How to deal with social anxiety in the gym

Gym anxiety is common when you first start exercising in a new place. If you are a student, you may also be afraid of school physical education. On the other hand, for those who suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD), the fear of going to the gym or attending a physical education class can be so severe that it interferes with the day’s life.

Imagine the thought of an upcoming physical education class or physical education class that upsets you to the point that your stomach knots or has a panic attack.For some people with SAD, exercising in public places or attending physical education classes may trigger their symptoms.

Cause social anxiety in the gym

Many aspects of a typical gym or physical education class are intimidating enough for ordinary people, let alone those experiencing social anxiety. These may include:

  • Changed in front of people
  • Feeling intimidated by people who are better in shape
  • Encountered a problem while using the device
  • I feel people are staring at you
  • Having trouble attending a group class
  • Anxiety about sweating or other side effects of exercise
  • Worried about small talk
  • Anxious about using public toilets

Coping with social anxiety in the gym

There are five types of methods for coping with social anxiety in the gym: managing negative thoughts, building confidence, gradual exposure, seeking help, and choosing alternatives.

Management thinking

The treatment of social anxiety disorder involves managing the negative thought processes that keep you anxious.Use this method of checking the evidence for the authenticity of an idea to help you challenge the idea so that you can replace it with a more realistic and useful idea to help cope with it in the following ways.

Anxious thoughts

  • “Everyone is staring at me. They must think I am fat and out of shape.”

  • “I feel very anxious, I cannot pass this exercise.”

  • “What am I doing here? I don’t belong here, I can’t do this.”

Realistic thoughts

  • “Everyone focuses on themselves and their exercise.”

  • I can do this. Continue to count representatives and do your best. “

  • “I have set a goal to get better. I am working towards this goal.”

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Your thoughts affect your mood and behavior, so if you have unhelpful or negative thoughts, it will make you feel worse. Challenging and changing these thoughts to make them more positive or helpful can help you feel better.

build confidence

Use these four simple methods to build your confidence in going to the gym:

  • keep going. The more you go to the gym, the easier each time. The reverse is also true, especially in the case of anxiety-the more you avoid a situation, the more likely it is to cause anxiety.
  • Research the fitness equipment in advance so that you are not afraid and familiar with the purpose of each piece of equipment. Or, go with friends who already know how to use it.
  • Realize that the more you exercise, your confidence will increase and your body will become healthier and more active.
  • Buy sportswear that makes you feel confident, likes to wear, and makes exercise easier.

You can also start slowly exposing yourself to this situation to help relieve anxiety and build confidence. Start by studying gyms, maybe walking or driving past them. Next, try to go to the gym and ask for a visit.

The goal is to expose yourself to the environment, equipment, and actual behavior of exercising in the gym. Once you start to become more comfortable in the environment, you can start using the equipment and attend classes.

In addition, if you realize that the locker room is anxious, you can plan ahead so that you don’t need to use the locker room. It is important to learn to recognize triggers.

Gradually exposed

A large number of studies have shown that exercise can effectively relieve anxiety.When you adjust to the new gym for the first time, be kind to yourself. Gradually expose yourself to new situations so that anxiety will subside and eventually your confidence will increase.

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  • First consider going during off-peak hours to avoid congestion.
  • First put on headphones and listen to music or audiobooks to help control your anxiety.
  • Develop a hierarchy of things to be done from small to large, and eliminate all expectations that exceed the current stage you are in on this list.

Example goals achieved in the gym

Depending on what you think is most anxious, your list may be different:

  • Go to the gym for a walk.
  • Work out on a machine for 10 minutes, then leave.
  • Greet or chat with another member of the gym.
  • Take group classes, such as Zumba or Yoga. For people with anxiety disorders, yoga is a good choice.

receive help

If you are still struggling to find your place, go to the gym with someone who is already familiar with the route, or sign up with a personal trainer to get the right guidance. You can also try to find alternatives to the gym, such as apps you can do or home workouts. Many courses and gymnasiums are now broadcasting courses online.

Choose alternatives

If you find that working out at the gym is not for you, please consider other activities you can do, such as exercising at home, walking/running or swimming.

Anxiety about physical education

Anxiety in the gym is not limited to adults. Many children and adolescents feel social anxiety when they think of participating in physical education classes.Some causes of this anxiety may include:

  • Be aware of your own weight/physical changes
  • Worried about making mistakes while playing in a team
  • Last selected during the team selection period
  • Bullied by other classmates
  • Lack of confidence in one’s physical abilities

If you are diagnosed with SAD, ask your parents to arrange a meeting with a physics teacher, counselor, principal, and/or school psychologist.

In this meeting, you can discuss alternatives, such as one-on-one exercise programs or credits for exercise at home or out of school. As a parent, you can help by practicing sports with your children, knowing that they will soon be doing these sports in physical education class.

In addition, discussing with your child how to laugh at yourself is okay, even therapeutic, and trying to do your best in a sport is more important. Help your child/teenager find the sports activities he/she really likes to build confidence and love for sports.

The benefits of exercise for anxiety

Because of all the anxiety it causes, you may wonder if the gym or physics class is worth it. A 2014 systematic review showed that exercise (aerobic exercise and non-aerobic exercise) is effective as an auxiliary treatment for anxiety, but not as effective as antidepressant treatment.

SAD patients who combine exercise with group cognitive behavioral therapy show additional benefits.However, compared with control conditions, a 2013 meta-analysis could not find support for the use of aerobic exercise as an effective method for the treatment of anxiety.of

It seems that in addition to the conventional treatment of social anxiety disorder, exercise may be the best option, not necessarily substitute Used for treatment or medication. But when added to these traditional treatments, there may be some additional benefits.

Very good sentence

Have you been diagnosed and treated for social anxiety disorder? If not, and your social anxiety symptoms are severe, please make an appointment with your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

If you (or your child/teen) are diagnosed with SAD, you will have access to treatment options and may be able to better understand your limitations in the gym or physics class. This is not to say that you cannot participate, but that it may take longer for you to feel comfortable.

If this step seems too difficult, you can also start by reading self-help books on the subject to learn more about the different treatments available, and eventually get external help gradually.