There’s more to treating addiction than meets the eye. In fact, poor health and mental disorders often accompany this disease. Thankfully, addiction recovery centers offer programs that help people beyond addiction. These facilities may provide nature therapy to aid overall recovery.

What Is Nature Therapy?

a family takes a walk as part of a nature therapy programFor those who have never heard of nature therapy, the name alone provides clues about it. Also called eco-therapy or outdoor therapy, it involves spending time outside. While it’s a simple concept, doctors can’t stop boasting the physical and mental benefits of being outdoors. In fact, general practitioners and rehab centers have started to include these unique addiction therapy services in all kinds of treatment programs.

If doctors love prescribing nature therapy, how does it work? The general idea is to spend time in the great outdoors. Usually, it involves going outside on a beautiful day while the sun shines. The amount of time that people need to spend outside varies, but at least 60 minutes is a standard recommendation.

How Does Eco-therapy Help People With Addiction?

People enjoy a mountain of benefits when they engage in a nature therapy program. Many of these benefits directly help them fight addiction. For example, outdoor therapy often relieves common mental disorders that accompany addiction. Some of these include depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

In 2007, the University of Essex did a study on depression and the role that sunlight plays. They found that just walking outdoors on a sunny day reduced depression in 71% of participants. This survey included people who have depression because of SAD. Since it’s a significant problem for those with addiction, it’s easy to see how eco-therapy can help.

This study found that walking outside has other positive effects on mental health too. For example, people who went for walks or participate in outdoor activities enjoyed a boost in overall mood. They also reported higher levels of motivation and self-esteem. Once again, these are two areas with which people who have addiction struggle.

What Kind of Outdoor Activities Can People Engage In?

One of the great things about nature therapy is that there’s no set list of activities. The only prerequisite is that the activities occur outside. From gardening to playing outdoor sports, all of these qualify for eco-therapy. However, just sitting outside doesn’t qualify.

Despite that, the University of Essex researchers also saw improvements in people who just sat in the sun. The more significant improvements, though, were in those who engaged in activities. These results mean that the sun is just one factor in why outdoor therapy works so well.

Physical Improvements From Eco-therapy

A nature therapy program helps people not only mentally but also physically. Outdoor therapy gets people up and moving. Because of that, it can treat medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. While it’s true that these conditions don’t always accompany addiction, they are common.

Get Help at the Pearl of the Sea Retreat

At the Pearl of the Sea Retreat in St. Augustine, Florida, we believe in the benefits of nature therapy. We find that our guests are happier and recover quicker when they engage in eco-therapy. For that reason, we’ll work these activities into your addiction treatment plan. Thanks to the abundance of sun in Florida, we’re in the perfect location for this program.

Of course, we offer more than just outdoor therapy. We also provide luxury addiction therapy services and use them to meet your specific needs. Some of our services include:

  • Family therapy
  • Residential treatment
  • Pet therapy
  • Aftercare
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Art therapy

Let us show you how nature therapy can aid your recovery from addiction. Experience all of the benefits that these activities can offer. To learn more about Pearl of the Sea Retreat, give us a call at 855-763-2545 today.