12 Jun 2013

Do You Feel Stressed?

I think we all have them on our social media sites, those people who don't seem able to go to the gym without posting about it on their wall. If we're (un)lucky we'll also get a selfie from the locker room and some of us will definitely get a guilty conscience for not exercising. In today's society where we get instant access to our friends (and enemies) lives via The Internet it's easy to feel stressed out. Look at all those people who have a great life, doing great things, with their great other halves, in their great houses and on their great holidays. It can be opressing and depressing, making your own life seem lacking in comparison, but what's important to remember is that people chose what to show you. They chose to show off that happy photo of themselves and their spouse, but 'conveniently' omits showing that argument they had about some petty thing half an hour after the photo was taken. In short, we only see what other people wants us to see, and in most cases it's a (falsely) positive portrayal of their lives (apart from my brother-in-laws cousing who constantly posted about her gastritis, to the point where my brother-in-law actually considered un-friending her).

It's the same thing with people who posts excessively about their exercising habits. From my experience it's the people who don't exercise that much that posts the most about it, while my friends who runs ultra marathons, competes in triathlons, are crossfit beasts or incredibly flexible and strong yogis don't feel the need to prove themselves. Instead of spending time 'bragging' about their exercising habits they just do it. They don't feel like hey have to prove themselves, which seem to be the case with people who can't go to the gym if they can't check-in on Facebook. Of course it can be motivating to hear about someone who's just done a crazy WOD and I've myself had people saying to me how their goal is to be able to run a 13 mile run after I've posted about it on Facebook., but it can also be stressful, hearing  how busy people are managing to squeeze in exercise while you yourself are just about keeping your head over water with work and family life. It can add to feelings of inadequacy, add to the guilt you feel for not using that gym membership as uch as you'd want to, but this is also when you need to remember that you only see what people want you to see - you don't see them posting about missing the gym for 10 days running when/if that happens.....

As I've spoken about before on this blog the key to fit training into a busy life is to prioritize, and whilst I fully stand by that, I also think that the stress that comes out of comparing your life to other people's lives is toxic. Instead of comparing your life to other peoples lives and finding it lacking, you should sit back and evaluate your life. Are you happy the way your life is? Maybe you hate the gym? Being an advocate for all the positive benefits of physical activities I wouldn't sit here and just tell you to scrap it all but maybe you need to find an activity that you like and can fit in as and when you're able to? Stop thinking about what you should do, and instead do things you want to. Exercise because you want to invest in your health, not because you feel stressed about the upcoming 'Beach 2013' - and last but not least, try not to be stressed out by the warped social media personas of your friends!

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