Did you know that nearly 21 million Americans have one or more addiction? Sadly, only a small minority ever receive treatment.
Part of this is due to the stigma associated with addiction and the fear of relapse. But, there are so many ways that people suffering from addictions can begin a recovery journey that is full of healing and compassion.
One of these key factors is nature. Nature can play a huge role in someone’s recovery. Here are the ways that nature for addiction treatment can help.
The Sensory Stimulus of Nature in Recovery
Spending time outside stimulates almost all of your senses. Your sense of smell, sight, touch, and sound will be engaged in ways that are not possible indoors.
Stimulating your senses stimulates brain function. As you touch a tree trunk or watch birds flitter across the sky, your brain will light up.
During addiction, the brain can suffer serious damage. Combined with other forms of therapy, being in nature in your recovery journey can help restore your brain functions.
Nature as Adventure Therapy
One of the perks of spending time in nature for addiction treatment is that it’s about experiencing it. It’s an experiential type of learning and healing.
Being in nature is a welcome break from other types of therapy such as talk or biofeedback therapy. Instead, you get to experience the healing powers of adventure therapy.
You get to focus on movement and recreation. There are so many types of experiences in nature that you can try. Hiking, biking, canoeing, obstacle courses, running, golf, and many more.
Spending time outdoors can help you think about your recovery issues in a hopeful space. You can tap into the peace of the natural world in order to find your equilibrium for your journey ahead.
This is vital in helping you on your recovery journey.
Connection to the Natural World
Being in nature is rejuvenating. It elevates our mood and helps us relax and think clearly.
Forest bathing is scientifically proven to lower stress levels, help ward off depression, and even improve a person’s cardiovascular health.
You don’t have to have a forest nearby. Just being around a few trees while being mindful will unlock the power of this healing experience for you.
In fact, a recent study showed the effects of a garden in a hospital. Just having access to this space improved healing time, reduced anger, pain and anxiety in patients.
Being in nature has benefits for our muscle tension, blood pressure, heart and brain activity.
Did you know that adults spend 93% of their time indoors or in the car? Not only is that sad, but its effects are real. When we disconnect with nature there are consequences.
Yet, it’s possible and easy to help restore the connection to the natural world. The mountains of Asheville, NC are a wonderful place to reconnect with the wonders of nature.
Our bodies are connected to electricity from the cellular level. Our cells are designed to conduct electrical currents.
Certain elements inside us like calcium, sodium, and magnesium have an electrical charge.
The earth has a strong negative charge. It provides electrons that act as an antioxidant for the body.
Walking barefoot on grass (called grounding) allows your body to absorb those necessary negative electrons. Other ways of grounding include swimming in a natural body of water and sitting against a tree trunk.
Hope for Renewal
One of the hardest parts of recovery is having the hope of a new life. Being surrounded by nature can help you start to believe that this is possible.
Nature can be the best example of renewal for recovering addicts. As we watch a new day start or see the sky turn clear after a storm, we learn about renewal.
For those who believe in a higher power, being in nature can help restore the spirit, as well. In the solitude and peace of fresh air, it is easier to commune with a greater power.
Nature easily lends itself to self-reflection, meditation, and self-discovery.
A New, Active Lifestyle
You may have heard that in order to stay sober, it is important to replace your addictive habits with new ones.
One aspect of nature helping addiction is through free exercise. Hiking, biking, running, cycling, are all free and can be done anywhere.
Exercising in nature is a great way to get all the benefits of the outdoors combined with the benefits of exercise. You will feel invigorated, have more energy and a sunnier outlook on life.
During addiction recovery, these activities promote physical recovery over addictions.
Nature Can Help You on Your Recovery Journey
Thanks for reading. We know that addiction recovery is a lifelong process. We also know that the natural world is an excellent tool that can help you on your recovery journey.
When sober living includes time spent outdoors, the quality of life improves and is enjoyable. Best of all, your time in nature can continue well after your time in a recovery program.
Whether you go to spend time in the mountains, at your local park, or even just in your own garden, being in nature will support you along the path.
At Oasis Recovery Center, we treat addiction through mind, body, and spirit. In our beautiful space in Asheville, NC, individuals can heal from addiction in a creative, open-hearted environment.
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