How Hiking Helps Anxiety and Depression

There’s no denying that the modernization taking place has done some good on the quality of our lives. It simplified life so much, but it’s not without its disadvantages. One of the significant problems society is dealing with today is the issue of anxiety and depression. The various researches done have attributed the rise in such cases to technology. Well, you slack a little, and you can lose it all. There’s no time to pause and take a break from the pressures of everyday living.

Anxiety is a fear of the future or what to come while depression is a sense of sadness as a result of past happenings. Nobody can be 100% certain of what will happen next. However, we can make decisions that put us in the path we want. For some individuals, it’s not easy, leading to anxiety build up.

We can’t ignore the problems that exist; the best we can do is alleviate the situation. So, what helps anxiety and depression? There are different approaches one can take. Our focus is on hiking and how it helps with depression and anxiety.

Exercise Helps Anxiety and Depression

Yes, exercise helps anxiety and depression. Let’s just say that exercise is the “magic” to healthy living. They do a lot for our bodies and are key to a balanced state of life. They not only help the physical but the mental and emotional aspects of us. When we’re not physically fit, research has shown, so is our mind and vice versa. The same can be said about our emotional wellbeing.

Hiking, unlike walking, will expend more body energy. We engage various body muscles and our brains more than we would while merely taking a walk. It, therefore, helps with depression and anxiety control.

It Helps Build Resilience

Another reason why work out helps depression and anxiety is that they help build resilience. Hiking like exercising tests our muscle strength including our brains. A resilient brain can tolerate and therefore withstand the pressures of life. It minimizes the chances of us experiencing anxiety or depression.

Creates a “State of Zen”

In simple terms, Zen is essentially a state of “awareness.” In some quarters, it’s simply put as being one with self. In fact, there are schools of Zen. It’s difficult to maintain the level of awareness that’s crucial to healthy living. It’s all thanks to the chaos and madness that bombards us on a daily basis.

Hiking helps with depression because in some way it creates a state of Zen. Ordinarily, our minds tend to focus on single issues, especially those we’re having a hard time dealing with. When we go on a hike, we force our minds and bodies to multitask and be one. For instance, you’ll be checking your breathing and calculating your steps so that you don’t fall, and so on. All these activities happening at the same time create awareness.

Social Interactions

Social interactions help with depression and anxiety. In today’s world, a lot of us when going through difficult times will shut ourselves off from the rest of the world. We might be interacting via technology, but we still require meaningful social relationships. Walking has a way of making us relaxed and more friendly. However, in the concrete jungle that is rarely seen.

The Outdoors – Park Visits and Hikes

In the wild, you’ll be literally hiking out of depression and anxiety problems. While in the park, you may see some level of interaction, but it’s more so while hiking. You’ll find yourself interacting more with others regardless of whether they are familiar to you or strangers. Experiences have a way of drawing people together. Interacting with others is an excellent distraction from our depression or anxiety. You will find some encouragement to help you overcome your situation.

Sunlight Helps Depression

It’s scientifically proven that sunlight helps depression. Some research done has shown that a relationship exists between exposure to the sun and brain health. We spend a huge chunk of our lives indoors. If we’re not at home, we’re at work, often indoors, and so is our commute. We rarely get to bask and enjoy a bit of sunshine. Sunlight supplies us with Vitamin D which is crucial to our brain health and therefore helps with depression and anxiety control.


The relationship that exists between anxiety and depression and hiking is so evident. There’s no denying that hiking will help a great deal with anxiety and depression problems affecting society today. Regardless of whether you’re struggling with this issues, hiking is an excellent way to maintain a balanced state of mind and body.

What influence has hiking had on you? Please share with us the different ways hiking helps with anxiety and depression?

About the Author

Ronny is a traveler and just cool boy. Recently he decided to start his own travel blog. See his first steps here

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