As many of us know, we can experience anxiety and stress in many forms and from many different sources. Anxiety can be positive or negative depending on the source of the stress as well as how long the stress is creating the anxiety in a situation.
For the purposes of this article, we will be focusing primarily on the positive forms of stress and anxiety and why they are vital to helping us improve our fitness levels and overall performance. Recognizing the effects that anxiety can have on us to help us in a positive manner should not be mistaken for what can occur when we allow stress and anxiety to be present for far too long.
Anxiety plays a vital part in our ability to drive ourselves in many different areas, but this is especially true in fitness and performance. The lack of anxiety or stress can affect the drive and motivation for growth.
If you’re already the best and already have reached your goal, what keeps pushing you to strive for more? Therefore, we need to find another way to create this anxiety, or feeling of stress, when we compete or participate in our fitness regimen.
7 Types of Positive Anxiety
Research shows that when the brain detects that stress or anxiety is present, it releases stress hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. These can have a positive effect on the brain and our ability to respond to situations.
Anxiety can be found in all forms, some more obvious than others, but when an athlete or someone participating in their fitness routine allows this anxiety to fee their focus and performance it can have numerous benefits. Athletes and those looking to increase their fitness level can find and build anxiety in:
1. Changing their Routine from known to unknown
2. Rehabilitation after an injury
3. Working towards a Personal Record, or personal best in different areas
4. Participation in fitness competitions or race events
5. Age – Doing what others your age may not do regularly
6. Participating in a new area that you have not before
7. Learning or developing a new skill
What Should You Do with This Anxiety
Anxiety is going to come and go whether we want it to or not. The key is to maintain a positive focus and allow the anxiety to be the driving force to make you better versus allowing it to become a roadblock.
When you get to a point of comfort and you stop pushing yourself, you quit striving to be better and you quit seeing results. This can be seen in many levels of fitness and competition.
Don’t be stagnant. Don’t get comfortable. Push yourself every day to be better in some areas. This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect or better in everything but be better at something than you were before.