Skiing on the snow on the mountain slopes sounds so much fun, right? And it’s also a downright extreme outdoor activity. Countless videos on YouTube shot by a GoPro camera have shown the intense side of skiing. But skiing is a great way to break the lull of the winter months. As skiing is a high-intensity activity, many are surprised to find out that it’s a good stress-buster for your mind. People think that since adrenaline may run high during skiing, their thoughts are considerably stressed out and tensed. This isn’t the case, though. You can ask psychologists about it. Skiing has been proven to be beneficial for your brain. It can even calm your mind!
Read on to find out the mental health benefits that skiing has to offer.
Breathing In Mountain Air Releases Stress From The Mind And Body.
As you make your way to the mountain slopes on a skiing trip, close your eyes and breathe in the fresh, crisp, and cold mountain air. Do this also as you start skiing along the slopes. Why? Lots of researchers confirmed that the fresh, pollution-free air on mountaintops could help alleviate stress and depression.
Japanese researchers recommended walking on forest environments such as mountaintops as a stress-reduction method. Their study also found out that being surrounded by pine trees and inhaling their scent significantly decreased hostility and depression. Pine trees are the most dominant tree type in mountaintops, where most skiing activities are held.
There is also this German concept that’s linked to the fresh mountain air. It’s called Frische Luft, the literal German translation for fresh air. Germans believed that when you have a cold or any other ailment, you lack fresh mountain air. Hence, you must open your windows (even in winter), breathe deeply, and allow Frische Luft to cure your illnesses naturally.
Staying On The Mountains To Ski Boosts Your Mood.
Skiing on the mountains exposes you to the right amount of natural ultraviolet rays coming from the sun, even during the winter season when the sun isn’t literally shining down on you. These rays are natural sources of vitamin D. Hence; skiing is an excellent way of getting vitamin D during the winter days.
Vitamin D is a much-needed nutrient that is known to help boost your mood. Getting enough of this vitamin means that you’ll be in a generally happy mood. Vitamin D is also great for combating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a psychological condition wherein a person feels unusually lonely and depressed during gloomy weather or winter seasons.
Skiing Improves Focus And Concentration.
When you ski, you need to train your mind to become extremely focused on balance, coordination, and sensory perception. This is so that you can effectively go down the slopes without risking yourself to injuries.
Proprioception is another crucial element to skiing well. The term refers to the sensation of feeling your various body parts and the effort that’s needed to move them properly. You need to be aware of how you move your body and how much effort you’re putting to use them to ski correctly. You improve your proprioception when you keenly focus yourself on the skiing moment itself.
Your focus and concentration get better in time as you ski often. Your mind is consistently trained to check on your body and your proprioception while skiing. This increase in focus and concentration doesn’t leave once you’re done skiing; it is being carried on to your other daily activities and keeps on improving in the long run.
Skiing Releases You From Anxiety And Tension.
It seems counterintuitive, but skiing on a mountain can help you get rid of pent-up worries, tension, and anxiety that you are carrying.
Understandably, skiing can be an anxiety-inducing activity, especially if you’re a first-timer or if you’re not yet getting the hang of it. But once you conquer your initial fears and worries about skiing, that’s when your mind starts seeing things in a fresh light.
Mountains carry this sublime beauty that leaves you in awe. The views from the top of the mountain do the same thing. When you ski on a mountaintop, your mind is forced to focus on the ethereal beauty of the scenery, even if your body is doing a high-intensity activity. As your mind adjusts, the admiration and appreciation for nature gently replace the pent-up tension, stress, fear, and anxiety that’s been bugging your mind.
You’ll also realize that as you ski, you and your worries begin to feel smaller. The views offered by the mountain widens your perspective. Anxiety and stress melt away because you suddenly realize that there’s a vast horizon out there, the unknown is still there, and your fears and anxiety are nothing compared to the enormous background of what’s yet to come.
In A Nutshell
Skiing is a great way to stay active during the winter months. But apart from its physical benefits, the sport also gives your mind a lot of treats. Stress, tension, and anxiety all melt away gently as you enjoy your time on the slopes. It even improves your coordination, focus, and proprioception. Plus, breathing in the fresh mountain air helps clear your mind further and gives your mood an overall boost. So, treat yourself to a ski holiday now and ski your way to a calmer, clearer, and happier mind.