Nature’s Role in Healing and Recovery

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Entering recovery is possibly the most life-changing experience any of us will undergo. Yet when we first find the sober path, we are often just stepping out of a life of disconnection, trauma, and misery. Our mind, body, and spirit are all worse for wear. As the professionals at Jaywalker Lodge guide us and the 12-Steps awaken us to healing and wonderful new lives, there is another valuable source of connection that can increase the benefits of recovery.

Nature has been healing and enlightening people for centuries. It is all around us, yet in our disease we often fail to spend time outside. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Jaywalker Lodge gives us opportunities to connect with nature that few treatment programs can. There is much to be gained by utilizing this abundant and profound resource to help us in recovery.

A Deep Connection

For ages, the majority of the world’s spiritual leaders have had close relationships with nature. The Buddha was said to have found enlightenment under a bodhi tree. Nature helps us find a connection with our “roots,” so to speak. We can get away from our cement and electronic world for a bit and remember that life is bigger than our troubles. Time in nature helps remind us that we all share this world. It connects us to the other living beings on this wonderful planet in a simple and meaningful way.

Nature can be a great facilitator for spiritual connection, growth, and healing. Such time spent nurturing our minds and spirits can make us more at peace, and bolster us when life gets rocky. This is why Jaywalker Lodge offers mountain climbing, rafting, biking, fishing, and a host of other activities to connect directly with nature. As we live in recovery, we learn that even a few minutes a day spent tending to our spiritual health can have a huge impact on our overall well-being.

Heal Your Body, Mind, and Spirit

Many studies have shown that even 20 minutes of sunshine a day can increase the production of much-needed vitamins within the body. One of these is Vitamin D, which is directly linked to a balanced mood. Sunlight is also clinically proven to be good for a person’s skin, immune system, and emotional health.

Exercising outdoors is great for our bodies in a multitude of ways, but simply spending time in nature can soothe our minds and spirits. Quiet time spent in clean, fresh natural spaces can calm our heartbeat and allow our minds to rest. The fresh air and peaceful time spent away from the usual hustle and bustle of our lives can do worlds of good for our anxiety, worry, and inner peace.

These benefits can help us heal physically, mentally, and spiritually. For hundreds (if not thousands) of years, people have been consciously spending time in their natural surroundings to restore, heal, and ground themselves. Time spent in the great outdoors can be a welcome addition to our lives and gives us many opportunities to engage in healing.

Easy Ways to Experience Nature

The natural world and the great outdoors can seem like vague terms, but each of us has something we enjoy doing outside. Even a simple change of scenery can improve our mood and increase our peace. Go have your morning coffee outside or eat lunch in a park. Play sports with friends. Go for a jog, walk, or run on a nature trail instead of a treadmill. Hiking can be a great adventure, whether alone, with friends, or even on a date. Whatever terrain or climate you live in, there are ways to make nature a part of your life.

Time spent outside in the beauty of nature can be meditative and restorative. In fact, the banks of a running stream or a cool patch of trees can be a transcendent place to literally meditate. Take off your shoes and stand on natural ground. Some spiritual traditions believe this literally helps to “ground” us, like meditating in concert with the earth itself.

We can find creative ways to soak up the healing properties of Mother Nature. All we have to do is get outside of our comfort zone, travel a short distance somewhere new and fresh, and unplug from the mile-a-minute lives most of us lead. Once we do that, we can begin to slow down, recharge, and experience all the benefits nature has to offer.

There are plenty of good reasons why humankind has had a close and rewarding relationship with nature since the dawn of our species. Nature provides us with a connection to the deepest and most meaningful parts of the experience of life.

It helps our bodies, minds, and spirits to heal and stay healthy in a variety of ways. Taking advantage of the myriad benefits of nature can be an especially useful practice for us on our road of recovery. After all, roads are always better when they’re scenic.

At Jaywalker Lodge, we experience the benefits of nature every day. Our pristine mountain community provides a beautiful, quiet, and safe environment for healing. Nature also plays an important role in our many recovery programs. If you’d like to experience the physical, mental, and spiritual healing properties of nature on your journey to recovery, we are here for you. Call us today at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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