Depression & anxiety are such disorders which have been noted as the major cause of 300 million people’s unstable mental health since past few years, and it seems to be increasing with every passing year.
This is an issue which demands global attention and we can greatly help people overcome this by accepting its existence, without considering a sufferer as a lunatic.
This article’s aim is not to portray any person , undergoing depression and anxiety, in a sympathetic light, but to encourage him/her to explore several available options to combat this disorder.
One such research and proven solution which can help you fight depression & anxiety is bouldering or rock climbing. Sounds a bit off, Doesn’t it? It might to you, but believe us; this therapy, endorsed by scientific researches and studies is being largely propagated, which has also shown exemplary results.
Let’s check into various scientifically proven benefits of Rock climbing/bouldering:
Researches done by University of Arizona state that bouldering/ rock climbing is a kind of sport which prevents your mind from engendering any depressing thoughts by making you constantly think about reaching your goal i.e. the peak of the mountain. Since you are entirely occupied with the idea of reaching to the top, there stays no room for your mind to wander on sad things that may be going on in your life. The results found were amazing as patients, who practiced the bouldering therapy, showed improvement by 6.27 points in their mental health, whereas, patients who were initially wait-listed, showed improvement by only 1.4 points.
Another research done on 100 volunteers of Erlangen-Nuremberg University in Germany where the before and after results of three hours a day bouldering were recorded for a period of eight weeks. It was found that the patients greatly enjoyed bouldering sessions and also significant improvement in their mental health was observed. After such positive results, the University added saying that they are under a process of developing a manual that would have an eight-week program, integrating bouldering and psychotherapeutic involvement for the groups.
If given keen attention, this idea of bouldering being an effective remedy to your depression and anxiety can be corresponded to Albert Camus’ story of ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’. Sisyphus, the figure of Greek mythology, who was punished to repeat the task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again, forever. His task sounds absurd as it has no end to it and no destination to reach, but the philosopher asks his readers to “imagine Sisyphus happy” as he has some aim which prevents him from being anxious or depressed about the absurdity of his task.
This idea of pushing Boulder is as depressing as your daily frustrations, but a well defined task can help you overcome it.
The sense of holding some goal prevents you from wasting your time on aimless and useless things, which surround you temporarily but leave a longer and hazardous impact.
Rock climbing/ bouldering are positive in many ways: there are many physical activities to practice but bouldering taps the social aspect too, wherein the patient feels a sense of accomplishment while bouldering. Lots of hospitals around the globe are already using this technique to help patient recover fast from their mental illness. Also, it not only helps to improve your mental health but also helps in building your physical strength and helps you overcome your fear of heights if you may have so.
Though there are varieties of treatment available to fight depression and anxiety, but less than 1/3rd population receive it. On the other hand, bouldering technique is easily accessible to everybody and could be one of the most effective techniques to overcome this problematic issue.
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