7 Benefits of Spending Time in Nature While Recovering from Addiction

Written by  in category 
April 26, 2018
nature, addiction, recovery

Many people will boast the proven benefits of spending time outside for good reason. Though we might not know the exact reasons why, there seems to be a clear correlation between spending time in nature with improved physical and mental health. For these reasons, incorporating outdoor activities into addiction recovery can be key in staying sober.

  1. More Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a hormone released in the body through sun exposure. It is a necessary and easily-overlooked hormone that is essential in maintaining a healthy immune system. Those who do not get enough sunlight are more prone to illnesses, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and heart disease — just to name a few. Being able to feel healthy again can be a huge motivator in staying sober.

  1. Reduces Depression

It is not uncommon for those experiencing depression to turn to substance abuse or those with substance abuse to become depressed, both which create a negative cycle that worsens both conditions. Getting outside is an excellent way to combat this. Clean air, sunlight, vitamin D, and the soothing sounds of nature have all been proven to help reduce depression and the chances of relapsing. 

  1. It Makes You Move

Most indoor activities are sedentary tasks, like sitting at a desk or watching TV. Taking advantage of physical outdoor activities and exercising is an excellent way to get into better shape. Studies have proven that exercise creates a sense of accomplishment and being physically fit is an excellent way to encourage sobriety.

However, be wary of replacing one addiction with another. If you find yourself suddenly counting calories and obsessing over the number on the scale, be sure to seek out help.

  1. Better Sleep and More Energy

A good night’s sleep is a key factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At one point or another, almost everyone will fall into a poor sleeping pattern. Too much time indoors under artificial light, especially the harmful blue light from TVs and computer screens, can be enough to disrupt a person’s sleep pattern.

The easiest way to fix this is to spend time outdoors. Exposure to natural sunlight, particularly early morning rays, can help right your natural circadian rhythm. Not only will you feel better, but you will also have more energy to do the things you enjoy.

  1. Manages Stress and Anxiety

When you’re surrounded by nature, stress is processed differently in the body and it becomes more manageable. Business Insider notes that even the view of nature from a window can reduce stress.

Some believe it is the act of removing oneself from overstimulation and anxiety-inducing environments and allowing time for reflection that causes this effect. Stepping away from stress triggers can help reduce the urge to turn to substance abuse.

  1. Improves Focus

Even something as simple as a walk through nature can have a restorative effect. Though the reasoning is unclear, studies have proven that time outdoors refreshes a person’s focus, and improves their cognitive function and creative problem-solving skills.

  1. Make it a Hobby

According to Psychology Today, one of the biggest threats to a successful recovery is boredom. Finding a hobby can give you an outlet for stress and create a sense of purpose. An outdoor activity, like hiking, gardening, or nature photography is a great way to combat this and gain a new hobby or skill.

Get Outside!

All the amazing proven benefits of spending time outside and around nature should make it a  priority in your addiction recovery. Taking and scheduling the time for outdoor activities will encourage sobriety and improve both physical and mental health. It can be as simple as a short walk through nature, time gardening, or a long kayak trip. Whatever you chose to do, get out of your chair and into nature.

Caleb Anderson

Caleb Anderson

Caleb Anderson is in recovery from an opiate addiction. He hopes sharing his experiences will help others. He co-created RecoveryHope.org to help people with substance abuse disorders and their families.

More Posts - Website

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Share on StumbleUpon
Tweet about this on Twitter
Email this to someone
Buffer this page

Related Posts

Sign up for FREE to receive email updates

The moth is drawn to the flame. A short life…


View More Results…
Skip to toolbar