Benefits of Spending Time in Nature During Addiction Recovery

Nature is for everyone and can be available everywhere. It can refer to the miracles of the world by which people live their lives – from gardens, rivers, oceans, forests, and mountains in the world. The benefits of nature are numerous, but one benefit is the impact nature has on addiction recovery. There are unique healing methods and qualities that nature has tapped into from the beginning of time.

Somewhere, the key to recovering in life, in general, is called “balance,” and therefore, it is essential for your mind, body, and spirit to counteract your complex lives with nature. Nature heals your mind, soul, and body. Therefore, this type of Vitamin “N” (Nature) should be included in every individual’s diet.  In fact, some of our society’s yearning for drugs may be related to their cravings for this centered state of body, mind, and nature.

When people use alcohol or drugs, they can be disconnected from the environment and lose all of their senses. Healthy recovery can wake up all your senses and fill them with mindfulness of your surroundings.

There’s something honest and pure about this natural world. You are rambling through the mountains on a crumbly fall morning. Sitting on the lakeside, watching the waves cross on the sand, staring up at the night sky full of stars. These visions give rise to powerful feelings within us.

trees in snowy mountains below cloudy sky

Nature therapy is often used in the treatment of addiction and during recovery. Photo: Susan Wowk

Benefits of Nature

While there is enormous evidence of the effectiveness of traditional treatment methods like behavioral therapy, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of the holistic approach. For example, nature therapy for depression and drug addiction is the idea that spending time outdoors can abundantly give you the best benefits in your recovery. If you’re overwhelmingly addicted to drugs or alcohol, nature may be the perfect cure for it.

Nature therapy is a relatively emerging field, but many addiction treatment centers like Mandala Healing Center in West Palm Beach will incorporate it into their programs. Being in nature helps to remind ourselves of the beauty in our lives. Addiction recovery indeed has its own ups and downs, which can overshadow you. However, nature can help remind us of positives and help us find motivation, decreasing the risk of relapse.

Several benefits of being outdoors can boost addiction recovery. Moreover, your body needs adequate sunlight, a natural environment, and fresh air. Thus, some benefits of spending time in nature during addiction recovery are as follows.

Manages Stress and Anxiety

Nature helps manage our stress and anxiety. When nature surrounds you, stress is processed differently in the body and becomes more manageable. Even the view from your window can reduce stress (though a natural environment has improved effects compared to an urban one).

Similar to the fact that nature may dampen our anxiety, it can also enhance creativity and thoughts. If you love to read and write, take your diary outside with you and write poems while sitting in nature. Mental peace and new coping mechanisms provide another benefit of the outdoors in addiction treatment.

Read More: Snowshoeing Saved My Life

rain clouds with sun over the ocean

Nature can lessen our anxiety and increase our memory and creativity. Photo: Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Strengthens Our Immune System

Nature helps strengthen our immune system, which can be weakened during addiction. Your body will get Vitamin D from the sunlight by going outside, which is important for our immunity. Those who do not get enough vitamin D are more susceptible to illnesses, diabetes, atrophic arthritis disorders, and heart disease.

Also, if a person spends all their time indoors, their immune system is exposed to the same threats. Without exploring the outside world, with new people, the body can not develop a new type of reaction. Therefore, spending time outside and in nature will help you build your immunity more substantially during addiction recovery.

Improves Sleep

Nature can give you better sleep. During addiction recovery, it is very normal to lose sleep (insomnia). However, engaging in outdoor activities in nature that make your heart pump faster helps with insomnia because you are using up your energy. Thereby you’re more likely to feel sleepy and tired.

Furthermore, a night’s sleep is a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, once in a while, almost every individual has fallen into a flawed sleeping system. Too much time indoors under the artificial light of TVs and computer screens can also ruin your sleeping patterns. The simplest way to fix this is to invest your time outside. Going outside, particularly early morning rays, can help right your natural day-to-day rhythm.

Read More: Your Brain on Nature: A Book Review of the Nature Fix

forest of aspen trees surrounded by snow

Throughout the year, we can also stay active in nature to help in recovery. Photo: Susan Wowk

Encourages Exercise

Staying outside will encourage us to do exercise. Nature provides us the space to move, walk or run around, or at least you can stroll and watch the beautiful scenery. Physical activities and exercising outside can also give you an excellent way to get into better shape, which can help us feel stronger, more resilient, and more confident.

We can also go outside and exercise with people we enjoy. Spending time alone at home can lead to loneliness. So instead,  be surrounded by people, share your thoughts and ideas while enjoying nature and diverting your mind from addiction. Sometimes meeting new people and socializing will give you the best recovery sessions.

Read More: Surprisingly Interesting Sports You Should Try

Improves Focus

Staying outside and seeing greenery will also improve your focus. Even 40 seconds of looking at greenery, whether in urban or natural environments, can improve our attention, which is helpful during addiction recovery.

You can even use mindfulness while outdoors and in nature to help focus on the sights, sounds, and smells and generate your feelings and excitement. Also, since time outdoors refreshes a person’s focus, it can improve their function and problem-solving skills.

nature and addiction recovery: sunset view of lake and trees

Nature can be incredibly therapeutic, including an increased focus on health and sobriety. Plus, the number of activities to try in nature is endless. Photo: Lars_Nissen from Pixabay

Nature Activities

Healing from addiction by spending time in the natural world can provide excellent recovery benefits mentioned above, including focusing on your health and sobriety. The light binds, the natural light, fresh air, and the sounds bring us a sense of peace and freedom.

So, to aid in recovery, here are some options for activities you can try in nature:

  • Go gardening. If you love plants, building a garden is a great option for you.
  • Go for a pleasant and short walk near your home. You don’t have to go far to experience the benefits of the outdoors.
  • If you have a pet, start playing with them, and take them for a walk.
  • Take a short run or jog around your neighborhood or on a trail near home.
  • Go snowshoeing! When it’s cold outside, snowshoeing is a low-cost and easy way to get outside, even for a first-timer.
  • Join a community sports team. There are usually a variety of local teams, including volleyball, basketball, and kickball.
  • Play some games with your friends outdoors, like geocaching.
  • Go to the picnic with your friends and family.
  • Sit in your backyard with your comfy chair and read your favorite book or write something down into a journal.
  • Experience the water and try fishing (you can even go on the ice).

Overall

To help with addiction recovery, try to take some time from your busy schedule for some natural air and outdoor activities that will encourage your sobriety and improve your physical and mental health. There are so many benefits to spend time in nature during addiction recovery, and it can be as simple as a short walk around the block.

Read Next: 10 Ways to Get Outside and Explore Your Local Backyard this Winter

About the author

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer is a passionate blogger who explores the field of addiction recovery. With the help of her blogs, she provides information and knowledge about various types of addiction recovery.

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