Anxiety is a silent assassin. It can strike without warning, it can be triggered easily, and can quite often take you off guard. Anybody is susceptible to the debilitating symptoms of anxiety, and I, myself am no different. I find when I am embarking on something new, that the head of anxiety begins to rear. When I feel a little unsure about something, there it is. Telling me I’m not good enough, that no one cares anymore, that it is all too difficult. This is where I have found that my active lifestyle has made the biggest impact on my mindset, as the endorphins that flow from a workout help alleviate my feelings of anxiety, and the physical strength I feel helps to push away negative thoughts in my mind. Starting a new exercise program, or embarking on a lifestyle change is often a time when people will talk themselves out of doing something for fear of what others may think or fear they are not going to be able to achieve what they want to achieve. Therefore I want to share some tips below on how to overcome anxiety when embarking on a new lifestyle journey or new exercise routine. I hope these things will help next time you see something you want to be a part of and have the grip of anxiety holding you back, and don’t forget I am always here for you.
Make sure you have done your research
Knowing all the ins and outs of what you are about to do can often help alleviate feelings of anxiety. If you are about to go into a gym, make sure you have taken 30 minutes to scope it out beforehand. Most gyms let you walk around to get a feel for getting a membership and all gyms will have a staff member who can answer any questions you may have.
Don’t forget to breathe
Do you know how many times I have seen people hovering on the edge of a workout group, or sitting in their car outside the gym and then driving off? Stop. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Anxiety has the ability to literally draw the breath from our lungs. In those moments, our brains are physically incapable of making a rational decision. When I am about to do something I’m not sure about, I inhale deeply through my nose, hold for a second and then empty my lungs through my mouth.A feeling of calm floats down through my body, and I feel a surge or spark to take action. Of course, this will not be the same for every person, but in those moments of fear, try taking a deep breath (you may be surprised to find that you have been holding your breath).
Be kind to yourself
Try saying a few kind words to yourself. In moments of anxiety, as I circle around the decision to do something or not. I remind myself why I am here, and how this is important to me. I tell myself I am good enough and that I deserve the things I want. With this loving sense of awareness, I am able to see exercise for what it is and take the leap.
Listen to some music
During stressful or anxious moments, pop in your headphones and listen to a song you love. We can feel our bodies relax when we are listening to a song we love, and this can be so beneficial when about to start a new exercise routine or do anything that makes us a little uncomfortable. Music can also help you get into your ‘zone’, or shift into a state of mind where you are ready to take action.
Talk it out
Really simple, but an effective way to put your feelings back into perspective is to talk about it with someone else.A trusted friend or family member is a great place to start, but also trainers at the gym or an instructor of a class often know the right things to say to encourage and reassure.
If you’re interested in becoming part of my KoutaFit community, reach out to me. KoutaFit combines all my professional knowledge in regards to health and fitness, but also a range of resources that I have accumulated from my life after professional sport and have adapted to the everyday person.