Nature is everywhere and available to everyone. Nature can also present itself in many different forms, such as lakes, rivers, oceans, forests, rock gardens and potted plants. There are unique healing benefits that promote overall physical, mental and spiritual health with each form of nature. While living in a time where people have become so tech-centric—especially while navigating a pandemic—you might have moved away from considering using nature as a tool for your recovery. However, many therapeutic wilderness programs recognize the healing properties of nature. Nature has also been shown to relieve stress, depression and anxiety. It also promotes confidence, empowerment and connection with yourself and your surroundings. The best part is that you don’t necessarily need the outdoors to get your nature fix.
Nature Brings Renewal
Managing a substance use disorder (SUD), redefining your life and discovering your true self is essential to maintain lasting recovery. Additionally, part of this change is achieving a sense of renewal. Nature can teach someone recovering from a SUD that each new day offers a fresh start, despite what has happened the day before. Nature is resilient and can find ways to restore itself. Whether byway of hiking, looking after a plant or gardening, or taking in the views from your porch or vicariously online, nature is powerful in its ability to show us regrowth. Much like recovery, while you will encounter setbacks and challenges, you, too, can restore your life.
Nature Speaks to the Soul
When you choose recovery and begin managing your SUD, you likely understand how difficult times can get when you remember or relive memories of past experiences before seeking treatment. You also probably know that the road to recovering yourself emotionally and physically takes patience, pain, and persistence. Therapeutic treatments such as counseling, group therapy and nature therapy will help you discover ways to find solutions for coping with your emotions.
At New Hope Ranch, we believe that one’s surroundings can significantly impact one’s spiritual needs. The outdoor venues and experiential therapies help our patients discover their true selves and find skills that, in turn, help them make more significant connections with themselves and others. Through these group activities in nature, the goal is to build trust in yourself and others, which are vital factors in early recovery. However, these spiritual self-discoveries also instill life-lasting tools. Nature not only engages your senses but offers you the time needed to reflect, meditate and soul-search on the aspects of your life that are either affecting you or inspiring you.
It is no secret that a long-term SUD can negatively impact your health. After an extended period of using substances, you might lose confidence in your ability to participate in physical activities. If not treated, these beliefs could hinder you from ever reaching your greatest goals. Unlike other activities, connecting with nature can be unassuming and, therefore, less stressful. Because there is so much to take in, a hike in nature that offers breathtaking views could distract you from the fact that you have hiked a challenging trail or traveled the distance you have. Whether it’s biking, hiking, running or rafting, participating in activities in nature can help repair the body.
Scientific studies have shown that being around trees, water and other forms of nature positively affects social, physical and mental well-being. This is not only because oxygen levels might be higher in natural areas, but the visuals in nature can promote happiness. Even if you live in a city or are confined to being indoors, you can still access these benefits by looking at pictures or watching videos of nature. You can also participate in nature trails while using a stationary bike or treadmill at home. Additionally, you might take up starting a small indoor garden or placing plants around your living space. Plants are calming to look at and caring for plants can promote feelings of peace. If you cannot go outdoors, get creative and bring nature to you.
Spending time in nature has a number of physical, mental and spiritual benefits that can help while in recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Located near Austin, Texas, New Hope Ranch can help you overcome substance use disorders and co-occurring mental issues in a beautiful natural setting. New Hope Ranch offers a range of evidence-based treatment modalities, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and SMART recovery. We also offer art, music, yoga and other recreational therapy programs to help give you the tools and skills you need for lasting recovery. If you are interested in learning more about how New Hope Ranch can help you or someone you love overcome addiction, or to talk to caring staff, call us today at (737) 600-8565.