Maintaining a sober, healthy life is a continual battle for many people dealing with substance use disorders. The daily ups and downs associated with managing symptoms and cravings can feel overwhelming. People often think counseling, group support and patience are the only essential ingredients for their road to recovery. However, don’t overlook the value of spending time in nature.
What Is Green Space?
Green space is a term used to describe environmental areas, including nature reserves, wilderness locations and urban parks. In addiction recovery, green spaces are a form of ecotherapy that helps you develop healthy coping mechanisms.
There is evidence of a positive correlation between green space and your well-being. Green space can help reduce anxiety, depression and provide an overall feeling of peace and tranquility. Natural environments can promote positive psychological experiences and, in turn, your well-being.
People who live in areas with access to green space exhibit less stress than those in crowded urban areas with fewer features like parks, lakes and hiking trails. Those who lack exposure to green space have elevated cortisol levels, otherwise known as the stress hormone. Chronic stress is one of the risk factors for addiction development and relapse.
Ecotherapy for Addiction Recovery
Lessening stress is critical in reducing the chances of relapse. Since green space naturally makes people calmer, it is an effective tool in addiction recovery. Getting out in nature a little bit every day can improve your mood.
Structured therapy programs use green spaces to deliver treatment to various groups. Green space therapy programs include:
- Wilderness therapy
- Social and therapeutic horticulture
- Environmental conservation
- Care farming
- Nature-based arts and crafts
- Animal-assisted therapy
Engaging with green spaces can do more than reduce your stress levels. The other benefits of outdoor addiction treatment include better sleep quality, improved self-esteem and alleviated boredom. Your overall mood will improve, and you’ll feel more satisfied with life. Our tranquil environment is a safe place to find your inner peace.
How to Incorporate Green Space Into Your Life
Incorporating green space into your life can help you overcome some of the challenges associated with addiction recovery. Green space is an excellent coping mechanism to manage stress and help you feel more connected to the world around you. Consider these ways you can engage with the great outdoors.
- Visiting your local park: Public parks are an excellent opportunity for outdoor adventure. You can bike, go on a run, bask in the sunlight or play with your dog.
- Taking nature walks: Many areas have hiking trails where you can explore and take in everything nature has to offer. You can even take a walk in your neighborhood to appreciate your surroundings on a different level.
- Enjoying a picnic: A picnic is an excellent way to get outdoors and spend some quality time with your loved ones. Find a spot nestled under the trees at a nearby park or stop during a hiking adventure to enjoy a refreshing meal.
- Engaging in outdoor activities: There are many outdoor activities to choose from, whether you’re the sporty type or someone who prefers to kick back and relax in a hammock while you read a good book. The options are endless, and there is something for everyone.
At GreeneStone, you will have access to over 40 acres of trails surrounded by natural beauty. Explore the property on a nature hike or soak up the sun while you spend an afternoon fishing. Find peace of mind by practicing yoga outside with our certified instructor, surrounded by the soothing sounds of the outside world. No matter what you choose to do to incorporate green space into your life, you’ll see a significant improvement in your stress and anxiety.
Choose GreeneStone for Natural Addiction Treatment
GreeneStone is a private, primary addiction treatment centre in beautiful, serene Muskoka. With our established track record as the best opioid and addiction clinic in Ontario, clients come to us from across Canada. Our calming green space provides the right environment to help you on your road to recovery. Call us today at 844-955-5501 or contact us online to take the first vital step.