Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Why Spending Time in Nature Helps the Addiction Recovery Process

spending time in nature helps the addiction recovery process

Each person’s recovery is unique. The tools they’ll need to stay substance-free will depend on their specific needs. However, a few commonly used tools are helpful for most people in their journey of recovery. These include physical exercise, group meetings, a healthy diet and spending time outdoors. 

It’s easy to overlook the importance of being in nature. Most of us become so busy with our daily lives that we forget to carve out time to maintain our physical and emotional health. People struggling with substance use disorder don’t have that luxury. Tending to their wellbeing is one of the most important things in their lives. 

Let’s look at why spending time outdoors is essential for the addiction recovery process.

Benefits of Spend Time Outdoors

People who don’t spend time outside report higher levels of stress and a greater number of health problems. That is true across all social spectrums. Regardless of where a person lives or how much money they make, being outdoors is helpful for everyone. 

Studies have found that spending time in green spaces reduces the risk of…
  • Type II diabetes, 
  • Cardiovascular disease, 
  • Premature death, 
  • Diastolic blood pressure, 
  • Heart rate,
  • Stress, and 
  • Levels of salivary cortisol -- a physiological marker of stress.
Spending time in nature increases sleep duration and results in higher reported levels of happiness. There are also byproducts of spending time outside that offer other perks. For example, people who spend time outside also tend to be more active, whether by walking, jogging or hiking. 

Impact of Being in Nature in Addiction Recovery

All the benefits listed above also help people in recovery. Spending time outside also aids addiction recovery by improving self-efficacy, the belief in one’s self to maintain behaviors necessary to achieve their goals. Being outdoors boosts a person’s mood. It is both invigorating and peaceful. 

So many of the tools people use to sustain their recovery are cultivated by being in nature. Reducing stress, boosting your mood and engaging in exercise are critical for a sustainable recovery. Making space in your routine to spend time in nature will provide exponential benefits for your mental, physical and spiritual health 

How to Make Nature Time Part of Your Routine

Though you don’t need to devote several hours a day outside to start reaping nature’s benefits, you should make it a priority to factor it into your weekly plan. A week-long vacation in which you spend a lot of time in nature isn’t enough to have a consistent impact on your health. However, spending just two hours a week in nature will reap physical and mental benefits. 

You can start by incorporating walks outside a couple times a week. It’s not necessary to go into the wilderness to be in nature. Instead, be mindful of finding green spaces - any place where there are plenty of trees, grass and sunlight. Beaches are another great location to spend time outside. Your own neighborhood or backyard might be the perfect place to start. You can also search for hiking trails in your area. 

As is the case with adding any new activities in your routine, convenience is key. Find an easy way to get outdoors and go for a walk. Once you make it a habit, you can then start finding more ways to venture outside for longer periods. 

At HAUS, Spending Time Outdoors Is Part of Our Approach

At HAUS, we know the importance of spending time in nature. It’s part of our approach to treating our clients’ physical, mental and spiritual needs. We offer a lush lawn, flowering shrubs and a lovingly tended vegetable garden. We also encourage our clients to make time in nature part of their normal routines. 

If you’d like to learn more about our addiction recovery services and programs, please contact our staff today. Call 888-551-4715 to speak with an admissions counselor and learn more about our beautiful California facility.

No comments:

Post a Comment