As our country observes National Great Outdoors Month this June, it provides us with an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and the host of benefits it provides for addiction recovery. What can nature teach us about ourselves and our surroundings?
1. Nature Has the Ability to Heal Itself
Recovering from drug and alcohol use is a process of renewal. To succeed in your goals, you must commit to making a fresh start each day. In this, you can draw inspiration from Mother Nature. Even after the devastation of a wildfire, plants begin to put out new shoots, and seeds take root in the rich soil on their way to becoming mighty trees. Similarly, despite all the harm you have done to yourself through substance abuse, you can heal your mind, body and spirit through the recovery journey.
2. Nature Can Represent a Higher Power
In a 12-step recovery program, one of the first things you’ll learn is the need to surrender to a higher power. For many people, this means a god or gods; however, if you are not religious, you can discover your higher power in the majesty of nature. Gaze up at the spreading boughs and bright green leaves of a tall tree and marvel at how long it has taken to grow, or use the intensity of a thunderstorm to remind you that there are forces at work beyond your control. Connecting with the natural world can often be an intensely spiritual practice, especially if you combine your time outdoors with a healing habit such as meditation.
3. Nature Is an Ideal Place to Exercise
Many types of exercise naturally lend themselves to being out in the fresh air and sunshine. Spending time outside is a natural mood-boosting activity that also decreases your anxiety and stress levels. If you normally run or walk on a treadmill, or pedal on a stationary bike, take your next workout outdoors and see how much better you feel afterward.
4. Nature Can Give You a Fresh Perspective
In today’s technology-focused world, we often spend most of our days with our noses buried in our computers, tablets and phones. Putting these devices down and going outside can give you an opportunity to step away for a period of self-reflection. The natural world provides ample space to get out of your head; you might be surprised by how much smaller your problems become after spending some time hiking, birdwatching or tending to a garden.
Where to Start When You Need to Start Over
If an addiction to alcohol or drugs has taken over your life, your first step should be to admit you need help. The next thing to do is to find a place that will support your recovery efforts and provide you with the tools and life skills you need to step out of the shadow of substance abuse and begin anew. Contact us today to learn more about our 90-day treatment program for young men.