How hiking helped my mental health: Guest post by Arie Abtahi

In 2017, I worked at a corporate office job where I spent my days in a cubicle. My mind was always clouded with deadlines, meetings, and emails that never seemed to stop. I struggled to find time for personal hobbies and realized there had to be more to life than the repetitive office life cycle. 

I glanced at my coworkers, noticing the fake smiles on their faces and the emptiness in their eyes, which mirrored what I felt. The pressure to meet expectations, the unending stream of meetings and reports, and the absence of purpose in my work weigh heavily on me, making it hard to enjoy life. I wanted something new, something existing, something I had never done before. I needed a change. 

One day, while flipping through a magazine at the doctor’s office, I stumbled upon a breathtaking photo of a hiker on a mountain peak. The sheer beauty of nature captured my imagination, and I was instantly hooked. Even though I never hiked before the idea of being outdoors and surrounded by nature had always appealed to me. I quickly found an online hiking community where I discovered tips and advice for a beginner like myself. 

Later that week, I shopped at an outdoor store and purchased all the necessary hiking gear. I laced up my boots, grabbed my backpack, and headed to a nearby trail I read about online. For my first trail, I had chosen the Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls trail, a 3-mile hike that was supposed to be challenging, yet rewarding. 

As I started hiking, I felt the tension in my shoulders melt away. The sound of birds chirping and leaves rustling in the wind soothes my soul. When I first decided to take hiking as a hobby, I felt a little hesitant because I wasn’t sure if I was physically fit enough or if my new hobby would be detrimental to my job, but as soon as I got on the trail, I knew I made the right decision.

I walked at my own pace, breathing in the crisp air and enjoying the stunning views. My mind began to quiet down as I immersed myself in nature. I noticed the beauty in the simplest things, like a blooming flower or a babbling brook. As I continued on the trail, the rocky path led me to a beautiful creek. The water was crystal clear and flowed gently over smooth stones. I could hear the soft sound of the water as it bubbled and gurgled over the rocks. It was a peaceful and serene sight

I kept going, pushing myself to climb higher and explore further. I felt a sense of accomplishment with every step I took. The physical exertion and connection with nature invigorated me in a way my office job never could.

After that first hike, I make it a regular part of my routine. I prioritize spending time outdoors, and it has become my sanctuary. I even started to go camping after my positive experience of being outdoors. I notice a positive shift in my mental health. I’m less stressed, more focused, and happier overall. Even my co-workers noticed the difference in my mood at work.

I even invited my co-workers to go hiking with me. I knew it would be a fun adventure and a great way to bond with my colleagues, who I felt were stuck in a rut. To our delight, everyone was thrilled about the idea and joined me on my next trip. 

Hiking has transformed my life in ways I never expected. It’s taught me to appreciate nature’s simple pleasures, prioritize self-care, and find balance in my busy life. Being surrounded by nature’s beauty has a therapeutic effect on me, helping me to reduce stress, clear my mind, and gain a fresh perspective on life’s challenges.

Now 5 years later, I’m no longer just surviving my office job. I’m thriving, and hiking has become my secret weapon. It’s a reminder that nature has the power to heal, rejuvenate, and inspire us all. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step outside and let nature work its magic. You might find yourself on a breathtaking adventure that forever changes your life.


  1. Hey,
    This is such an inspiring article! It’s amazing to see the positive impact that spending time outdoors and hiking can have on someone’s mental health and overall well-being. Thank you for sharing your experience and encouraging others to take a step outside.
    Thank you
    Michelle Campbell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s