Anxiety Attack At The Gym

How could a place that brings me so much joy turn into a place I would ever wanna leave so quickly? The gym is supposed to be my solace. My stress/anxiety free zone. When anxiety appeared last night I felt betrayed. 

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Let’s talk about anxiety. Some people have it from time to time because of situations they find themselves in and some people, like me, suffer from chemical imbalances in the brain from years of emotional stress. There are many other triggers for anxiety attacks but since mine is linked with my emotions I can only speak upon this.

One of the main reasons why I wanted to start a fitness journey was to help myself not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. It is a well known fact that exercising can help overcome mental roadblocks such as anxiety, stress and depression.

This motivates me to take time for myself to allow my body to naturally release the chemicals that I’m “addicted” to so that I can be a better version of myself. I find that the physical journey is a lot easier to plan out, keep track of, and stick to but what about the whole person concept? That’s where everything hits the fan for me. I admit, I’ve been slacking in doing what I know I need to do to keep myself emotionally/mentally healthy! 

– Reading daily affirmations 

– Meditating 

– Yoga 

– Aromatherapy 

– Reading for pleasure 

– Engaging in spiritual activities 

– Spending more time in nature

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Nothing that you read above is happening at the moment and I’ve been asking myself what the hell is wrong with me? I’m so ashamed of myself for letting my self care go down the drain. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I allow other priorities to take place. I feel like I have to work twice as hard to be at a place I’m comfortable at. I’m still learning so much about life and myself. Guess this is what happens when you decide to take on a journey. 🙈

My weird anxiety attack happened yesterday (Nov 16th) and literally out of nowhere. I started thinking maybe it was because I hadn’t been to the gym in 3 days and started with an intense leg day…but that makes no sense since I’ve done this many times before. I also thought maybe I’ve consumed too much caffeine but that was a lame excuse since I barely had much that day. WHAT COULD IT BE!?

My mind started racing along with my heart and I started feeling like a weird loser. I hadn’t even been there for 15 min and wanted to leave. I kept pushing on as I thought maybe I’m just being a baby and need to be a little harsh with myself. I told myself to get it together and continued with the leg day but felt terrible since my mind just wasn’t acting right.

I felt even more terrible since I really wanted to be there and I knew once those endorphins released I would start to feel better. All the while my heart rate creeps up and I literally start shaking! That’s when I knew I was not going to push myself anymore because I was having a full blown anxiety attack. The shaking ironically happened during a lunge exercise and I’m hella insecure about my lunges since the way my legs look tends to bring me down. What a joy that must have been to see. 😑🔫

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Heart palpitations and rate steadily increased and at that point I had to run out of the weight room. Me being me, I still wanted to force those endorphins out and decided that doing cardio on the stair master would magically get me there. Let me repeat this. THE STAIR MASTER. How could I think this would actually work!? 

Yup. You guessed it, that just made everything worst. 😩😭

I was defeated. I left after no more than 30 min when I usually spend about a good hour there. Was I pushing too hard? I didn’t even feel like I was pushing hard. After 3 days of being “free” I wanted to jump in and hit legs hard and, lo and behold, had an anxiety attack. I’m still trying to figure out what this means for me, but I have some clues as to the conditions that personally give me small gym anxiety on a regular basis.

Things that give me anxiety at the gym.

1. Crowded gyms/everyone talking at once (Enter headphones)

2. Blasting music (Headphones block this out)

3. Sounds of machines clashing all at once (Headphones for the win again) 

4. Waiting for machines/not being able to do what I planned because of this and feeling like “la-dee-da” (that’s my fault tho for being so inflexible smh) 😉🤔

I believe that those 4 conditions and the fact that I haven’t been strict about my self care regimen (and currently lack of sleeping well lately ☹️ + breaking my handy dandy headphones (and you know how that goes) finally broke me last night.

Putting myself first and actually taking steps to care for myself is such a challenge for me. It’s just much more fulfilling to help and care for others but I know that self care is super important and can lead to anxiety attacks. Right now my biggest challenge is having effective rest days, foam rolling, getting massages and really learning how to prevent injuries.

You would think that I intentionally want to hurt myself but this is not the case. I’m writing this to hold myself accountable and to tell the world that I’m trying, more self aware and going to strive to make a change.

The theme for my 2017 will be to put yourself first girl and start taking care of my whole self rather than just aspects. What happened to me is a scary reminder of the life I don’t want for myself and in all honestly don’t need to deal with if I put the effort in to make a change. I will definitely be talking about this topic more. 

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