There’s a certain stigma attached to mental illness and talking about, it can be hard to address and without support people can be sent on a downward spiral of which some don’t return.

We’re all human beings with human problems living in a world that for the most part doesn’t make sense all of the time.

A therapy environment


I am an only child, I like my own company but I also like being with other people. Like everyone else I have had my challenges mentally physically and emotionally. The one thing that has always been there for me has been the gym and on a regular basis i’ll use the hashtag #mytherapy when doing social media posts.

It was a striking comment from The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) when he said “the gym is my therapy and its much cheaper than a therapist” that it dawned on me its pretty much one of my main uses of the gym.

The escapism I get when I put my headphones on and dedicate my time to the betterment of my body, my mind and my soul is the best feeling you can imagine when the world seems to want to pull you down.

When the frustrations others can bring on you can be drowned out by the lifting of a heavy object and connecting your mind to the very fibres that are moving it, well it just calms my soul.

Losing myself in a class and focusing on not stopping because I’ve decided then and there I’m no quitter, can bleed over into my normal life very quickly and produce a force that won’t fail under pressure anymore.

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Talking with passion to others and trying to help them brings joy to me and further escapism in my mind and all of the above can be achieved in one simple trip to the gym.

I remember rock bottom…

I remember how it felt when my world imploded – on more than one occasion might I add. Exercise was there for me every time, I remember throwing myself into it trying to find self worth and meaning with inanimate objects.

Sounds daft but I found it there amongst the weights and no I didn’t completely lose it and start talking to the weights (well maybe on occasion but it was mostly swearing at them).

When you have mental demons and issues that overshadow you and the goddess in your life, it can be hard to see the little joys. I started seeing those little joys by enjoying those workouts in the gym and using exercise to extricate the demons from my mind.

I remember seeing progress physically and in my strength which in turn carried into my mental state. I wasn’t cured by exercise and I wouldn’t suggest it’s a cure-all, but it helps so much.

You are not alone!

I didn’t journey alone, I like so many others were in the gym with their own demons, some had the demon of weight struggles, some had alcohol demons , some had body issue demons and most had the demon of being alone at the end of the day, all of us were there to exercise and go on a journey of sorts.

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To take our exercise medicine and more forward step by step in the community of human beings wanting to further themselves for the benefit of a better life. When you have mental demons it can be hard to understand that your not the only one.

When you enter the door of your gym next time you are there lots of different people will be inside on their own journeys and you on yours, on that day your paths have crossed over maybe today would be a good day to vent and get those demons off your back?

Speak to a trainer, to a familiar face or even the weights themselves (I wouldn’t recommend swearing out loud at them!), lift something heavy, learn something new or try a class experience but most of all move forward for yourself.

If you would like to chat more about your demons and how exercise can help please contact me via the addresses provided.

Connect here with Watchfit Expert Neil Paterson

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


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Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans