Recovery and getting in touch with nature

Did you know that spending time in nature plays an important role in our well-being? In addition to reducing feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation and irritability, time spent in nature can also increase feelings of calmness and restore the capacity for concentration and attention. 

That’s just the beginning; spending time in nature increases endorphin levels and dopamine production, which promote happiness. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces cortisol (the stress hormone), McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. reports. [7 Benefits of Spending Time in Nature – Student Wellness Centre (]

Nature not only increases our happiness, it also helps us feel better physically. It’s so powerful that simply viewing scenes of nature offers those same benefits, according to the University of Minnesota . 

Because withdrawing from drugs and/or alcohol can heighten stress, taking steps to reduce and manage stress is essential for recovery. New research even shows that being able to see green spaces from your home is associated with reduced cravings for alcohol, cigarettes and harmful foods. 

The study, led by England’s University of Plymouth, is the first to demonstrate that passive exposure to nearby greenspace is linked to both lower frequencies and strengths of cravings.  It builds on previous research that suggests exercising in nature can reduce cravings by demonstrating the same may be true even if you’re not being physically active. 

The study is the first to investigate the relationship between exposure to natural environments, craving for a range of appetitive substances and experiencing negative emotions or feelings. 

With a pristine location on 25 serene and private acres nestled on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, Aurora Recovery Centre’s team of dedicated and compassionate professionals sees firsthand the remarkable benefits nature has on those who begin their life-changing journey to recovery here. 

There are many ways to reap the benefits that nature has to offer here, including going for walks and/or hikes, reading a book and/or meditating outdoors, gardening and simply taking in the pristine views from indoors. 

A growing body of research extols the benefits of nature. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, natural environments drive positive affect through enjoyable sights and sounds. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association points to studies that found natural light will help regulate your sleep cycle and that green spaces promote physical activity, which can give your brain a boost and can also improve your self-esteem, reduce stress and generally improve your quality of life.

And that’s still not all. Being in nature helps your body produces Vitamin D. Direct sunlight converts a chemical in your skin into an active form of the vitamin, which is an essential nutrient for bone health and regulates many cellular functions in your body. Vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties support immune health, muscle function and brain cell activity, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

Together with scientifically proven treatment methods, Aurora Recovery Centre’s pristine location can support and advance your recovery. Contact us today to learn how we can help you begin your lifelong journey to a healthier, happier life. 

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