What a Wonderful World
Maybe you know the old song “What a Wonderful World.” It opens like this:
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I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
The singer goes on to describe a number of beautiful things—the sky of blue, the clouds of white, the colors of the rainbow—that are found in nature. The song always returns to its central idea: what a wonderful world.
And it’s true. The natural world is pretty wonderful—and it can be an important part of your life in recovery.
The Outdoors Are Everywhere
It can be easy to think that getting outdoors involves a big production—like planning a big camping trip. But of course the outdoors are, in fact, just outside our doors! A nice walk in the sun—with a friend or a dog or all on your own—offers plenty of benefits, as does gardening or playing a quick game of catch. Getting outdoors is easy and doesn’t require a lot of planning.
The Benefits Are Real
Okay, it may be easy, but what’s so beneficial about it? Turns out, there are a lot of potential benefits for everyone—including people in recovery. For example, sunlight provides a boost of vitamin D, which has been shown to have many benefits, including lessening the symptoms of depression. Those who spend significant time in nature often sleep better and have stronger immune systems.
Getting some exercise is good for your physical and mental health, as well—and exercising in nature can be so much more satisfying than working out in a gym. Exercise leads to increased production of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and endorphins in the brain, all of which can contribute to feelings of wellbeing while also reducing cravings for alcohol or drugs.
The Renewal Is Inspirational
Spending time considering the beauty of nature and its cycles of renewal can offer true inspiration for a person in recovery. Thinking about rotation of the seasons or the phases of the moon or the daily trip of the sun from east to west can remind us that life is constantly working toward renewal. Even the rainbow the singer invokes in “What a Wonderful World” is a symbol of rebirth and a fresh start.
These lessons and examples from nature can be applied to the recovery journey. Overcoming a substance use disorder is itself a process of renewal, and spending time in the natural world reminds us how far we have come and how the rebirth represented by a sunrise, a rainbow, or the coming of spring is always available to us.
The Options Are Endless
We noted earlier that the outdoors are accessible in simple, everyday ways. But sometimes it’s fun to plan for a deeper experience in the natural world. Plan a fishing trip, join an adult softball (or kickball) team, head to an outdoor music festival and rough it while you take in the tunes. You can hike or bike or swim or climb or…well, you get the idea. Make it a social occasion or head out on your own (keeping safety firmly in mind, of course). The natural world is always ready to welcome you.
The Help Is Available
For someone struggling with a substance use disorder, the world can seem anything but wonderful. If you (or a loved one) need assistance to overcome a problem with drugs or alcohol, the staff at Bel Aire Recovery Center is prepared to help you find the beauty in the world once again.
We offer personalized and compassionate care throughout the detox and rehabilitation process, but our services don’t stop there. Our commitment to a continuum of care means that we will make sure you have access to the resources and information you need to maintain your sobriety once residential treatment ends.
Our hope for you is simple: we want you to experience all the joys of life free from the influence of drugs or alcohol. We can help you get back to a place where you can think to yourself what a wonderful world.