Gym anxiety is an extremely common thing that many gym-goers experience. It's not unlike another other kind of anxiety. Anxiety is usually induced from the unknown, the worry and fear of a variety of things. Everyone knows the gym can sometimes be a very uncomfortable place, especially if or when you are new to the scene. It can feel like a place you don't really fit into to.
Of course at every gym you will have your mix of people, from bodybuilding to cardio bunnies and the occasional lifter who wears his work clothes to the gym. The gym is full of a variety of people but sometimes it's not even the type of people but the fact that there are so many people sometimes.
I have created a list of tips to help those who feel anxiety about going to the gym or working out in general.
Put together music that gets you in the zone. Music that motivates you and allows you to leave your surroundings behind and just work. Once you put your headphones in, just let the world around you slip away and set your sights on your goals.
This is not always possible due to work and other time restraints but try to choose hours that the gym is the least busy. It will give you the space you need to not feel uncomfortable. Every gym is different by between 11-3 and after 8:30pm is usually the best times to go.
Everyone feels like everyone is watching and caring what they are doing but most likely, no one is and everyone is thinking the same thing. Just focus on you and what you are doing. Everyone is there to better themselves. No one is there because they are perfectly satisfied with their bodies, remember that.
Something that will make you feel more prepared before going to the gym is actually understanding how a gym/gym equipment works. Watch some videos on Youtube. Create a workout/plan your workout before hand. Know what you want to do, watch how to do it, maybe even practice a little at home. Go through the motions and understand it. It will make you feel 1000x more comfortable when you actually get there because you won't feel so lost.
Go with a friend. Two is always better than one. You guys can not only help each other feel more comfortable but also keep each other accountable. Accountability is key when it comes to starting off a fitness journey or any goal for that matter.
If you don't have any friends to go workout with you, there are apps to find people to workout with but if that makes you uncomfortable as well, try a class. You will almost most definitely find a friend and the class is lead by an instructor who will guide you on how to do the workout. Then when you feel comfortable enough you can go workout in the free weights with them or whatever you are feeling.
6. Switch it up
Sometimes the gym you are going to just isn't the gym for you. Try another one. There are so many gyms, ones with less crowds, some with more class options, smaller, bigger, if your gym is not an environment you feel you can thrive in, find one you can. This is your journey, and you want to succeed, set yourself up for success.
Get a trainer. Trainers will guide you and answer all the questions you have. If they are a good trainer, they will make you feel comfortable and educate you on all you need to know to succeed in the gym. Even if it's only for a few sessions, a trainer is almost always worth the investment.
Somedays you just can't do it, thats perfectly fine. Do a workout at home. Don't let your health and fitness take a back seat to your anxiety. Take as much control over it as you can. Look up a workout on Youtube or sign up for home training.