Continuing my goal for muscle gain, energy and self -love. Joining the gym has since become more than a holiday bod desire, I go to create happiness, motivate energy and damaging my inner demons one weight at a time.
At first I didn’t believe the whole physical exercise will improve your mental health crap that everyone spouts about but unfortunately they are true, I didn’t want to believe it or admit it but when I forced myself into the gym on a particularly bad day I felt about 70% better after doing my workout, suddenly I was ready to fight this bad feeling and break it down little by little. My mood changed drastically, I didn’t want to rush home, jump into bed and hide myself from the world. Instead I felt like it wasn’t all that bad and my world wasn’t crumbling around me after all.
Before I even started managing to lift weights the biggest thing, I had to tackle was my own self-doubt, insecurity and the constant thoughts rushing through my head that everyone in that room was staring at me, judging every moment I was in their territory and the lack of weight I could move at the time.
It took a few attempts to figure out what was the right thing for me, to distract myself from worrying so excessively. I then began to really enjoy each session I went to, I tried different things when feeling confident enough to do so. I have now got a routine of upper and lower body work out some weeks stretching to certain muscles on each visit and up my weight every other week.
The Five Ways I Try to Overcome Anxiety at The Gym
- Noise Cancelling wireless Headphones – The best purchase I have made. (by purchase I mean borrowed permanently from my surprised boyfriend.) They not only make it easier to go through each of your workout without getting tangled up, dropping your phone or losing an earphone but for me a big pain of the gym is other people (sorry) and having noise cancelling headphones distract me from others surrounding me and gives me the ability to fully concentrate on every beat and every machine I work on.
- Try to plan each session – As I’ve been going for a few months on my own I decided that it was best to make sure I focus on certain muscles each session to push me in to going multiple times, as I’m a perfectionist I can’t let myself only do half of whatever. To start I did two – three sessions a week doing UPPER workouts one day, LOWER workout the other and finally maybe a little cardio if I had the energy (cardio is my downfall at the moment and I generally can’t pull myself to get through it.)
- Use the time – I set myself a time every time I go to the gym, before I head through the doors a pure gym I give myself a time limit mostly of one hour and I don’t let myself leave before that time is up, of course there’s been days when I say an hour and stay for half because the plan I set in my head were using certain machines but they were full and I hadn’t prepared myself to use anything else.
- Focus – I have to distract myself from everybody else around me, using noise cancelling headphones really helps me forget that I’m in a building full of people that look better than me. I make sure that the only thing on my mind is pushing heavier and for longer, I focus on every machine I use in grave detail, every movement and watch every muscle.
- To Begin with try not to make eye contact – As bazaar as this sounds while I’m battling anxiety making eye contact is a scary thing, my biggest worry is what people think about me especially if I’m using machines right or wrong so to stop my paranoia I remove myself fully from the building, I stop myself from making eye contact like a guilty party acting innocent I pretend that I don’t see anyone and keep my head down. Distracting myself if you will.
But all this is just hearsay, some days nothing can get me in to gym, nothing can distract me from my own thoughts, my own anxiety that everyone is judging me. Some days I won’t even be within those doors for ten minutes let alone an hour like first thought,
Sometimes preparation doesn’t quite solve everything.