With the weather getting warmer and more and more opportunities to spend time outdoors on the way, you’re likely itching to start spending more time with nature. And while time spent with nature has tremendous healing qualities to offer just about anyone, it can be especially beneficial for those undergoing recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Here are a few ways that spending more time with nature can help you if you are currently battling addiction.
A temptation-free environment
When you spend time outdoors, you’re communing in an environment free of the temptations you’re used to seeing in your day-to-day life. Take time each day to step away from your everyday routine—even if only for a few minutes—so that you can enjoy the restorative benefits that nature has to offer. The time you spend will help distract you from cravings, and breaking up your routine will help keep you from falling back into old habits.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying special attention to the here and now. It is a form of meditation that involves coming to close terms with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Mindfulness is a great technique for recovering addicts in helping them to face their addictions head-on and to acknowledge their cravings without giving in to them. It also carries with it strong stress management benefits. Spending time with nature is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness and to strengthen your mind in such a way that it can handle the mental challenges that come with battling addiction.
The sun on your skin, the smell of freshly cut grass, the sound of crickets chirping at night—simple pleasures are abundant in nature. As you spend more time outdoors, you’ll likely find that the joys you experience far outweigh any pleasures you sought to fulfill with your previous addiction. Hobbies involving nature like hiking, camping, and fishing can also bring this simple, natural pleasures into your life. Spending time outdoors will introduce you to a much more fulfilling lifestyle as you seek to rid yourself of old habits.
Practice overcoming challenges
Nature offers a wide variety of challenge-based activities to help you train yourself in overcoming challenges during recovery. Channel your energies into scaling the side of a mountain, or into navigating through rapids with a kayak or raft. Try hiking to the top of the highest mountain nearby, or taking your bike through an especially hilly trail. As you overcome the physical challenges that nature offers, you’ll gain confidence as well as a stronger mind for overcoming the challenges of addiction.