Is Boxing Good For Mental Health? Yes, Here’s Why


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Evidence supports the concept that learning combat sports can greatly improve one’s mental health. One of the popular combat sports is Boxing because it is easy to find a gym that trains the sport, you can do it at home with minimal equipment, and it is a physical and mental outlet.

Boxing is good for mental health because it requires extreme focus, taking your mind off the outside world and your troubles. The endorphins released through Boxing can relieve anxiety and depression, and the emotional tensions of anger and frustration can be released into a punching bag!

Mental health is an aspect of primary importance in our busy, high-stress modern lifestyle. We need to find ways to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally to combat the effects of stress and anxiety. We’ll look at why Boxing is an ideal sport that can help improve people’s mental health while giving the body a much-needed workout!

Is Boxing Good For Mental Health?

Many people consider Boxing a purely physical activity with few benefits other than getting a good full-body workout. Contrary to popular belief, Boxing can be the stress reliever and the mental health remedy you have been looking for to improve mental and physical health.

Boxing uses every part of the body and is gaining popularity among people from all walks of life, from models looking to burn fat and achieve a slim physique to business executives looking for a stimulating workout!

As more people discover Boxing as a physical workout, they realize the sport’s additional mental health benefits. There is no doubt that Boxing can contribute to improving mental health in many dimensions, including helping to combat anxiety, depression, anger, and even boost self-confidence.

How Boxing Improves Your Mental Health

Boxing is a sport that requires extreme mental focus and concentration as well as working all the muscle groups of the body.

The mental focus required in Boxing is one of the main contributors to the sport being good for mental health.

The level of focus in Boxing requires tuning out the rest of the world and concentrating with laser focus on your opponent, the punch bag in front of you, and your technique.

This level of focus helps to take your mind off other problems that are increasing your stress levels and gives your mind something constructive to focus on. This level of focus can be meditative and allow your mind to reset itself, acting as a calming influence. Many people come out of a Boxing training session feeling physically spent but mentally rejuvenated.

The endorphins released when Boxing can cause a mental “high,” which gives a euphoric sense of wellbeing. This endorphin release is known to be a stress-relieving factor.

The sweet science of Boxing which entails punching, bobbing, and weaving helps release muscle tension, which can build up throughout the body due to stress. Since Boxing is a full-body workout, it is an excellent activity to relieve muscle tension.

What Are the Mental Health Benefits of Boxing?

A high-intensity training such as boxing can help with mental health problems on several levels and for a variety of mental health problems afflicting many of us today.

The following are examples of how Boxing can offer mental benefits.

  • Anxiety. The level of focus required in Boxing helps to tune out thoughts causing anxiety. An anxious mind is usually full of a jumble of thoughts and fears. The concentration aspect of Boxing gives your mind a chance to focus and relax.
  • Depression. The endorphins released during Boxing make you feel good and lift your mental attitude, helping combat depression.
  • Anger. Anger and frustration often need a physical outlet. If anger does not have an outlet, it can build up in your mind and contribute to stress. Punching a punching bag is an ideal method to dispel your anger and frustration, which gives your emotions and your mind the release it needs.
  • Personal motivation. An activity such as Boxing that motivates you to improve can positively affect your overall outlook on life.
  • Confidence building. As your skills in Boxing improve, it will build your self-confidence as you feel more confident in defending yourself and competing against an opponent.
  • A sense of achievement. Everyone feels good when they have achieved a goal or improved themselves in some way. The physical aspect of Boxing will give you a sense of achievement as you improve in technique and as you see your body improve from the physical workout.

Does Boxing Make You Mentally Tougher?

Boxing is a sport that requires determination and builds in you the mental attitude of getting up after being knocked down.

While getting up after being knocked down is a physical act, it takes mental toughness to force yourself to get up and face an opponent that has just knocked you down. This mental training as part of the sport helps to improve your mental toughness and determination.

Is Boxing Therapeutic?

