Nature is a powerful force that has healing properties most people can’t put into words. While there are studies linking time spent outdoors to more positive outlooks and well-being, the spiritual quality of nature makes it a unique part of many addiction treatment programs.
Being outdoors can come in many forms depending on the type of program you choose; outdoor therapy may include hiking, yoga and meditation; adventure or wilderness therapy can involve sports, rock climbing, camping and more. The basic premise is still the same, however; spending time in nature can bring peace, calm and greater focus as you work through your addiction.
Outdoor Therapy and How It Helps
Addiction treatment can be difficult if you are not the type of person who enjoys spending time indoors or talking to others. Substance abuse already leads to isolation, which can be difficult to shake after spending so much time on your own. The jarring transition from being addicted to sitting through group and individual therapy may be overwhelming, even with recreational activities.
Outdoor therapy brings a much-needed change of scenery that is gentle and soothing. Nature is constant, always there to welcome anyone regardless of where they come from or what they are currently going through. Many activities incorporated into outdoor therapy build skills that support a healthy recovery; experiential therapy involves many trips into nature doing a variety of engaging activities that get you active and mentally engaged such as horse riding, biking, team sports and hiking.
There are also moments where you may just walk in silence and be able to appreciate the peace around you. Therapists sometimes encourage clients to go on a walk and talk as they move, which can be easier than sitting in an office.
The Benefits of Nature Rehabilitation
Nature helps reconnect people to themselves; it bridges the distance between the mind and body that become so entangled and painful during addiction. It also promotes a sense of spirituality and connectedness that may have been long forgotten or never experienced before.
A Stronger Connection With the World
The goal of nature therapy is not just to bring you in touch with yourself; you will also be able to firmly ground yourself in the world. After trying to escape situations and feelings through drugs and alcohol, it can be divinely healing to realize there is so much peace and tranquility around you.
Trips into nature during addiction recovery can give you distance from the triggers, thoughts and problems you have to face back in therapy. Instead, it offers you a chance to heal through being, seeing and connecting with the world using your five senses.
Less Focus on Internal States
As you work through different outdoor activities, there is a reduced focus on your mind. Rather than being swallowed by your thoughts or consumed with anxiety, walking outside, exercising or doing a sport gives your body a purpose. You can be reminded of the incredible ability your own body has to perform amazing things; your mind can loosen its grip on negative thoughts and find peace in the simple act of doing something as simple as witnessing birds fly across a vast sky.
More time spent outdoors lifts people’s spirits and can help lower substance cravings. It provides a refuge to turn to when you can’t sit still, and it is a healthy alternative to ruminating alone in your room. Nature can be a place for you to practice spiritual activities such as meditation, gratitude and prayer, or it can be a place to physically reconnect through hiking, biking, yoga and more.
However you choose to bond with nature is deeply personal, but all of them are beneficial in reducing cravings and promoting a healthier mindset that will aid you during recovery.
Learn More About Healing Through Nature Today
Find an outdoor therapy program or wilderness addiction treatment center near you. We can put you in touch with a rehab that has all the qualities and services you’re looking for. This is your recovery story, and you deserve to find a place that makes you feel supported and empowered.
Learn more by calling us anytime at 833-610-1174.