Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety at the Gym
It’s hard enough to motivate yourself to go to the gym on a regular basis. Add in a healthy dose of social anxiety and it becomes almost impossible. The hardest part of going to the gym is actually getting to the gym, and overcoming all of the insecurities that come with the trip. If you’ve found yourself struggling to even get yourself there, and wanting to run back home the whole time you’re there, then this little guide is for you. Even if you thought it was impossible to ever enjoy yourself at the gym, you too can have fun and get a great workout at the same time. Your social anxiety shouldn’t hold you back from being healthy, so follow these steps and get it into gear.
Before you go, spend some time prepping yourself for the trip. At first, only plan for small trips. Give yourself a manageable timeframe to deal with, and go from there. Start with maybe half an hour at the gym two times a week. As you get ready to head there, give yourself a small pep talk. Your biggest supporter should be yourself, so make sure you know how much you believe in yourself. Take your time, and tell yourself that you can do this. Going to the gym is for your own health and general wellbeing, and even though it’s going to make you anxious, it’ll pay off in the long run. Also make sure to remind yourself to not make comparisons. You are not the buff guy at the gym or the hot girl on the treadmill, so don’t compare yourself to them. They have their own bodies and have made progress in their own ways, and you need to focus on your own progress. Once you go to the gym for a while, you’ll see results and you can compare them to how you were when you started.
If you feel like you’re getting stares when you go to the gym and have a hard time focusing on your actual workout, try some headphones. Playing your own music can help you get in the zone while you’re working out, and it keeps you from paying attention to the other people around you. Keep in mind that these people are here for themselves. They don’t go to the gym to stare at you, and they’re too busy with their own workouts to worry about how you almost dropped that weight or if you look awkward in that stance. Creating your own playlist that lasts a set amount of time can also help motivate you. Use upbeat songs that keep your energy levels high, and wind them down near the end of your workout. You can always add more songs as you make your trips longer, and most people with social anxiety find it much easier to cope when outside noises are taken away. Earbuds work best for the gym, and even better is how they function like earplugs to block out external stimuli that might be distracting.
Going With Friends
Going anywhere alone can be hard when you have social anxiety, so if you can get a group of friends or even just one to go with you it’ll help for sure. Just explain to them that you would really love to hit the gym every once in a while to lose weight and improve your health, and that you would appreciate having a buddy to come with you. Who knows, maybe that friend has been looking for an excuse to work out and just hasn’t started doing it yet. Bringing someone else with you will keep you motivated to keep going as long as they do, and it’ll keep you on track with your weight loss goals. Having friends at the gym also makes going seem less like a chore and more like a fun outing with your friend. Try it out, it’s guaranteed to make a huge difference for you.