Everyone has their own mantra to de-stress; go for a walk, hit the gym, some laps in the pool, and for some just going out into the wilderness does the trick. I’ve always been the child who enjoyed playing outside rather than inside the house. I’d come back with
bruised knees and elbows because I would be chasing some bird or strays in our gated society. Observing this love for the outside world, my parents would send me off to summer camps where I could explore this side of me. Before I knew it, I was going on trekking trips with a bunch of strangers during the summer just to restart my year. For me, trekking is therapeutic and camping in the wilderness is nothing short of thrilling.
Here’s why trekking can be akin to therapy:
There is proof that trekking in fact increases your creativity by as much as 50 per cent. It has been noticed that activities which keep people away from technology for a particular time makes them more creative, hence proving, nature helps in de-tangling the cobwebs of our mind.
Christina D’Souza, a 23-year-old college graduate from South Delhi, tells us, “Well, I went to Triund for the first time on my first trek ever. In the beginning, I thought I am never gonna reach the end but we started keeping smaller goals and attaining them. It felt like a success every time I reached my desired goal and then to finally reach the destination, all drenched in sweat and all my muscles giving up, it was another high.”
Just as exercise releases happy hormones, trekking too releases them. Combine that with the serene location, it definitely lifts up your mood. Sahana Gupta, a 24-year- old from Bangalore, who’s been on numerous treks, tells us, “Setting camp for the day was one of my favourite activities to do. Setting up my own tent, cooking an almost fulfilling meal and consuming it under the blanket of a million stars always made me feel relaxed. We often forget to live in the moment, and are weighed down by the past or the stress of the future, but that moment always kept me grounded to the present.”
A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine says, “We conclude that physical training programs such as long distance hiking trips can improve the oxidative stress in the blood of oncological patients.” This means that hiking trips can help cancer patients recover.
Exploring can be done, not in terms of just routes, but also perspectives. Trekking allows your brain to take some time off from the rush that it is used to. Giving it a break
could mean giving your thoughts a break too, to re-assess, and to re-examine ideas. It is rightly said that going “offline” in today’s time can do wonders for your thought process.
Sreema Roy, a 32-year-old linguistic expert working in Mumbai, tells us, “I feel like I can make better choices after I’ve spent some time in the mountains. I come back a little wiser, and a little more informed about how I can deal with situations. Sometimes you need to zoom out to be able to look for solutions, and my treks help me do exactly that.”