his opinion.
BJJ & MENTAL HEALTH: OVERCOMING OF PROBLEMS
Instructor Stewart believes that how you train shows who you really are in everyday life:
I really believe that fighting shows what you’re really made of. If you’re a coward, it’s going to show on the mats. If you’re a warrior, it’s going to show on the mats. And if you’re a hard worker, it’s going to show on the mats.
He thinks that the human brain was designed to solve problems… And, in the absence of “real” problems, the brain starts creating them – which is why Jiu-Jitsu can be of such tremendous mental health help:
I believe that the human brain was designed to solve complex problems.
We now live in a society where everything is taken care of; from transportation to food, to water, to shelter, to self-protection… It’s all kind of taken care of. So, when the brain doesn’t have problems to actively solve, well, it starts manufacturing them. It starts creating them.
Hence the anxiety, the depression, the loneliness, the isolation. The being stuck in the virtual world… Well, in here [on the mats] you have to face the real world. You’ve got to face the fact that life can be hard.
And what this does for you is that gives you a work ethic where it feels like nothing can beat you, that nothing can stop you. And some days it’s harder than others, some days you do get crushed. Some days it’s not fun.
But, that constant pushing a little bit further each day, it really does something for you.