The natural world is pure and healing. A crisp autumn morning, a hike through the mountains, watching the waves crash against the sand, and starry skies are just some of the natural scenes that evoke powerful emotions within us and will always leave you wanting more.
Nature therapy greatly benefits the recovery process, helping patients recover from addiction. Spending time in nature can also help you stay sober and healthy.
The Benefits of Spending Time in Nature for Addiction Recovery
According to Haven House Recovery, a center for addiction recovery in Clarksville, spending time outdoors while recovering from an addiction benefits you in many ways, such as:
1. It increases vitamin D productio
Spending time outdoors, especially during the early morning, is one of the best ways to get vitamin D into your body. The sun’s ultraviolet light reacts with the cholesterol in skin cells, providing the energy your body needs to produce vitamin D.
Long-term substance abuse can have devastating effects on your physical health. Vitamin D helps you maintain a strong immune system and prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Some people experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during addiction recovery, mostly during winter, due to the lack of sunlight exposure. Spending time outdoors helps reduce your chances of experiencing it.
2. It helps you manage stress, anxiety, and depression
Outdoor activities in nature are one of the best ways to escape the stresses of daily life. Relaxing views and the soothing sounds of nature are proven to be beneficial in managing anxiety, stress, and depression.
The body responds to stress differently in nature than it does when it is indoors. It experiences a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and an increase in endorphins, hormones that promote happiness.
Recovering from an addiction is difficult, and feeling stressed or depressed increases your chances of relapsing. Spend time in nature to maintain good mental health and long-term sobriety
3. It encourages you to move and exercise
Addiction recovery can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle, increasing your risk of developing serious health conditions such as osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
Look for treatment centers that incorporate outdoor activities connected to nature into their programs, like hiking, camping, and more. These activities encourage exercise and movement, helping you feel accomplished and healthy.
These are excellent ways to achieve long-term sobriety.
4. It helps you sleep better
Spending time indoors exposes you to more blue light from televisions, computers, or cellphones. These artificial light sources can affect your sleep quality and harm your health.
Spending time in nature reduces blue light exposure, helping you maintain your sleep cycles. This will help you recover from addiction and improve your sleeping patterns.
5. It increases energy
You’ll feel more energetic when you choose to receive treatment at addiction centers that include outdoor activities in their programs. Sunlight not only promotes Vitamin D production but also helps maintain serotonin levels.
You feel more energetic when you have higher serotonin levels after overcoming addiction. This helps you feel more excited about participating in other addiction recovery activities, reducing the risk of depression, anxiety, and relapse.
6. It enhances cognitive function
Research has shown that nature positively affects cognitive function. It improves problem-solving skills and the ability to concentrate, two of the most important aspects of addiction recovery.
You’ll have better problem-solving skills, focus, and more strength to resist temptations and stop relapses. You’re better at seeing the important things and thinking through obstacles.
7. It combats boredom
Experts believe boredom is one of the greatest threats to recovery from addiction. Boredom doesn’t just lead to relapses but also causes a ton of problems, such as anger issues, eating disorders, and mental illness.
Overcoming addiction is difficult enough; you don’t need more problems caused by boredom. Spending time in nature is a great way to avoid them.
Outdoor activities open new avenues to discover hobbies; you never know what you might discover. You might have a passion for wildlife photography, geocaching, gardening, or fishing.
8. It allows you to reflect
The best thing about spending time outdoors while recovering from addiction is that it helps you to think about your life, where it went off-track, and realize how important it is to be sober.
Introspection helps you become more self-aware and gives you self-knowledge and self-reflection. These are essential for a successful recovery and integral to ongoing personal and spiritual growth.
Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to keep recovering addicts healthy. It helps improve health by boosting vitamin D production, encouraging exercise, and promoting better sleep. It also helps improve cognitive abilities and increases energy, which helps keep recovering addicts focused on their recovery. Lastly, it helps recovering addicts achieve better mental health by preventing boredom from setting in and helping them manage depression, anxiety, and stress.