When looking at possible treatment programs for addiction to alcohol and drugs, you will likely note that there are more adventure-based therapies and recreational activities integrated into rehabs than ever before. The reason is simple: adventure therapy and outdoor activities as a whole have been found to help those in addiction treatment bridge gaps in talk therapy for clients’ return to complete health and well-being. Experiential therapies also provide exploration of healthier pursuits as part of a sober lifestyle. Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville Beach Florida utilizes many different experiential therapeutic methods to help individuals break free from their addiction and improve the quality of their lives, hiking as part of recreational therapy is just one of them.
Why is hiking part of addiction treatment?
Outdoor activities like hiking are proven to help clients develop self-awareness and self-esteem. They provide people with peaceful surroundings in which to temporarily retreat from daily distractions, clear their minds, reflect on their lives, think about personal habits and focus on motivations. In essence, outdoor pursuits provide clients with the landscape and means on which to develop the foundation of a new, healthier life.
Hiking is one of the most universally enjoyed outdoor activities, and is suitable for clients of all ages and fitness levels. Clients, especially those with co-occurring disorders, can use hiking to open doors to recovery that talk therapy may not be able to access.
Of course, going on a hike is never the only means by which lasting recovery can be gained. Traditional talk therapies, such as individual counseling and group therapy, accompany this adventure-based pursuit toward optimum exploration of issues, for recovery from substance abuse and toward best management of co-occurring disorders.
How can hiking help in my recovery?
Challenges that exist when dealing with nature can be seen as growth mechanisms toward making fundamental changes in clients’ lives. Hiking has long been utilized as a pursuit to supplement addiction treatment because of how the activity helps individuals connect with nature while developing teamwork, a healthier approach to control, responsibility for one’s own actions, understanding of consequences and other attributes needed to maintain strength and mindfulness in recovery.
A good hike also helps clients develop self-esteem and increases feelings of joy and pleasure, all things once lost to substance abuse. When navigating a trail and the challenges it presents, clients are provided opportunities to deal with situations that they later draw upon in other therapy sessions for greater self-discovery.
While outdoors, clients experience change, personal empowerment and emotional growth. Because they are very focused on the activity itself when on a hike, rather than whether or not the hike is therapeutic, clients become unguarded and open to their own feelings and those of others. Greater authenticity develops and leads to deeper conversations after their outdoor experience, allowing them to reflect upon their behaviors, thoughts and emotions of the journey and their past. This makes clients more objective in their own healing and helps them become more authentically self-aware.
Finally, enjoyment of nature on a hike is a healthy pursuit that can be enjoyed almost anywhere as part of a clean, sober lifestyle. It’s a new hobby open for discovery by clients for later use to alleviate anxiety and other obstacles to ongoing recovery. For clients of addiction rehabilitation, this pursuit can provide a much-needed healthy and physically productive pastime for filling time they would have previously filled by seeking, gaining and using their substance of choice.
Hiking as Part of Rehabilitation at Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville, Florida
In picturesque Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Beaches Recovery provides unparalleled access to hiking opportunities for personal enjoyment and growth in rehab. If you or someone you love is interested in gaining recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol while developing new interests and means of healthier living, call Beaches Recovery today at 866-274-9281 for more information about available programs.