How Nature Can Support Us in Our Recovery

Many of us live in cities without much regular access to the natural world. This separation from nature is known to contribute to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues and is sometimes referred to as Nature Deficit Disorder. Spending time in nature, even in small amounts, can be wonderfully beneficial to our healing and recovery.

Have you ever noticed you breathe a sigh of relief when you get to the ocean or other body of water? The negative ions from water are therapeutic and effective in raising our mood, helping us to feel happy, calm and at peace. Feeling better can be as easy a walk at the beach or sitting by a pond, lake, river or waterfall.

When we are depressed and struggling with addiction, we very often don’t feel grounded and centered within ourselves. Two powerful techniques for grounding ourselves are walking barefoot on the earth and hugging trees, both of which are easy ways to give yourself the healing benefits of nature. Our root chakra, which forms the basis for our sense of safety and security, benefits from connecting to the ground, our beautiful earth, and the roots underneath us.

Fresh air is something many of us don’t get nearly enough of, as we spend most of our time indoors. Our crown chakra connects us to our spirits and represents our spiritual connection to the world around us. We can activate the power of our crown chakra with fresh air and sunlight. Sitting outside or even near an open window can bring us healing benefits.

Not getting enough sunlight is known to exacerbate our depression and anxiety. Many of us find ourselves struggling emotionally in the winter months and are diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder. We can help ourselves by setting the intention to get more sunlight on a daily basis, even in the cold winter months. Brave the cold! The healing properties of sunlight are worth it.

When we are living with addictions, depression and anxiety, we often feel really alone. Being in nature can remind us we are being supported by the earth. The beauty of the natural world around us can help us to remember that there is more to life than our worries and problems.  When we are open to it, there is so much natural beauty around us for us to marvel at that can bring us joy and help ease our troubles.

Riverside’s residential treatment program is located on the Hillsborough River in Tampa FL, making it a beautiful place to focus on your healing and recovery. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.