Martial arts helps my social anxiety
I finally plucked up the courage to publicly share my thoughts and experience on taking the plunge and joining a martial arts school despite my social anxiety.
In this video below I waffle on about really wanting to push myself to do something after years of suffering with social anxiety. I did something crazy and booked some kickboxing classes at a local martial arts school. I almost talked myself out of it many many times, but I amazed myself by pushing myself and actually turning up for the first class despite feeling as though I was going to have a heart attack with panic and anxiety.
On my way to the first class I almost turned and went back home (on more than one occasion), but eventually I found myself standing outside the door to the martial arts school. I could here people inside, the noises... the music...my heart felt as though it was about to jump out of my mouth. I was physically shaking and felt sick! I walked through the doors and felt as though my legs would give way beneath me. "What the hell am I doing here?" I asked myself. But boy was I in for a surprise!!! Everybody was really really friendly and welcoming...it was nothing at all like I imagined it would be. There was a really good mix of beginners and more advanced students, and everyone was really nice.
Everything was a bit of a blur, but before I knew it I was there on the mats, having an absolutely amazing time!!! For that one hour class, I was having such a good time learning new techniques that my social anxiety was almost gone. I felt awesome for having done this, I'd had such a good time that I subscribed to the school and attended more classes, progressing from beginner to white belt yellow stripe.
6 months later and I'm now going to 4-6 classes a week and are due grading for my yellow belt in a couple of weeks. I've completely got the bug for martial arts, so much that I've recently started some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes too (I know right!).
I'm not saying my social anxiety has gone, but I think that taking part in martial arts has definitely helped. I just forget about everything and all anxiety for that one hour when I'm on the mats, focusing instead on learning new techniques. Of course starting Jiu Jitsu classes for the first time I was really anxious before hand (actually kept putting it off for weeks before I eventually did it), but once I'd gotten over the hurdle of the first class I really enjoyed it and the anxiety had eased.
Looking back now I'm so pleased that I didn't turn around and go home on that first day, as I absolutely love it and find myself rushing home from work eager to get to class.
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