How Does a Calm and Relaxing Environment Motivate Clients in Recovery?

How Does a Calm and Relaxing Environment Motivate Clients in Recovery?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Recovery can be a long and draining process. The feeling of being drained can be exacerbated when someone is not in a productive and peaceful environment. A person’s environment while recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) can have a significant impact on their recovery. If a person spends time in a relaxing environment, this can have a positive, long-lasting impact and contribute to overall success. A peaceful environment promotes inner reflection and self-growth while not being too overstimulating.

The facility at First Steps Recovery provides clients with a serene setting for their recovery. This environment allows clients to invite peace into their lives and promotes long-lasting recovery.

How Does the Environment Impact One’s Recovery Journey?

According to a June 2016 report in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, one’s environment has a significant effect on their success in overcoming SUD. Environments that offer more access to drugs and alcohol can cause negative recovery outcomes. The same is true for environments in which addiction is normalized. These types of environments tend to lead clients to experience more addiction urges. This is because substances chemically impact the brain by changing its structure and function. Being surrounded by an environment that contributes to compulsion, addiction, and destructive habits feeds into these structural changes and creates barriers to recovery.

On the other hand, environments that promote healthy lifestyles of all kinds (physical, nutritional, mental, emotional, etc.) support the recovery journey most effectively. One’s environment is comprised of not only their community but also the physical environment. Even air pollution and environmental hazards feed into destructive habits and addiction. This is especially so for neighborhoods of lower socioeconomic status.

When a client removes themself from environments that encourage temptation and substance use, this provides them with a better chance of sustaining long-term sobriety. Attempting recovery in a destructive environment can be done. However, clients may find themselves highly frustrated with the process. Recovery is meant to be a healing process in which clients can achieve a healthier and happier lifestyle.

The Importance of a Relaxing Environment

In short, a relaxing and calming environment is better for people in the recovery process. A calming and nurturing environment helps clients with both mental and physical health. In this setting, they can more easily work through feelings of stress, burnout, depression, and anxiety. As these feelings dissolve, they can begin to experience fewer mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. Therefore, their addiction begins to be a thing of the past.

A January 2023 report in the previously mentioned journal showed that using an outdoor setting promotes a healthier recovery journey. Connecting with nature encourages clients to connect more deeply with themselves. This connection can be created simply by experiencing the outdoors or through activities such as gardening or hiking.

Improving Relationships With Self and Others

By engaging with nature, clients can further their personal, unique recovery journeys. They can begin to understand how to pursue a meaningful life and heal their inner being rather than focus exclusively on the symptoms of addiction. In this relaxing environment, clients can start to heal their relationships with others.

Being in a relaxing environment helps clients develop a strong sense of self and belonging, discover meaningful and fun sober activities, and unveil a new sense of self-importance.

The Relaxing Environment at First Steps Recovery

As mentioned before, at First Steps Recovery, the staff works to create a relaxing environment for clients. The team takes advantage of the facility’s location below Yosemite National Park. This naturally serene and relaxing environment is used in holistic care to support clients’ self-discovery and self-healing processes. The First Steps team firmly believes that recovery goes beyond treating symptoms. Recovery is about healing the whole person. A relaxing natural scene supports this process.

The programs at First Steps Recovery that promote relaxation include equine therapy, outdoor activities, recreation, exercise, and yoga. Staff members work with the clients to understand what works best for them. Some clients may find that excessive time spent outdoors does not promote healing for them. Others may find that it does. This is normal, as everyone’s recovery journey is different. First Steps Recovery works with each client to create the most effective, relaxing environment for their recovery journey.

Holistic care options such as animal therapy, trips and outings, and wilderness experiences bring clients into the serene outdoors to promote healing. Clients learn to communicate with others in a group, connect with nature to promote recovery, and develop key social skills often lost to addiction. These services are implemented to support clients in connecting more deeply with themselves and others. In a relaxing environment, there is less stress and pressure put on clients. With this kind of assistance, they can fully recover from the problems of addiction.

Here at First Steps Recovery, we prioritize giving clients a relaxing environment in which to heal. A relaxing environment is important in the recovery process. Many times clients must go away from the environment where their addiction emerged. Those environments, especially ones where substances or alcohol are readily accessible, can detrimentally impact recovery and lead to relapse or unsuccessful treatment. Being engaged in an environment where stress and frustrations cannot interfere with the recovery process allows clients to connect more deeply with themselves and heal. First Steps Recovery offers services that use Yosemite National Park’s serene setting to promote healing. Call us at (844) 489-0836 to learn more about our facility and services.

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