Addiction Treatment

3 Reasons Why Being in Nature is Essential for Addiction Recovery

For those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, connecting with nature is an essential part of recovery. Imagine getting clean in a mountain cabin or a Hilton Head rehab? The fresh air, sunlight, breeze, and the peaceful sounds of nature are therapeutic to the body, mind, and soul, making nature one of the best ways to supplement your treatment process. Due to its many benefits, “Vitamin N” (nature) is helpful for anyone struggling with a mental health or addiction issue.

3 Ways Nature Helps in Addiction Recovery:

  1. Nature Heals the Body, Mind, and Soul

Being in the outdoors invigorates and energizes the mind, body, and soul. The connection with nature has healing properties that can help our recovery process be successful. Renew the mind, refresh the soul, and strengthen the body through exercise. Recovery is a  long-term process. When you are in it for the long haul, nature can provide renewed energy and a feeling of motivation.

  1. Environment Change

Incorporating nature into recovery is not difficult to do. A simple walk, hike, or bike ride can help to change the environment drastically. A change of environment from stressful work situations, social pressure, alcohol, or drugs, to the peace and healing of nature not only can do wonders for mental health but bring physical benefits as well. Exercising in the great outdoors can help keep weight under control, and is good for cardiovascular and blood pressure health. Exposure to sunlight makes serotonin levels rise in the brain and relieves some symptoms of anxiety and depression, which can be triggers for addicts.

  1. The Bigger Picture

Connecting with nature can help us reconnect with the bigger picture in the process of healing. Alcohol and drugs disconnect a person from their environment, impairing their senses. But through nature, an addict can awaken to their environment, and invigorate their senses. An addict can find that nature gives a high, a rush, and learn to seek that instead of substances.

Connection to nature is not difficult to attain. Here are some ways to connect to nature:

  • Take mindfulness walks
  • Visit hiking trails
  • Go swimming
  • Maintain a garden or window boxes
  • Visit parks and hiking trails
  • Get a pet
  • Enjoy local beaches, lakes, or ponds
  • When working inside, sit by a window when possible
  • Choose to walk or bike instead of driving when possible  

Being in nature can make a person feel raw. That openness is the precursor to recovery and true healing. Nature has a way of giving us an honest look at ourselves. And it is a way of fulfilling Step 11 in the 12-Step process: by connecting with nature, we are connecting to a higher power.

So whether you are looking for a mountain cabin recovery center or a Hilton Head rehab, there is a way to incorporate nature into your healing process. And whether you are in inpatient or outpatient treatment, proximity to nature and making it part of your recovery is one of the best ways to ensure your success in carving out a new sober life.

About the author

Charles Keys