Bouldering the Blues Away

Any rock climber will tell you that he or she always feels better after a day of pulling on stone. Rock climbing is rewarding, fulfilling, and downright enjoyable. In fact, recent research from the University of Arizona suggests that bouldering could potentially help treat patients with depression. So what is it about rock climbing that helps you feel good?

Getting outside

Ecotherapy – also known as nature therapy or green therapy – is the idea that you can improve mental health by being in nature. There have been numerous studies documenting the health benefits of spending time outdoors. Immersion in nature has been shown to improve mood, increase happiness, and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety.


There’s a big social aspect to rock climbing.  Social withdrawal contributes to feelings of depression. Spending time in the company of friends – whether you’re climbing or having a conversation in your backyard – can lift your spirits and help you feel good.


Some climbers blast metal, grunt, and get amped before a climb, but for many, rock climbing is about focus and relaxation. Rock climbing can in fact be meditative. It’s about controlling your breathing, visualizing the sequence, and maintaining composure.


Physical activity has been shown to improve mood and increase happiness, and unlike sitting in a gym, climbing is actually fun. Climbing builds strength, and hiking the approach helps you get your steps in for the day.

Problem solving

Rock climbing and bouldering are filled with moments of accomplishment and instant reward. Whether you top out a boulder, or just make progress on a single move, rock climbing is full of achievements and the good feelings that come with progression. While nothing beats the feeling of finishing a project, there’s still satisfaction in any progress you make in rock climbing.


In addition to constant reward, there’s also the joy of the constant and gradual strength gaining and improvement with rock climbing. Whether you perfect your technique, add new moves to your climbing repertoire, or finally accomplish your first one-arm pull-up, there’s a big sense of accomplishment in the long-term progress of rock climbing.


Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters to check out a great selection of bouldering and rock climbing gear in Northwest Arkansas.

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