Recovery requires addressing the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual consequences of addiction. Substance use affects relationships and all other areas of life. As a result, the recovery process is intense and requires treatment of the mind, body and soul in order to heal.
Nature therapy is the simple act of regularly spending time in nature and has proven to be one of the most powerful practices for fostering healing and whole-person restoration. For countless generations, nature has been integrated into the treatment of mind, body and soul ailments and is also one of the most beneficial practices for those recovering from addiction.
We’re going to take a closer look at how one can nurture their recovery through nature, and discuss seven of the most unique health benefits of being outdoors.
What is Nature Therapy?
Nature therapy, also sometimes referred to as green therapy or ecotherapy, is the holistic “treatment” modality of spending time in nature. It recognizes the inherent bond between humanity and the rest of creation, and nurturing that bond leverages nature’s innate healing powers.
There are many different ways you can integrate nature therapy into your treatment plan or as a healthy habit after completing an addiction rehabilitation program. Some people prefer to immerse themselves in more secluded locations for solitary enjoyment, while others like to go out in nature in groups, such as through hiking clubs.
Nature therapy in and of itself is not a comprehensive treatment for addiction but can be a vital and highly beneficial practice to engage in, both in and out of addiction recovery.
Most people experience significant benefits from regularly spending time in nature during recovery, and many continue to turn to nature long after rehab as one of their new hobbies to replace substance use.
What are the benefits of being outdoors?
There is no shortage of the variety of benefits we receive from regularly spending time outdoors. Nature is full of inherent healing properties, not only through the bright sunshine but the dirt and earth as well. Running water and even cold temperatures provide benefits.
Some of the incredible health benefits of being outdoors include:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Easing symptoms of depression
- Promoting more restful sleep
- Balancing mental and emotional state
- Lowering the risk of disease and illness
- Improving cognition and brain function
- Improving circulation and heart function
- Supporting longevity and long-term wellness
Spending time outdoors does so much more than just make us feel better and is essential for us to thrive in every sense of the word.
How do you spend more time outside?
For some people, stepping out their front door immediately immerses them in nature; maybe they live in the mountains on several acres of property, and nature is practically unavoidable. For others, though, stepping out their front door puts them on a sidewalk or on the concrete outskirts of a massive city. Accessing true nature might require getting into a car, sitting in traffic, and having to go significantly out of your way. It’s not always easy, but finding how to access Greenspace and making the effort to do so is invaluable.
If you’re feeling stumped on what you should “do” in nature or exactly “how” you’re supposed to spend time in nature, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s how you can spend more time in nature, and get the most benefits out of it:
- Research nearby nature areas that interest you (parks, beaches, hiking trails)
- Be open to experimenting with different nature-based activities
- Schedule nature time like any other commitment (honor it)
- Turn your phone on airplane mode (and limit recording) to be fully present
- Strengthen your observation and memory by watching wildlife
- Practice using all of your main senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch)
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, or perhaps starting to struggle in their sobriety, send a message to our team here at Rehab After Work.
Enjoy Nature Therapy Today
We understand that not everyone wants to or has the ability to enroll in a full-time, around-the-clock care rehabilitation program. The good news is, you don’t have to. We’ve designed our programs to be flexible to your existing schedule and priorities, while still maintaining their recovery efficacy.
Depending on the kind of treatment that will best serve you, we offer both intensive outpatient therapy and partial hospitalization. It’s okay if you aren’t sure which type of program will best suit your needs. Send us a message and one of our staff members will reach out to you shortly.
You can also call us directly at (610) 644-6464 to speak with one of our qualified intake specialists; we’re here to help you in whatever way we can.