Mental blocks about exercise

Mental blocks about exercise

Postby batshitlazy » October 30th, 2016, 9:44 pm

I have read and heard and been told countless times since I started treatment for anxiety and depression that exercise would help me. I'm sure that's true. I know that it offers tremendous health benefits. I know that when I have forced myself into a rare hike or a barre class, I've felt at least a little better afterward. I want to incorporate regular exercise into my life.

But I also feel paralyzed. I can't do it.

For me the prospect of exercising brings up an ugly tangle of stuff: fears around a health condition that prevented me from exercising normally as a kid, body shame, guilt, anxiety about the judgment of others.... I am just starting to sift through those associations and hope to address them with my therapist.

In the meantime I would love to hear from other people with exercise struggles related to mental health. What emotional stuff does/did it dredge up? Do you have any physical health-related roadblocks? Have any strategies helped you exercise? What forms of exercise do you do? What steps did you go through in starting to exercise, finding something that works for you, maintaining that habit, etc.? What changes have you felt in your mental and physical health? What other relevant stuff would you include if Paul made an exercise survey?

I would love to hear from anyone, whether you're struggling with this crap like me and just want to commiserate or you've figured out something that works. Or anything in between. Thank you!
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Re: Mental blocks about exercise

Postby Beany Boo » October 30th, 2016, 11:43 pm

For mental health, I find exercise around stability, posture, balance, coordination and breath awareness to be helpful; so Pilates, skateboarding and meditation. My favourite thing is kite flying. I also prefer outdoor activities; I love parks with bird life and also, I like bike paths; provided I can get home easily if anything happens; injury for example. I do like it when my mobility or hand/eye skills improve, but could care less about weight reduction or muscle building. It creeps me out when someone has to pay attention to my body; like a physical therapist, but most of all female instructors; but I try not to show it because I know they are helping me. I particularly dislike group and competitive activities, especially the ones where people are talking while they're doing it. I would love to move past these things that limit me but I enjoy very much the exercises I have found that pose no mental health issues for me; and in fact alleviate the symptoms.
Emotionally,

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Re: Mental blocks about exercise

Postby Jitterz » November 5th, 2016, 2:23 am

I get the mental blocks too...I hear all the time exercise works better than antidepressants but honestly I haven't felt that way yet...maybe it's our mindset? Before I plan on working out my mind says no what's the point you won't stick with it and you're gonna feel like shit for the rest of your life anyway so don't even bother. That's the annoying voice inside my head...ugh I need to exercise though. I do yoga that's all i can manage at the moment. I just wish I could be like those people who get a natural high after a workout or that addicted to exercise type of feeling...I envy people like that...addicted to running????? How? Lol
"I am trying-I am trying to explore my unconscious wishes and fears, trying to lift the barrier of repression, of self-deception, that controls my everyday self." ~Sylvia Plath
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Re: Mental blocks about exercise

Postby Jitterz » November 5th, 2016, 2:27 am

Ps I think yoga would help if you have anxiety and low self esteem or any emotional "blockage". Inbox me and keep me posted if you find any exercise routines that work for you!!!
"I am trying-I am trying to explore my unconscious wishes and fears, trying to lift the barrier of repression, of self-deception, that controls my everyday self." ~Sylvia Plath
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Re: Mental blocks about exercise

Postby AtomicCowgirl » November 8th, 2016, 1:10 pm

I've struggled a lot with exercise, which sometimes puzzles me because I was an athlete in college and fit most of my life. I had a chronic pain issue for the last few years that made it horribly painful to walk or move; after having my hip replaced and being out of pain I'm finding all kinds of reasons NOT to exercise. Part of me suspects that my brain hasn't yet figured out that getting up and doing something isn't going to hurt; compounded with the fact that I've gained a ton of weight and have little stamina I find myself needing to be convinced to do anything. My husband has been struggling with health issues and wanting to get in better shape, so this weekend we went for two nice long walks, and he agreed to get up weekday mornings at 5 with me and do a half hour or more walk every day. We managed to do it today; let's see if we can keep it up. I've thought about joining a gym, which would make me at least financially accountable to exercise, but I talk myself out of it constantly.
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