Dealing with substance use disorder (SUD) can cause many individuals to feel overwhelmed and stressed with the recovery process. There are many obstacles to overcome and many situations that may bring negative feelings throughout recovery.
Learning to regulate these feelings and manage them with healthy practices is very important to refrain from using substances as a coping mechanism. Nature can provide these calming sensations through healthy means.
Benefits of Nature
Nature provides everyone with amazing benefits that are right in front of us. However, so many people overlook everything our world has to offer. Nature has a variety of benefits that can support you through recovery and help you appreciate the world around you. Engaging with nature can make you smarter, stronger, healthier, happier, and more productive, according to the National Park Service.
By taking a short walk through nature, you can increase your concentration and awareness. When you focus on the natural elements surrounding you and take time to notice different aspects of your world, your knowledge, and appreciation of nature can increase.
Nature provides a variety of different opportunities for physical activity. While it is possible to get exercise and maintain your physical abilities inside, many individuals feel more motivated to engage in healthy activities when out in nature. Through hiking, rock climbing, or even simply exploring, we are engaging in physical activity that is fun and rewarding. It can be easier to engage in exercise through these activities if you do not tend to enjoy doing common forms of exercise at the gym.
Walking is one of the most beneficial acts of movement for the human body. Walking through nature and getting a breath of fresh air can reduce body inflammation, improve heart health, regulate mood, lower stress, and alleviate fatigue. Being in nature not only benefits your physical health but your mental health as well.
As discussed previously, being in nature can help you regulate your emotions. By getting out in the fresh air and opening yourself up to your natural surroundings, you will gain a sense of relaxation and improved self-esteem. This level of relaxation can increase your level of happiness and inspire positive thought processes.
The combination of these benefits that nature provides can lead to an increased level of productivity. While you are taking care of your emotional and physical health and gaining further knowledge, your attention span can increase. This can help you be more productive at home and in your workplace. When you are focusing on recovery, this increase in productivity can also give you the motivation you need to push forward.
Engaging With Nature
You may understand the potential benefits that nature can have on an individual, but implementing new hobbies and practices in nature can be challenging. Some people just don’t know where to begin.
Many activities can get you outside and encourage you to appreciate and interact with nature. There are a variety of options, both physically and mentally beneficial, encouraged by the National Parks Service. Try the following activities to find which work best for you:
- Explore national parks in your area.
- Go camping for a night for a few days. Listen to the peaceful sounds of nature as you sleep away from society and loud cities.
- Try sleeping under the stars. If the weather allows, sleep outside and look at the beautiful night sky as you drift to sleep. This can remind you of the greatness of our world and make your problems feel more temporary and manageable.
- Search for wildlife. Look for animals or insects in your surroundings and watch them live their life. Appreciate the various lifestyles of the species in the world.
- Go on a hike. This can take as long or as short as you desire. Hiking is a great way to get exercise while having beautiful surroundings to enjoy.
- Enjoy the fresh air. Getting away from the city and enjoying the clean air of nature can be extremely rewarding. Take deep breaths and appreciate the air around you shared with nature.
- Look at the plants and trees. Thinking deeply about the lives of these natural species can be an amazing exercise. Appreciate the things that trees and plants do for us that often go unnoticed.
- Pick up trash outside. This is an act of service that also helps keep our planet and environment clean. If you are greatly motivated by volunteer work, this is a great way to help the community while enjoying the surrounding nature.
- Do an activity you enjoy outside. Some examples include painting, reading, and yoga. Engaging in practices outside can increase your level of focus and bring a deeper level of relaxation.
There are many ways to incorporate nature into your daily life. Even appreciating the life around you as you walk down the street can provide you with many benefits during recovery.
Nature can provide individuals with a great deal of physical and mental health benefits. Utilizing nature through recovery can bring an emotional balance, allowing you to focus on your recovery needs and calm your emotions. Engagement with nature can improve intelligence, overall health, happiness, strength, and productivity in an enjoyable way. There are many ways you can incorporate these benefits into your addiction recovery and overall lifestyle. Using nature as a coping mechanism is one of the most influential practices to incorporate. Review the possible hobbies and practices, or consider your own ideas of engaging with nature to implement the power of nature into your recovery. These practices not only have strong benefits but can also be extremely enjoyable. To learn more about how to implement practices in nature and to understand the benefits nature can bring to your recovery, call Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.