If you consider other therapeutic activities, you will find that they relieve stress and anxiety and give you mental peace, calmness, and a sense of wellbeing.

As we have discovered, Boxing helps relieve stress and fight anxiety, depression, anger, and frustration. These mental health improvements, combined with the sense of wellbeing from the endorphin release, make Boxing an extremely therapeutic sport!

Are Punching Bags A Good Way to Relieve Stress?

Punch bags are an integral part of training in Boxing. The punching bag is used to practice punches of various styles and techniques and stands in the place of a real-life opponent.

The advantage of a punching bag is that they are relatively cheap, so you can purchase one and hang it in an appropriate location in your home and work out whenever you have the need or the opportunity.

A punching bag is the ideal piece of Boxing equipment to give release to your anger and frustration while allowing you to improve your concentration and focus. The physical workout is an added bonus to the mental health benefits!

Can Boxing Give You A Brain Damage?

Boxing is a full-contact combat sport, which implies that your opponent is going to try and hit you to knock you out or injure you so that you will concede the fight.

This is the typical goal in a boxing bout with an opponent, and it comes with the risk of brain damage from being hit in the head.

When sparring in a gym with a sparring partner, protective gear is worn to protect the head from serious impact. Brain damage from sparring in the ring is unlikely and not a cause of concern.

Training Boxing does not always require fighting with an opponent, and you can get the same workout by using the various bags and other equipment typical of a training session. There is no risk of sustaining brain damage when training boxing in this way.

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Is Boxing More Mental Than Physical?

Boxing requires both mental and physical stamina, and Boxing cannot be done without both these attributes.

Boxing is a sport that cultivates mental toughness and discipline and builds fitness and stamina in the body. A boxer who is fit and strong physically but without mental stamina and toughness will always be beaten by an opponent with both mental and physical toughness.

Boxing is not more mental than physical, but rather a balance between the two to make a well-rounded fighter.

Is Boxing Good For Self-Defense?

Boxing is an ancient form of martial art that has been used for combat self-defense and even taught to soldiers as part of unarmed combat.

Boxing is good for self-defense because it teaches you how to defend against a punch as well as how to deliver a well-timed blow. Knowing how to punch strategically and correctly can quickly end a street fight against a person with no martial arts knowledge.

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Is Boxing A Safe Sport?

If you are interested in learning Boxing to help you with fitness and mental health but are concerned about safety, we can set your mind at ease.

You can train in Boxing by wearing safety gear that will protect your head and face from injury. It is also possible to train in Boxing without the need to spar against an opponent. This would be the safest way to learn Boxing if you are concerned about injury.

While this form of training will give you fitness, stamina, and mental health benefits, it will not train you to evade an opponent, block a punch, and counter-punch, which may limit the self-defense aspect of the sport.

The disadvantage of training to box properly is that there will always be some form of injury after a session. Bruises, aches, and pains from being hit will be a part of the price you pay as you toughen your body and mind and improve your skills.

Who Should Take Up Boxing?

Boxing is a high-intensity interval sport that anyone of any age can take up, and it will accomplish a number of different things for different people.

Children can learn Boxing to improve strength and coordination, young people can take up Boxing as a competitive sport, and people of all ages can use Boxing as a means to get fit, lose some weight and improve children’s mental health.

Final Thoughts

Boxing is a combat sport and a good skill to learn for self-defense, but it is much more than a physical activity. 

Boxing offers mental health benefits that can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while building confidence and an overall improvement in your outlook on life. Boxing is the ideal martial art to learn to improve your physical and mental fitness.

More importantly, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before joining a boxing gym. Talk with your healthcare provider first about any questions you may have regarding mental health issues.

Jeff J.

Jeff J is a retired Gunnery Sgt. with the United States Marine Corps and a former Federal Police officer. He was involved with extensive training with weapons systems, and hand to hand combat, mentored and trained hundreds of Marines in high-level fitness programs.

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