How Nature Helps Addiction

“I go to nature to be soothed, healed and have my senses put in order.”

–John Burroughs

Rehabilitation programs can adapt almost any outdoor activity into a healing experience for individuals recovering from substance use disorder (SUD). According to Frontiers in Public Health, “Exposure to nature and outdoor activities can improve mental health.” You can use nature-based activities to improve your physical and mental health and enhance the effectiveness of prescription medication, psychotherapy, and other treatments. Guests at Twilight Recovery Center have access to numerous outdoor activities, including swimming, nature walks, and surfing. 

The Healing Power of Nature 

Holistic therapies that use natural healing techniques to promote mental and physical recovery have been used by societies around the world for millennia. Recently, alternative therapies have become more popular in mental health and substance use rehabilitation centers. Some treatments that incorporate nature include:

  • Adventure therapy
  • Nature therapy 
  • Play therapy 
  • Recreational therapy 
  • Experiential therapies 

Treatment programs like those offered at Twilight Recovery Center allow clients to take advantage of nearby locations like the beach, foothills, or parks where they can do outdoor activities in a space removed from the stress of everyday life. You can use that time to soak up the beauty and healing sights and sounds of nature while practicing mindfulness or other relaxation techniques. 

The Science of Nature Therapy

The brain reacts to natural environments in a positive way. Researchers have proven that mental health significantly improves when you regularly spend time in nature. According to Science Advances, “Research has shown that various types of nature experience are associated with mental health benefits in many ways,” and it “has been associated with improved sleep and reductions in stress.”

Studies have shown that the colors, sounds, and smells of nature can improve moods and enhance relaxation techniques. Nature is often a significant part of the treatment process at facilities where guests have access to surrounding natural areas. 

4 Common Types of Nature Therapy

Therapists use nature and animal-assisted therapy to promote healthier living. You can benefit from nature-based interventions even if you have no prior experience with outdoor activities. Below are brief descriptions of four popular types of natural therapies that anyone can use to strengthen the mind-body connection. 

#1. Adventure Therapy

Many rehabilitation facilities use adventure therapy to strengthen social bonds between peers. They often encourage participants to use problem-solving and communication skills to efficiently achieve goals or overcome obstacles in an outdoor setting. Activities are success-oriented and require teamwork and group involvement. Examples of adventure therapy include: 

  • Water-based activities like surfing, boating, or paddleboarding
  • Walking, hiking, or biking 
  • Horseback riding 
  • Rock climbing 

#2. Nature-Based Therapy 

Nature-based therapies, also called ecotherapy, are diverse and highly personalized to the individual needs of the person participating in treatment. Sessions might involve meditating outdoors or completing simple tasks in nature while practicing mindfulness and relaxation exercises. Examples of nature-based therapies include:

  • Equine therapy
  • Adventure therapy 
  • Gardening or farming 
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Outdoor yoga

#3. Equine and Animal-Assisted Therapy 

Equine therapy often takes place outside or in a stable and involves interacting with animals in a way that increases self-awareness, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. Interacting with animals for even a short period can improve mental and emotional health. You do not need any prior experience with horses or other animals to benefit from equine or animal-assisted therapy. 

#4. Recreational Therapy 

Recreational therapy teaches essential life skills using everyday recreational activities. Some of the most common forms of recreational therapy include: 

  • Art and music therapy 
  • Play therapy
  • Psychodrama 
  • Adventure therapy 
  • Nature therapy

Recovery allows people to broaden their horizons and try new things. Many find that participating in solo or group outdoor activities relieves symptoms of anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. During nature therapy, you will have an opportunity to find healthy activities you enjoy that can become an integral part of your self-care routine.

Incorporating Nature Into Your Self-Care Routine

Facilities like Twilight Recovery Center can make it easy to incorporate nature into your self-care routine. Many outdoor activities can work as coping mechanisms for overcoming stress, anxiety, depression, anger, or fear. The following are a few ways to easily add outdoor activities to a daily schedule:

  • Go walking, jogging, or running along nature paths
  • Hiking, backpacking, or mountain biking along local trails 
  • Swimming, surfing, or paddle boarding at the local beach
  • Gardening or urban farming
  • Doing yoga or meditation in nature 
  • Spending time with animals 

You can use nature therapy as an opportunity to learn new healthy skills and hobbies that you can use during continuing care. Most hobbies have local groups that provide positive social interactions and peer support during ongoing recovery.



For thousands of years, healers and medical professionals around the world have used nature-based therapies to treat physical and mental health issues. Modern research has repeatedly proven that exposure to nature and outdoor activities can improve cognitive functioning, emotional well-being, and physical fitness. We encourage clients to take advantage of our natural resources to enhance the positive effects of traditional and alternative therapies. Twilight Recovery Center is a beachfront residential rehabilitation center where guests can meditate, surf, go on mindful walks, and soak in the healing power of nature every day. Spend quality time in nature and around therapy animals to improve your mental health. We offer holistic outdoor treatments, including adventure, recreational, and equine therapy. Guests participating in our programs can choose from a wide range of healthy activities. To learn more about our facility and how we incorporate nature into our treatments, call (888) 414-8183.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Twilight Recovery Center

Receive the highest level of care at our upscale recovery center. We offer world class treatments to ensure the finest road to recovery.





Farallon #9751, San Antonio del Mar, Baja California Mexico CP 22560


(1)888-414 81 83
+52 664 80 58 882 


Receive the highest level of care at our upscale recovery center. We offer world class treatments to ensure the finest road to recovery.



Farallon #9751, San Antonio del Mar, Baja California Mexico CP 22560


(1)888-414 81 83
+52 664 80 58 882 


©  Twilight Recovery. All rights reserved.
Call Now Button