Workout anxiety isn’t uncommon and there are ways to manage it. As writer Brad Stulberg suggests in his definition of toughness, it’s important to remind yourself of your own values and use such values to change course or persist in light of a challenging situation. Rather than simply be reactive, Stulberg challenges people to “respond to distress thoughtfully.”
Not every workout has to be flat out and not every workout needs to see you push yourself to the very limit. Set realistic expectations with yourself going into a workout. Listen to your body, if you need to take it easy today, do so - no one is going to judge you. If you’re feeling good and want to push yourself, know that you will begin to experience discomfort; that’s what comes with pushing the body to its limits. But rather than see that as negative, reframe your thinking to see the beauty in such displeasure. This is your body getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, this is you practising working through discomfort.
Positive self-talk is also important and can be an incredible tool to master when it comes to difficult situations and keeping your spirits high. Ultimately, when getting fit, physical discomfort is a byproduct of getting fitter and pushing yourself more. It’s not something to fear, but celebrate. Creating the space to feel and respond to these sensations is important, and all part of the process.