“Gym Anxiety is Common, You’re Not Alone.”
For many years I feared the workout area. Imagine that line coming from someone who is a professional tennis player for an occupation, but it’s true. I feared walking, biking, weight lifting, yoga, all the things that people told me would benefit me in regards to overcoming my anxiety disorder.
They all meant well I know, but little did they know about my situation. Every skipped heart beat, every palpitation was a sign of impending doom to me. Since exercising brought out all the anxiety symptoms I experienced daily in a more heightened level, I stayed clear of exercising for a very long time.
I was what you would call an anxious spy, constantly checking in and being one with all the sensations my body experienced
But one day something happened. I began changing my view-point, and it was the result of perseverance on my part as well as my than anxiety ‘mentor.’ Before this turnaround I was in a 3 week ‘shock thought therapy’ program for my gym anxiety that I had made for myself, and it did wonders for me and my anxiety levels. I began to tip the scales towards a new direction.
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I began to make a connection between NOT exercising and having a heart problem, rather than exercising and having a heart problem. Each morning I woke up and completely stepped out of my normal anxious brooding of how my day would go. I replaced it with spending 20 minutes upon waking to condition my mind towards the benefits of exercise, in regards to my heart fears.
I read books, I viewed videos, I did anything I could think of that would take me out of my previous connections
Old Anxious Formula – Exercise = Potential heart failure, heart explosion, fainting etc
New Formula – No Exercise = Potential heart failure, heart explosion, fainting etc
Apologies about the heart explosion part, but we anxious people do think the absolute worst in all scenarios. So you can see how a simple 20 minute morning shock thought therapy can do wonders for you in so many ways. All you have to do is some research, come up with a few role models you wish to follow that promote and connect a healthy heart with exercising, and begin slowly taking steps towards proving to yourself that your past beliefs were not true.
This idea of shock therapy actually came to me through my new workout regimes. My personal trainer had the idea of changing up your workout routine every now and then, so that the new exercises you do would shock your muscles into new growth. This can easily be applied to our thoughts, and how we have conditioned ourselves for so long to fear exercise.
So let’s wrap everything up and get you moving in the right direction starting today. I want you to do two things starting today: The first one is to commit 20 minutes each morning as soon as you wake up to educating yourself on the benefits of exercise specifically for the heart. Secondly, begin with small walks for the next week consciously being aware of your surroundings rather than your inner world. By implementing these two steps into your daily life, you’ll be well on your way to overcoming heart fears due to exercise.
Share your experiences below…