How Can Hiking Help My Recovery?
Hiking As Part Of Addiction Treatment
There has been a recent trend of more and more adventure based therapies and recreational activities incorporated into addiction treatment programs. Why is that? Outdoor activities and adventure therapies have been found to be helpful towards individuals who are in addiction treatment as a way for them to return to health and well being. They also promote an exploration of healthier pursuits so the individual can lead a sober lifestyle.
Outdoor activities have been proven to help with the development of self awareness and self esteem. Being in peaceful surroundings, being one with nature brings a much needed retreat from the daily grind and helps in clearing one’s mind and think about the change they have made to their life. Hiking is a very popular activity. It is enjoyed by all sorts of people, is suitable for all ages and one doesn’t need to practice for it. This makes it a good fit for addiction therapy.
Naturally, merely going on a hike is not the only way to lasting recovery. The individual has to attend traditional methods of therapies as well, such as group therapy and individual counseling and hiking or other outdoor adventure based therapies should be added to that, to best manage addiction recovery.
How Does Hiking Help In Recovery?
Dealing with nature brings its own set of challenges, which can be considered growth mechanisms towards making fundamental changes in an individual’s life. When an individual is hiking, they are responsible for their own actions, they have to take control, and they have to understand that actions have consequences. All this teaches the individual to maintain strength and mindfulness in their recovery.
For some reason, being outdoors lets individuals experience change and personal empowerment. It’s like a period of emotional growth takes place when the individual is so focused on the activity at hand. They are not thinking about whether or not the hike is therapeutic. This has the effect of lowering the individual’s guard leading to authentic emotions. The individual tends to reflect more upon their past behaviors, current thoughts and emotions on their journey and becomes more objective about where they are in their recovery and what they need to do to get further.
As mentioned before, a hike is a simple way for the individual in recovery to get out of the house and be active, either solo, with other individuals in recovery or non addict friends and family. It is important that the individual in recovery finds new activities and pursuits which are not drug related to keep busy and stay sober. Hiking is an inexpensive way to do that. It’s open to everyone, and can be enjoyed almost anywhere.
Finally, the physical exertion of a hike allows clients to develop their self esteem and increases feelings of joy. In navigating a trail and its challenges, the individual comes across opportunities to deal with situations which may be drawn upon during traditional therapy for self discovery.
Blueprints provides support for young adults facing addiction recovery. Call us if you need help for your loved one who is struggling to quit an addiction. Our staff and programs support individualized programs to help resolve addictive behaviors and get them on the path to recovery and healing.