Physical and mental wellness is greatly attributed to nature. Clear skies, a green environment, the sound of birds, and a cool breeze from the ocean or sea are things that speed up rehabilitation. Moreover, with a good environment, one reduces stress levels, hence stabilizing heart rate and blood pressure. A good environment is essential in providing a good social space for people to interact, share experiences and lift each other’s moods. To understand better how nature and rehabilitation correlate learn more.
Mental and physical wellness helps to quicken recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Many rehab centers have built their institutions in environments that help in the recovery process of the addicts. Moreover, nature helps in solving depression and anxiety disorders. Research indicates that ecotherapy helps in mild depression. Physical activity outside in nature combined with social interactions greatly improves mental health.
The effects of nature on rehabilitation are as follows;
Most of the time, people feel the urge to protect the environment because of its benefits. Breathing in the fresh air helps to improve the sensory nerves in what we see, hear, smell and feel. Drug addicts can speed their recovery by being close to nature.
Nature helps to improve memory and regulate emotions by walking in the park. Drug addicts can recover from their former selves and control their feelings while triggered. Also, research indicates that drug addicts who suffer from depression, whether mild or major, showed improvement by taking nature walks. Not only are moods uplifted, but the recovering addicts are also more energized and motivated to return to normalcy.
Outdoor activities also reduce the production of the hormone cortisol, which increases stress. Recovering drug addicts can focus and build attention while participating in outdoor activities with other addicts, hence lowering chances of acquiring Attention Deficit Disorder. Moreover, better concentration and improved overall performance are attributed to spending more time outdoors. Recovering drug addicts should spend less time on electronic devices and more time outside to improve problem-solving and creativity skills.
Though rare, rehab centers located in forests permit their patients to practice forest bathing. There are many benefits from forest bathing, such as:
- Reduced bowel disorders
- Optimum nervous system functions
- Balanced heart conditions
- Lower risk of terminal illnesses
Recovering addicts who suffer from obesity have a lower BMI by exercising outside; hence they feel less tired. Illegally brewed alcohol can greatly affect eyesight. Outdoor activities help the addicts to recover and prevent eyesight problems such as myopia and hypermetropia.
Additionally, some centers have initiatives that involve the environment, such as planting trees and taking care of them. The recovery addicts can plant a tree during their stay and cater to it to connect with nature. Thanks to technology, rehab centers can put up walls in the patients’ rooms. Green views help to soothe patients who are in pain or discomfort. Withdrawal symptoms cause a lot of irritability which is overcome by absorbing nature scenes.
Humans are naturally programmed to absorb nature scenes and feel better in a natural environment. Studies show that patients in urban rehab centers with no greener spaces recover slower. Moreover, when patients view nature scenes, the brain is lit up with love and empathy. However, when patients view urban scenes, they are filled with fear and anxiety. Many people are moving away from towns to enjoy the many benefits of nature.
Many activities recovering addicts can participate in while at rehab include; having a backyard garden, reading a book outdoors, having an outdoor picnic, birdwatching, geocaching, and meditation. Skating, sledding, and skiing are activities patients can enjoy during the cold and winter seasons. Staff must make sure they put in precautionary and prevention measures while the patients are participating in outdoor activities.
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