Nature is an incredible resource for those overcoming substance use disorder (SUD) or navigating the challenges of depression, anxiety, or mental health disorders. Creating a personalized recovery plan that addresses addiction and any mental health needs in tandem is crucial for an effective recovery. However, regardless of each individual’s best practices or most effective coping strategies, embracing nature in some form is instrumental in furthering a person’s sober efforts.
Engaging with nature can surface a myriad of benefits for individuals throughout short-term and long-term recovery. Utilizing nature, and especially the unique natural opportunities of the Hawaiian islands, can be the foundation for a truly transformative experience throughout addiction recovery.
The Benefits of Nature in Addiction Recovery
Addiction recovery is a complicated journey. Utilizing every resource possible for the most transformational experiences is crucial. Nature is often touted as an instrumental part of the addiction recovery process, and such a notion is not without reason. Addiction recovery is about much more than ceasing a person’s use of addictive substances. Rather, dedicated recovery involves embracing lifestyle changes and new perspectives for effective healing. Nature can provide the necessary support and opportunity for this kind of profound change to each person’s daily life, routine, and spirituality.
Stress is commonplace for everyone, from those navigating addiction recovery or overcoming the effects of mental health disorders to processing the challenges of daily life, relationships, or professional stresses. Effectively reducing stress is instrumental in recovery as it can help individuals better navigate cravings, urges, and self-destructive behaviors. Likewise, managing stress can aid in relapse prevention at any stage of the recovery process. However, the way in which nature can relieve this is wholly unique to each individual.
For many, nature is an entire atmosphere. Getting out of the house to take a walk, hike, jog, or even a scenic stroll along the beach are all phenomenal ways to break free from the walls that may influence one’s emotional health. Staying inside or surrounded by walls can have profound effects on an individual’s mental health, creating a feeling of being trapped or stagnant. Getting out in nature can deconstruct these feelings, empowering each individual to break through feelings of isolation or entrapment and the stresses that accompany them.
Likewise, being able to step away from stress and disconnect from digital media can be just as important throughout each person’s sober journey. Detaching from phones, computers, workplace stresses, or other unnecessary sources of stress can prevent these feelings from continuing to mount in one’s mind. Coupled with the serene atmospheres of natural environments, nature can empower those in recovery to focus on their personal needs unimpeded by this kind of stress.
Promotes Physical Health
A person’s physical health and mental health are intimately linked. Those navigating their sobriety and developing new hobbies, routines, and practices should focus on their physical health, emotional health, and sobriety in equal measure. Nature can promote effective practices that improve one’s physical health while helping to process urges or cravings that may challenge each individual’s sober efforts.
Walking, hiking, or engaging in ocean-based therapies all promote a more physically active lifestyle, improving physical health while preventing relapse. This improved physical health can also continue to allow the body to heal from the physical damage that addiction can do to an individual’s body and promote a healthier diet and daily routine.
Fosters a Healthy Spiritual Life
Spirituality is integral to an effective recovery journey. Nature is a great conduit to explore each individual’s own spiritual connections. Being connected to the peaceful winds of the outdoors, the expansive ocean and its spiritual associations to life and purification, or taking deep breaths of fresh air can all promote a healthier spiritual connection to the natural world. These things can help an individual feel better connected to the world and further emotional peace and a sense of belonging.
Exploring spiritual needs and promoting a sense of interconnectedness between oneself, the natural world, and even other people or communities are all crucial benefits for overcoming addiction and its isolating effects.
Embracing Nature in Daily Life
Nature provides many advantages throughout each stage of the recovery process, especially with the natural landscape and spiritual energies prevalent across the unique Hawaiian islands. However, such benefits are only powerful when used with regularity. Embracing nature as a part of daily life is crucial for continuing to manage each person’s mental health and balance their developing sober lifestyle.
Going for daily walks, incorporating natural imagery in one’s home through posters, household plants, opening curtains, or setting one’s phone or computer wallpaper to natural landscapes can help connect those in recovery to natural imagery on a regular basis. Coupled with continued engagement in effective and therapeutic spiritual practices or oceanic or nature-based therapies, developing a daily routine to get out in nature can help foster a transformed lifestyle that challenges the effects of SUD while creating an entirely new perspective for a healthy, sober life.
Nature is a powerful resource throughout any stage of addiction recovery. We at Hawaii Island Recovery are ready to incorporate the advantages of the beautiful, natural Hawaiian islands to aid you through your unique recovery journey. From residential and group therapy to ongoing outpatient support, we work with you to create a personalized recovery program, all utilizing nature and ocean-based therapies for your continued success in sobriety. Our unique Hawaii rehabilitation is available to you, to help you benefit from and incorporate nature into your recovery on a daily basis, all while addressing your emotional, social, and spiritual needs throughout recovery. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us, call us today at (866) 390-5070.