02 Jul IMAGES Program: How Getting In Touch With Nature Helps Rehabilitation
As nearly 24 million Americans have encountered an addiction issue at some point in their life, there are 24 million different ways of getting through it. One way that many people have found useful is getting in touch with nature.
By connecting with the world around you and by disconnecting from your digital life, you can step back, take a breath, and get over your addiction.
Here are 4 ways that the IMAGES program helps you get through drug rehab.
1. Exploring Nature, Exploring You
Part of dealing with a substance issue is that you may not feel like you enjoy exploring yourself. It’s hard to snap into that way of thinking merely by being asked to or wanting to get out of your addiction. You might need a catalyst to get things going.
Nature can be your catalyst by helping you to get into the mode of thinking about exploring nature. When you take the time to relax, take in, and explore the world around you, in a peaceful environment, you can build a method for analyzing your addiction.
Part of this experience is to think about your behavior, how it is connected to your substance abuse, and how you could get away from it. Nature is full of wonder when you stop to take a look and investigate. There are many layers of the tree that lie beneath the bark.
You’re no different. There are a variety of motivations that belie why drives your addiction. While you’re in rehab, this is your opportunity to workshop your own behavior.
By taking time out to understand your behavior and why you do what you do, you’ll start to be able to change the things that you want to about your life.
2. Camping Out is a Getaway
If you live in the city, you might not get the chance to see stars very often. Even if you’re in the suburbs or outside of the city, you might find that you don’t get very much time to sit quietly and reflect.
When you’re camping out with the IMAGES program, you’ll be away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It will be hard for you to get a good WiFi signal in the middle of the woods, which means no work emails and no interruptions.
Rehab is all about reconnecting with who you are. IMAGES program participants are taken camping so that they can escape and isolate the things in their life that encourage their addiction.
Whether you’ve never camped before or if it has always been a family pastime, camping is like a blank canvas. No two places in the woods ever look the same, as things are always growing and changing. Just as you’re growing and changing, you might need a little bit of space to do it.
3. Fitness, Nutrition, and Food Prep
One of the key elements of the IMAGES program is to get in touch with your physical fitness and your relationship with health and food. When you take the time to understand how your body works and how addictive substances impinge on your health, you might be turned off altogether.
If it’s been a long time since you’ve gone for a jog or a rigorous hike, clean and sober for a few weeks, you might be shocked at how good you feel. Physical fitness is meant to feel good. When you’re in the throes of an addiction, it’s hard to imagine walking for 3 hours and feeling good afterward.
The same goes for eating healthy. When you’re used to putting bad substances into your body, you forget what it feels like to eat a meal of healthy food. A few big salads full of lean protein and leafy vegetables could change your whole diet for the better.
Food preparation is a meditative experience. It’s also a communal experience. When you take the time to prepare good food, you get to find peace with yourself or others.
Cooking a meal together, with friends or family, allows you to chat and connect while you perform the symbolic work of creating something together. Family is built on the ability to create a relationship out of very few ingredients and improvising when you encounter a hurdle. Preparing food is the perfect metaphor.
4. Nature-Deficit Disorder
Author Richard Louv notes that as people spend less time outdoors, their behaviors tend to change. By connecting the increased usage of different media devices to the decrease in visitation to national parks, he points out the ways that we’ve changed as a society.
In order to fix this problem, he advocates we start spending more time outdoors. The nature-deficit disorder could be linked to the sorts of depression and anxiety that lead to substance abuse. By losing our connection to the world around us, it’s easy to slip into the kinds of asocial or even anti-social behavior that can leave us feeling disconnected.
Instead of staying isolated, people in the IMAGES program get the opportunity to explore nature and combat that disconnection from the outside world. Sometimes, the pressure of having to be connected to everyone digitally at all times is what drives addictions. While in the IMAGES program, kick every addiction, including phone or social media addictions, by plugging into nature instead.
Getting in Touch with Nature is Good For Everyone
No matter the level of your addiction, getting in touch with nature is a way to solve your problems. Nature reflects back to us a mystical kindness, even as it receives our negative energy. It gives back positivity, light, and peace in a way that is missing in most of our daily lives.
To learn more about ecotherapy in a broad sense, check out our guide for how it could help you.