Every recovery journey will be personal. There is no one-size-fits-all path for overcoming substance use disorder (SUD) or other mental health disorders. Finding personalized recovery options is necessary to address each individual’s unique needs and goals for recovery. Having a wide variety of therapeutic options available for individuals can ensure that one is making the most of their time in treatment. Ocean-based therapy is just one of these options. Its unique benefits can be instrumental in creating a sense of physical, emotional, and spiritual fulfillment in recovery.
What Is Ocean-Based Therapy?
Ocean-based therapy is a unique approach to recovery that can take many forms. However, they all utilize the ocean’s natural healing properties and spiritual energies. For some, this can take the form of dedicated aquatic activities, such as surfing or snorkeling. Ocean-based therapy can also be any activity that utilizes oceanic energies for effective meditation, self-care, recovery, and peace. Wading in the water and feeling connected to the seemingly endless ocean can be a serene therapeutic outlet and a valid form of ocean-based therapy.
For those battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, addiction, or other mental health stressors, finding a place of calm and peace can be instrumental for recovery. Ocean-based therapy combines physical activities with the ocean’s natural energies to establish a connection to nature. Additionally, this therapeutic experience encourages individuals to reap the benefits of mindfulness while developing one’s spiritual center.
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The Benefits of the Ocean
On its own, nature can be a powerful recovery force. However, actively engaging with nature through ocean-based activities can nurture one’s connection to the natural world. Ocean-based therapy can be a way to get one’s body moving while exploring new activities and potential hobbies. In turn, participation in ocean-based therapy can improve one’s physical and emotional health. Even taking time to practice breathing in the fresh air and feeling the waves crash between one’s toes can all be excellent exercises in mindfulness. Feeling physically connected to the ocean while an individual is encouraged to focus on their emotions can promote healthier mental and physical awareness overall.
This is exceptionally beneficial for those struggling with the myriad of stresses prevalent throughout daily life. Individuals who struggle with intrusive thoughts as a result of PTSD need therapeutic opportunities that can provide peace. Similarly, mindfulness is essential for those working to navigate the stresses of addiction. Being able to situate oneself in a peaceful environment, such as the ocean, can slow down one’s mind. In turn, it can allow individuals to address difficult thoughts and emotions in a safe environment.
Likewise, detaching from digital media can allow those navigating their complex recovery journeys to be instrumental. Whether one engages with nature through hiking and jogging or more direct ocean-based techniques, these benefits enable individuals to focus wholly on their emotional and physical well-being.
Spirituality is another powerful force in recovery. However, it is also a personal journey, and one’s spiritual beliefs can be a great motivator and support system in recovery. Although spirituality and religion tend to go hand-in-hand for some, this is not always the case. Know that developing one’s spiritual beliefs is possible outside of any religious doctrine.
Spirituality is a feeling of connection to any power; nature can be this power for many. The ocean is often associated with life and birth on a spiritual level. Exploring the spiritual side of the ocean can empower those in recovery to determine their own spiritual beliefs and use such beliefs to develop deeper meaning and purpose for one’s life.
Getting Connected to a Community
Ocean-based therapies can be just as helpful for connecting an individual to others as they can connect an individual to themselves. Finding peers who find the same peace and benefits of the ocean can create new communities. Additionally, exploring aquatic activities can introduce an individual to new cultures. Getting actively engaged in surfing, snorkeling, or even gaining a newfound interest in the oceanic wildlife beneath the surface can all connect an individual to new people in sobriety. Exploring one’s personal benefits of ocean-based therapies and using them as a catalyst to further explore new communities is a core part of effective recovery.
Taking the First Step at Hawaii Island Recovery
The Hawaiian islands are uniquely situated to take full advantage of ocean-based therapies. From its natural environment to the rich Hawaiian cultures that connect people to the gifts the ocean provides, engaging with ocean-based recovery strategies through rehab centers in Hawaii can be wholly transformational. Not only are there already established communities and cultures surrounding the ocean, but its accessibility and serenity are always available whenever one needs to detach from stresses or further explore their spiritual identity. Fortunately, several treatment centers and programs in Hawaii can offer individuals this unique treatment modality.
The ocean can provide a myriad of unique benefits for navigating mental health disorders, trauma, and addiction. We at Hawaii Island Recovery are committed to helping you use all resources available for a transformative recovery journey. Our Hawaii sober living and recovery center champions the personalization of each recovery journey, blending proven therapeutic practices with the natural and spiritual advantages of the Hawaiian islands. There is never one path to recovery and sobriety, and we are ready to help you find your best practices today. For more information on how we can help you begin your journey through rehab in Hawaii, or to speak to a caring staff member about your recovery goals, call (866) 390-5070.