How to Overcome Anxiety While Running

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve health and reduce stress. However, when anxiety arises during exercise, the effectiveness of your workout can suffer. Runners of all levels experience anxiety at some point, whether during races or regular runs. While a little anxiety can aid performance, too much leads to decreases in performance -- and can cause you to stop running altogether. Understanding how to overcome anxiety can help you enjoy running more, and can increase the benefits of your exercise.

Step 1

The first step is to be sure that your physical and mental feelings are related to anxiety and not something else. This can be confusing, because running triggers many physical symptoms, such as labored breathing and physical stress, that can be confused with anxiety. Feelings of anxiety differ for everyone, but there are some common symptoms you can look for. These include chest pain and tightness, dizziness, change in body temperature, heart racing and muscle spasms, among others. You might also have thoughts of fear, panic, or heightened awareness or self-consciousness. Becoming aware of your symptoms is the first step toward overcoming them.


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