How Weightlifting Eases My Anxiety
Throughout my life, I’ve unsuccessfully tried several different gyms and workout routines, never quite finding the right fit for me. I always had the desire to get in shape and go to the gym, but I continually considered it a chore that would only heighten my anxiety. I had never in my life considered weightlifting. I believed all the misconceptions out there, thinking I would never be strong enough and it would make me bulky and unattractive.
Weightlifting has provided me with a healthy outlet for my anxiety and even on my worst days, I walk into the gym and find instant relief. I’m forced to solely focus on my lifting, allowing my brain to shift away from its anxious thoughts. I feel a release from all my daily tension as I work through my reps and my workouts provide an outlet for all of my pent-up anxious energy.
Every time I lift a little heavier and reach a new goal, I feel continual reinforcement that I can get over my anxiety. I’m motivated to push myself harder because in lifting, failure is OK and even encouraged, because failing makes you better. Embracing this mentality at the gym has helped me adapt it in my daily life.
Of course, the people who have been guiding me along the way are a huge part of my journey. The gym has become my place of refuge, allowing me to abandon my anxieties at the door so I feel refreshed when I leave.
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Thinkstock photo via Reince Preibus