Gym Anxiety: How I Motivate Myself To Go to The Gym
Why I have to go to the Gym and my Tips for Motivation and Tackling Procrastination:
Whether you have anxiety or not, the gym does generally make you feel better.
Ah, the gym. You know that exercise is good for you; your health, skin, sleep, weight management and above all, your mood. You can’t ignore it; the reminders of good exercise practice is everywhere! Instagram models? Yep. Celebrities? Yep. Your doctor? You bet. Not to mention your growing waistline and clouded mental health… and that breathlessness at the top of the stairs… Yet somehow, you still can’t motivate yourself to get there.
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I have ADHD and anxiety. As a result, I am a Queen at procrastination. A Queen. Without a doubt, I am an expert at finding something else, anything else to do! As a result, I’d rather fold my clean washing than put that mental effort into getting my stuff together. So putting off the gym comes with ease. Despite the knowledge that my mind and body will ease with physical activity. I still put off going.
1. Being out in Public Drains Introverts
As a sensitive and stressed creature of home comforts, going to the gym can be difficult. For example, there is a lot of bright light, noise and people, movement and distractions. It can be challenging to remember everything you need; especially, if you are often losing things non-stop like I am. Hence, you might find that you become exhausted taking a step outside. Are you leaving a preferred source of hyper-focus? Probably there something you’d rather be doing, and you’d hate to stop? I find that any cause of ambiguity on what I am supposed to be doing leaves me anxious to leave my house. In short, unless I have decided ay I’m going to the gym that day; I am not going anywhere.
Procrastination & Motivation tip***: Plan your day the night before and put the time in your diary. Pack your gym bag the night before and remind yourself of what you’re doing tomorrow. Writing down each step of how you are going to get there, will serve as a visual reminder. Inspire yourself with things that make you want to work out. As a result, you work out only if you want to. Making yourself miserable will not get you to the gym.
2. Give yourself Allowances and Rewards
If you are afraid of the hard work, the idea of being out of breath fills you with dread, then don’t be so hard on yourself! Why are you beating yourself up? Start slow and reward yourself for going. Even 20 minutes fast paced walking, or 10-15 on the elliptical machine, is better than nothing. A little participation at the gym is better than none at all. You want to come back to establish this new habit and lifestyle. As a result, if I have a miserable experience anywhere, I don’t rush back in a hurry.
Self Compassion Tip****: Start with smaller achievable goals and reward yourself for going.
3. “Everyone is looking at me!” and Social Anxiety
What if I told you, everyone here in this gym room was an introvert? Yes, even the 6”2 bodybuilders and the bronzed beach body babe lifting in the corner. Yes, even them, as they somehow flick sweat off with style. In short, you’d be very surprised what is actually going on in someone’s else’s life.
Don’t let your own self-consciousness take you away from enjoying your workout. You are doing what is best for your well being. Firstly, people are far too self-obsessed to notice what you are up to, let alone, notice you are in the room. If someone talking to you causes you anxiety, put your headphones in. It is as simple as that. But trust me, nobody cares.
Tip****: Challenge self doubt.
4. Fear Of The Unknown
Maybe you’re scared of going alone or starting something new? Are you thinking, “What if something goes wrong?” Introvert, go find your extrovert! Go with someone confident, who flourishes in the gym, unless that drains you of mental energy further.) Try to remember, that the anxiety coursing through your body is there to protect you from a flight-or-fight situation.
Challenge Difficult Thoughts When Going to The Gym
Consider for a moment, that you are not your thoughts, and you are not the chemicals coursing through your body. Can you sit with your thoughts, and let them go down? Nevertheless, if you sit with your anxiety, your adrenaline levels will drop. If not, can you distract yourself from them in the same manner? Can you challenge those thoughts? For instance, “I’ll never be as good as her! I’m so unfit, and everyone is looking at me. They must pity me because I don’t work out.”
First of all, this pattern of thinking is completely unhelpful and secondly, nobody else would be that unkind. People are the meanest to themselves.
Tip****: Don’t compare yourself to others- it’s not healthy. Take someone with you to the gym who will make that first transition easier.
Hang in there!
You’ve got this. The main thing is you turn up. As a result, this has taken off a huge amount of pressure in your mind! So congratulate yourself for progressing forward! Pat yourself on the back! Every single step you take is an achievement on your unique journey, and worth celebrating.
My TOP 8 Tips for getting to the gym:
- Inspire yourself with positivity –
- Plan your journey, especially, any kind of planning that will give you mental clarity.
- For example, set a time to be there.
- Prepare your bag, particularly if you hate looking for things.
- Gym clothes & Shoes
- Music and Headphones
- Keys, Wallet, Gym Pass
- Make a visual reminder. As a result, you won’t be sidetracked by something else.
- Set achievable goals and be kind to yourself. If you do 10-15 minutes, that’s fine. Certainly, don’t push yourself till you don’t want to come back. Though do make use of your journey there.
Reward Yourself for Going to the Gym! Please.
- Reward yourself as an incentive for going AND follow through with that reward. In other words, the brain will thank you for it and your next trip will become easier.
- Take headphones and distract yourself if your anxiety is high. As a result, you will be more inclined to think about the music, rather than all the people around you.
- Challenge unhealthy thoughts like ‘everyone is looking at you’, or I will never be as good as…’ In our mind, change the “I shoulds”, to you “could do it” and if you want to, you will. You don’t have to do anything, apart from work out, of course
- Take a friend. They help with accountability or you can record your progress to see how far you’ve come.
I hope this article has been helpful in regards to your health journey, thank you so much for reading! If you have any tips or tricks to for me to add, or if you think you can help me get back into a regular gym routine, drop me a comment below. I’d love to hear any secrets. Generally speaking, I’m probably one of the worst for getting to the gym!
Motivation for the gym? Get some new workout gear! I am obsessed pinks and greys.