Tree Climbing: 10 Health and Stress Relief Benefits

Stressed? Does debt, job, family, kids, home/car repairs, etc., etc. got your mind spinning all the time?

Here's some helpful advice on how to relieve that stress and put everything into perspective: go climb a tree.

Why? Here are the top 10 reasons I've identified, plus some actual scientific research.

1. Stress Relief

Because climbing a tree pulls you away from your everyday life and transports you to your own "secret" place, the volume of life goes down and you are able to think clearer with less interruption.

Try closing your eyes and feeling the sway of the tree in the wind while separating and prioritizing your stressors in your mind.

2. Perspective

Both physical and mental perspectives are altered by the simple act of climbing a tree.

Obviously you get a different view of your physical surroundings, but you also experience a rush of adrenaline and a feeling of self-reliance once you are high enough to know you can't make a mistake.

3. Physical Benefits

Tree climbing is a total body workout and is extremely advantageous for upper body strength and balance. The rule of thumb for tree climbing is the same as for rock climbing: Always maintain at least three points of safe contact with the tree.

4. Danger Factor

Let's admit it, the danger factor in tree climbing makes it attractive. It's fun, but there is the potential for serious injury from a fall or being cut, scratched or stuck by branches.

It is also the reason tree climbing is not for everyone. But the ones who do it, get it.

5. Accessible

Where CAN'T you climb a tree? I believe only in the places that don't have any. But, most places with humans have some trees. Parks, wilderness areas, yards all have trees.

Once you begin climbing trees, you will automatically begin spotting and scouting various trees you would like to climb in your neighborhood/town/city.

6. Therapeutic

Climbing trees makes you feel good. It makes you feel alive. There is nothing more therapeutic than that.

7. Decisions

I make my best and most important life decisions while sitting in a tree. I'm writing this story in a tree right now! Look:

For whatever reason, the focus that tree climbing gives my mind helps me make very clear, well-thought-out decisions.

8. Solitude

Even in a busy park, simply climbing a tree provides a sense of solitude that cannot be achieved on the ground.

It is a positive, nature-centric solitude that allows you to appreciate the natural world and the slow pace at which trees live.

9. Ecosystem

One quickly becomes a part of the tree's ecosystem once you're in a tree. Trees are like virtual bird reality shows with the various species living in different areas of the tree - sometimes amiably, sometimes in conflict.

You quickly understand your place in the tree ecosystem - especially once the big birds start squawking at you to leave. It happens.

10. Attitude (kid)

Trees are like time machines. The higher you go, the younger you feel. What other free activity is so readily available and can almost instantly make you feel like a kid again?

Here are some links that show, scientifically, the physical, physiological and emotional benefits of tree climbing.

So, do you agree? Is tree climbing really that beneficial, or am I full of it?