Yosemite National Park’s Camp 4 has had an extremely interesting past. It has been loved, hated, loved again and eventually, immortalized by being placed on the United States National Register of Historic Places. Camp 4 has been the home of the world’s best rock climbers since just after World War II, when climbers began to flock to Yosemite National Park to conquer its rock walls and spires, including the famous El Capitan and Half Dome. Through the years, Camp 4 has become a kind of holy place among climbers, but climbers weren’t always the most welcomed guests in Yosemite. There was a period in the sixties where climbers and park rangers were essentially at war with each other. Thankfully, the proverbial hatchet was buried.
It’s been proven time and time again that exercise alleviates depression, stress, and anxiety. As for specific exercises, science has shown that aerobic activities are the best for improving one’s mood. If you engage in activities like biking, hiking or swimming, it’s twice as effective because spending time outdoors does wonders for your mental health, too!
It’s true–engaging in physical activity in the outdoors has been proven to decrease hormones associated with stress, smooth out the nervous system and decrease the heart rate and blood pressure. Furthermore, walking in more rural and natural environments is better for you than urban settings. If you really want to kick a bout of depression, spend a few nights camping under the stars.
Often times, hanging out with others when you’re down in the dumps is the last thing you want to do. In actuality, it’s one of the best things you can do. Studies have shown that spending time with friends in a non-stressful environment lowers cortisol, the hormone in the body that causes stress in the first place. So, you should consider taking a pal with you on that hike or bike ride.
If exercise and spending time outside doesn’t relieve the stress, you may need some professional help. Sometimes a medical professional is the only thing that can get you back on track. If the situation is so dire that you’re considering hurting yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.