How can climbing improve anxiety levels?

Climbing has long been known to have a variety of physical and mental health benefits. Not only is it a great way to get fit and build strength, but it can also have a positive impact on mental health. In fact, climbing has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a natural way to manage their symptoms.

Best of all, climbing is a sport for people of all ages and abilities so anyone can give it a go! If you're someone who struggles with anxiety, incorporating regular exercise into your routine can be an effective way to manage your symptoms and improve your overall wellbeing.

How can climbing help reduce stress and anxiety?

It's a physical activity

Climbing is a physical activity that requires strength, balance, and coordination. When we engage in physical activity, our body releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers that can also improve mood and reduce stress. You know that wonderful rush you get when you send a climb? That’s endorphins! Climbing can help increase endorphin levels, leading to a greater sense of well-being and relaxation.

It requires focus and concentration

Climbing requires focus and concentration, which can help take your mind off of stressful thoughts and worries of life outside the wall. Completing a problem not only pushes your physical ability but you must apply yourself mentally too, reading the route before starting, thinking about your next hand or foot placement carefully - When we focus on the present moment, we are less likely to ruminate on the past or worry about the future. Climbing can help improve mindfulness, which is a powerful tool for managing stress and anxiety.

It's a social activity

If you’re climbing at The Hangar, you’re never climbing alone! We have one of the best communities in sports with people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, coming together to enjoy a climb.

Social support like this has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. When we engage in social activities, we feel a sense of connection and belonging, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. Climbing with others can also provide motivation and support, making it easier to achieve our goals.

It's a challenge

Climbing is a challenging activity that requires problem-solving skills and perseverance. Overcoming obstacles and achieving goals can help improve self-confidence and self-esteem, giving you a sense of accomplishment and having a positive impact on mental health. Climbing can also help develop resilience, which is an important factor in managing stress and anxiety.

How to get started with climbing

If you're interested in trying climbing to help manage your stress and anxiety, here are a few tips to get started:

  • Find a climbing gym near you - The Hangar has 8 centres in cities across the UK, find your nearest Hangar here.
  • Take a beginner's class or find a climbing partner who can show you the basics – all of our coached group classes are free with entry/ membership costs.
  • Start with a type of climbing that feels comfortable and safe for you – don’t like heights? Give bouldering a go.
  • Set realistic goals and work towards them gradually - no goal is too small in climbing! Whether it’s progressing to the next grade or just completing the crux of one climb.
  • Most importantly, be patient with yourself and enjoy the process of learning and improving.

Climbing can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and anxiety. By engaging in a physically and mentally challenging activity, you can improve your mood, focus, and overall wellbeing.

If you're interested in trying climbing, don't be afraid to give it a try. Whether you prefer high-intensity or low-key sessions, there are countless ways to incorporate climbing into your routine and experience the benefits for yourself.

With patience and perseverance, you may find that it becomes a valuable part of your mental health routine. Find your nearest Hangar or book onto a class today.