“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it” said American radio and television writer, Andy Rodney.

When you’re on a climb, you’re in the moment. What are the benefits of Climbing on mental health? There’s tonnes.

By climbing, you gain:

– A sense of greater self-esteem and self-control

– The ability to rise to a challenge.

– Patience, determination and focus in solving problems.

– You’ll also get a marvellous sense of achievement when you reach the top. 

– Climbing helps depression by helping you focus on something positive. 

– Climbing teaches you to understand and overcome your fears.

– It is stress relieving! 

Climbing promotes feelings of self-efficacy, which is important for therapy. As one deciphers and learns new moves, skills, and techniques, one is given an incentive to keep trying. The brain releases a flood of dopamine, creating positive neural pathways that trigger our brain’s reward system, each time we try and succeed in any small or large way. It is therefore obvious that climbing can be used in the treatment of depression and related conditions like anxiety and PTSD.

In a 2017 report, Stelzer and Katharina Luttenberger, of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, led a pair of studies totaling 100 people, most of whom were new to climbing, in a bouldering intervention. At the end of the eight weeks, the boulderers had a much greater improvement in their depression score—on average, their scores improved from moderate to mild.  

Stelzer explained that bouldering has a number of other important characteristics that make it especially beneficial for the treatment of depression, namely that it helps boost self-efficacy and social interactions — both of which hold innate benefits for dealing with depression. (Source: https://news.arizona.edu/story/bouldering-envisioned-new-treatment-depression

So if you know of someone who’s had a particularly bad day, or feeling depressed, challenge them to take up a healthy activity like climbing that trains not only the body but the mind too. 

Bring it on. Get rid of the blues and start living in brighter hues!