Addiction is a debilitating and complicated disease that makes significant changes to a person’s physical and mental health. Often people who struggle with addiction also battle one or more mental health illnesses. Depression, anxiety, and PTSD can lead a person to use drugs and alcohol to self medicate and as a way to escape reality or unpleasant feelings.

People who abuse drugs or alcohol can experience overwhelming guilt, shame, low self-esteem, and low confidence. Underlying mental health complications can hinder addiction recovery if left untreated. Being outdoors is known to decrease levels of depression, anxiety, and stress while improving physical and spiritual health. Outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, cliff diving, and boating have great health benefits for the mind, body, and soul.

According to Mardie Townsend, PhD, an honorary professor at the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University in Australia, “There is mounting evidence that contact with nature has significant positive impacts on mental health.” Nature offers positive distractions in an oxygen-enriched environment with psychological and social benefits.

Exposure to nature promotes healing qualities in recovery. Nature revitalizes the senses and awakens mindfulness of your surroundings. It reconnects spirituality and restores the soul. In an article on mental health benefits of exposure to nature, Psychiatry Advisor explains, “Nature reduces anger, fear, and stress while increasing pleasant feelings and contributes to your physical well-being while decreasing blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension.” Exposure to nature and natural surroundings helps develop purpose and incites the discovery of a meaningful and healthy sober lifestyle.

Treatment programs that incorporate outdoor activities into group outings prove that you can have fun while being sober. Breathing in fresh air in a serene, natural setting improves mental wellness. Many people who struggle with addiction and mental health complications battle disruptive sleep patterns. People who exercise and stay active outdoors on a regular basis experience sleep that is more restful.

There are social benefits to participating in outdoor group activities. It provides opportunities to connect with other sober individuals and establish meaningful and sustainable relationships. It also helps you connect to a new lifestyle without drugs or alcohol. Nature is very therapeutic in treatment for a life-long, successful recovery. Stay healthy and be sure to go outside, take a deep breath of fresh air, and absorb the beautiful healing qualities of nature.

Cypress Lakes Lodge offers treatment for addiction in a peaceful, remote, oxygen-rich environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204