This Spring, Get Outdoors for Holistic Addiction Treatment

outdoor holistic addiction treatment - young woman hiker sits on edge of cliff against background of sunrise over valley. Woman is meditation and greeting a sun

Addiction treatment is a complex process designed to support the function of the brain, improve emotional health, and heal the physical body. It involves medical professionals, therapists, and a variety of treatment modes. 

But one powerful addition to any addiction program is so simple it might seem laughable: going outside. How can spending time in nature help with addiction recovery?

Nature has a way of helping soothe the mind and body. Just by spending time outdoors, you may find yourself more relaxed, at ease, and able to let go of some of the pain you feel, at least for a short period of time. Getting outside easily complements other types of care you’re receiving, including residential drug addiction treatment or outpatient care programs.

What Are the Benefits of Nature?

Consider how spending time in nature helps to support the recovery process.

  • It promotes peace and calm

One of the ways nature helps during recovery is by providing a sense of peace and calmness that is hard to find in a digital, fast-moving world. While you may have a list of things to do and many more things on your mind, a short walk outdoors can help to ease your spirit. 

For those in addiction recovery, easing bodily and mental tension helps combat cravings. Cravings arise when life feels over- or understimulating, and substances can provide an escape like no other. Therefore, keeping stress levels under control is crucial for someone in recovery. Getting out for a short walk one to several times a day can provide respite and balance. And you don’t have to always walk in some idyllic place – a walk around town can be powerful, too.  

  • It combats stress hormones

Another benefit of getting outside is that it often requires some good, healthy exercise. Going on short (or long) walks can help to burn off the stress hormone that might get triggered during the day’s work. If you have ever experienced a rush of good feelings after a workout at the gym, that’s because exercise produces hormones called endorphins that alleviate anxiety and frustration.

In nature, climbing a few hills, going for a jog, or riding your bike can give you the same benefit. In addition, outdoor exercise allows you to soak up some sun and fresh air, which can help to support your immune system’s well-being.

  • It improves perspective

When in the depths of recovery, it is very common to become zeroed in on the pain and struggle you are facing. It can be all you see and make you feel as though nothing is right or good. When you go outdoors, sit in a park, or perhaps play a game of basketball with some friends, you can get a different perspective, one that’s less clouded by pain and more positive, open, and clear. The larger world beyond your immediate struggles is still a good place to be, and you can find your way there.

  • It spurs positive thoughts and ideas

Just going for a walk allows you to step away from the environment you’re constantly in and see something new. Be purposeful in your time outdoors. Focus your senses on what is happening around you. What color is the sky? Do you hear birds, see squirrels? Listen to the movement of the wind through the leaves and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Filling your awareness with sensation helps push out negative thoughts and spark new ideas. 

How to Take Advantage of Nature in Addiction Recovery

There are a number of simple things you can do today to enjoy all that spring has to offer:

  • Spend some time sitting on a patio in the sun. Simply sit and enjoy the stillness.
  • Go for a walk in a nearby park, perhaps one you have not spent time in for a long while.
  • Visit a local school and take a few laps around the track, jogging at a comfortable pace, walking as needed.
  • Clean out the flower beds around your home. If you have a hobby you can do outside, do it outside. If you work from home, take your laptop outside when possible. 
  • Go out at night and look at the stars; focus on the sounds you hear.

Being in nature can restore your health and well-being. It can help you gather your thoughts to communicate more effectively. If you’re still struggling with addiction or feeling in danger of a relapse, reach out for help. Our dedicated team of professionals at The Ranch at Dove Tree can empower you to find the better things in life.

Learn more about addiction recovery and comprehensive addiction treatment in Lubbock, TX. Contact our admissions counselor today to see how we can help you.