Going to the gym is supposed to be healthy for us, right?
So why, when I show up to the gym, do I feel those unwanted negative feelings? Sometimes I feel so uncomfortable that I would rather just not go at all.
Have you been there?
You aren’t alone in this. That is a big reason why so many people have that little gym tag on their keys that barely gets used.
Let’s explore why the gym can bring up uncomfortable emotions, like anxiety.
Why do I feel nervous and anxious at the gym?
There are lots of reasons for feeling nervous or anxious. Nervousness or anxiousness are types of fear. What are you afraid is going to happen? Are you afraid that someone is judging you? Are you judging yourself? The gym, with its giant mirrors and all of the bodies there working on bettering and bettering and bettering themselves. I’m not apposed to making my life better, I’m a believer in personal development, but I do think that holding unrealistic expecations for our bodies can be a recipe for anxiety.
How do you stop gym anxiety in its tracks?
Question your expectations you are setting for yourself and others. Check in with yourself and see what those expectations are. Are you expecting your body to “lose 10 pounds in 10 days.” If so, questions that expectation. Are you expecting your body to continuously increase in strength and endurance? If so, question that expectation too. What stories are you telling yourself about your body and what is real and what isn’t?
Look at WHY you are there. If your reason to be at the gym has to do with manipulating your body to fit into a social or cultural expectation, question that expectation too.
I have found that once I let go of those expectations and let myself have the freedom to just be me at the gym, I listen a little better to my body and the anxiety fades away. What if you could show up at the gym and instead of bending to the expectations you just show up to honor your body and your need for movement? How would that be different than what you are doing now?
I hope this gives you something to think about. The gym can be a great place to go and experience movement! It can be a place to be social, and to work on personal goals. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with how you look or how many calories you burn. In fact, focusing on calories and weight can easily take the fun out of exercise.
With so many messages all around us, on social media, from celebrities, friends, and family, take the time to ask yourself what you need from going to the gym. You are the ultimate authority for your body. Choose what makes you feel good!
Sending you love and light.