Many medical professionals have raved about the benefits of being outside, especially for a person who’s recovering from substance abuse, and outdoor activities are often advised.
There’s nothing like watching the sun rise to uplift the spirits. Though there are certain elements of nature that some people may enjoy more than others, there seems to be a substantial relationship between the outdoors and improved mental and physical health.
How to Increase Dopamine Naturally
Spending time with nature can be calming and soothing. Going outside for a long walk can help you disconnect from the stress and responsibilities in life and give your mind a much-needed break. If you’re in addiction recovery, then you may appreciate the natural ways to increase dopamine. An excellent way to activate the brain’s reward chemical, or “happy chemical,” that is not inflicted by synthetic drugs is through enjoying what nature has to offer.
Ways to boost dopamine include:
- Riding a bike
- Stretching outside or doing yoga
- Doing breath work in the fresh air
- Trying new exercises
- Observing animals or bird watching
- Joining an outdoor activity with a group of people
- Hiking with a friend and maintaining a support system
Trying new ways to boost dopamine naturally is highly recommended in recovery because positive habits are formed into a new lifestyle that is full of healthy and sober living. There are even great benefits of being barefoot outside, which include relieving stress and anxiety, improving sleep, building muscle strength, and being good for your feet.
Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature During Recovery
One of the main health benefits of being outside in recovery is Vitamin D production. Vitamin D is produced in the skin in response to sunlight. It helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, improving and maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin D is important for growth and bone health. People who don’t get a sufficient amount of vitamin D are more prone to developing conditions like osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
Getting enough vitamin D can also help you fight off infectious diseases and cancer. Especially if you’ve been in an addiction treatment program, this can help your body in the healing process as it slowly becomes accustomed to functioning without drugs or alcohol. After treatment, the benefits of being outside are still accessible and help with relapse prevention.
Another benefit of spending time in nature during sobriety is getting better sleep. Sleep is crucial for maintaining physical and mental health. Spending too much time indoors or in front of a screen can disrupt your sleep pattern and prevent you from getting a full eight hours. Being outside for a little while every day can actually help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Not only can the exercise help you release any pent-up energy, but these moments are great opportunities to calmly think through and let go of past experiences that may keep you up at night.
Going outside in addiction recovery can also encourage you to exercise. Drug and alcohol abuse can take a severe toll on your physical and mental health, but you can help your mind and body recover through exercise. Exercising releases endorphins, which trigger positive feelings in the brain and help to alleviate stress. Staying active can also help you improve and maintain your heart health, your mental health, and it can help you lose any unwanted weight you may have gained after drug or alcohol addiction treatment.
There are many incredible benefits of being outside in addiction recovery. While these are the most general, you may discover additional things that you enjoy during your time with nature. Practicing nature-based sober living not only prevents drug abuse but encourages a person to stay motivated with the upkeep of their overall well-being.
Reduces Obsessive Thoughts
Intrusive or obsessive thoughts often follow intense cravings, anxiety, or depression. The benefits of being outdoors include the reduction of these negative thoughts and symptoms. It’s essential to unplug from the world, which means keeping your phone on silent or off so an individual can experience nature’s beauty and tranquility.
OutDoor Drug Treatment Programs at Heartland Recovery Center
At Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland, we know that addiction recovery can be stressful. Add work, school, or family, and you have a recipe for stress. Because this feeling isn’t always avoidable, it’s important to make time in your routine to go outside and disconnect for a little while. Whether it’s in your backyard or on a field somewhere in the middle of nowhere, spending some time with nature can help you decompress after a long day. By making this into daily practice, you can also avoid overwhelming yourself to the point where you return to your old, unhealthy habits.
Work with licensed professionals during our unique adventure therapy program. In this program, you can try new therapeutic methods outdoors that will help you recover from addiction and avoid future abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug dependency, then consider participating in family therapy, where new practices are applied to help connections mend.
At Banyan Heartland, we offer a variety of substance-specific programs that have helped numerous people take back control of their lives. If you or a loved one is in need of addiction treatment, call us now at 888-280-4763 for more information.