A RESTORATIVE EFFECT
The warmth of the sun on your face, the touch of a gentle breeze and the sounds of wildlife have always been mesmerizing. For centuries, we have sought peace and solace in nature when life becomes too much. Being outdoors has a restorative effect that encourages relaxation and healing, creating a sense of well-being that promotes improved mental, physical and spiritual health. Past generations have always known this, but we have begun to lose our connection to nature as the world modernizes.
At Journey Hillside Tarzana, we understand the therapeutic benefits of fresh air and open skies. Located in the Tarzana neighborhood of Los Angeles, our facility is surrounded by rolling hills, tranquil valleys and sprawling state parks, ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities. To improve the treatment experience, we actively encourage and arrange hiking trips for our patients to explore and reconnect with nature. Spending time outdoors has been shown to provide a multitude of benefits for people from all walks of life, but is especially useful for those in addiction recovery. We’ve found that it encourages emotional stability, increases overall wellness and improves the ability to reflect on the problems or challenges in life.
HIKING AND EXPERIENTIAL THERAPIES
At Journey Hillside Tarzana
As more research demonstrates the beneficial effects of being outdoors, treatment centers are beginning to integrate nature, adventure and exercise therapies into their recovery programs.
At Journey Hillside Tarzana, we strive to expand upon these therapies and provide our patients with care that exceeds industry standards by expanding upon these therapies and integrating the most effective, evidence-based treatments into our recovery services.
A VARIETY OF EXPERIENTIAL THERAPIES
To ensure a comprehensive treatment experience, we implement a variety of experiential therapies to bridge the gap between traditional treatments and help patients process what they’ve learned, express difficult emotions and reclaim their identity.
The location of our facility is especially conducive to outdoor activities such as hiking. Hiking is a form of experiential therapy that combines nature and exercise-based techniques to help patients achieve long-term recovery. It has been shown to provide several benefits that complement more conventional treatments such as individual therapy and the 12-steps. Our combination of traditional and experiential therapies are specially designed to improve patient outcomes and provide a greater opportunity to heal from addiction.
BENEFITS OF HIKING AND NATURE THERAPY
At Journey Hillside Tarzana, we’ve seen that for individuals recovering from addiction, the beneficial effects of the outdoors exert a powerful influence that positively impacts their ability to heal. Several studies reviewed by The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health demonstrate the health and wellness benefits of nature.
Hiking is an effective way for clients to benefit from the healing effects of nature while improving their self-esteem and physical fitness. The breathtaking views and calming landscapes provide an opportunity for patients to retreat from the stressors of recovery and process their thoughts and feelings without feeling burdened or pressured. While hiking through the serene hills of Tarzana, patients also have time to reflect on their experiences and examine their habits, motivations, treatment goals and more.
Health and wellness benefits of nature
- IMPROVED MOOD
- REDUCED STRESS
- INCREASED SELF-ESTEEM
- ENHANCED ABILITY TO HANDLE CHALLENGING TASKS
- REDUCED ISOLATION
- LOWERED MORTALITY RATES
HOW DOES HIKING IMPACT RECOVERY?
The benefits of hiking and exposure to nature impact recovery in many positive ways
Not only does it help relieve stress and enhance overall wellness, but hiking also gives patients the opportunity to build awareness, improve their mental health and gain more independence and confidence. Although often overlooked, it’s important to address the full spectrum of a patient’s physical, mental and spiritual needs to ensure that they can achieve deep, lasting sobriety. A closer look at each of these benefits demonstrates the significant impact they have on the recovery process.
BUILD AWARENESS AND HONESTY
Drugs and alcohol have an isolating effect that separates us not only from our loved ones but from ourselves as well. Addiction has a way of creating a disconnect or tension that can be difficult to resolve. We often forget our beliefs and values, engage in harmful behaviors and become unaware of the consequences of our actions. This often causes emotional conflict and prevents us from looking at ourselves honestly.
To truly begin to heal, we have to rediscover our values and remember who we really are. Hiking in nature provides an ideal opportunity for self-awareness and reflection, allowing us to reconnect with ourselves and our surroundings. This awareness can relieve the tension we’ve been feeling and restore balance in a therapeutic way. It also helps us gain some perspective on our thoughts and behaviors, so we can confront ourselves honestly and allow our deepest wounds to heal.
REDUCE STRESS AND IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH
Stress, anxiety and depression have a significant role in addiction. The constant pressure we often feel may lead some to self-medicate in an attempt to escape the demands of daily life. This often creates an unhealthy cycle in which the symptoms of stress and anxiety worsen as substance use increases. Hiking in nature can break the cycle by providing patients with the opportunity to manage their stress in a healthy way. Studies have shown that spending just 30 minutes outdoors each day can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood and increase overall happiness and resilience. For patients in recovery, hiking reinforces positive coping mechanisms while enhancing their ability to manage the obstacles and difficulties of the treatment process. It also encourages physical activity and exercise, which provide similar benefits to one’s overall wellness. Nature is a healing force that helps patients cope with the exhaustion and mental fatigue they may encounter while overcoming addiction, and hiking is a way to help them remain strong and focused on recovery.
PROMOTE INDEPENDENCE AND SELF-RELIANCE
Another benefit of hiking is to improve problem-solving abilities, develop more independence and rediscover a sense of self-worth by learning new skills. A good hike empowers patients to rely on their own capabilities and improve teamwork, discipline and accountability. Patients will begin to feel more confident in their abilities, which can help remind them that, while the process may be difficult at times, recovery is possible. Hiking outdoors also increases physical fitness and encourages healthier habits. Hiking can be adapted for all patients regardless of their fitness level, allowing them to work on their strength and endurance at their own pace. Patients can set goals and increase the difficulty level of their excursions as they become more confident and capable, tracking their progress with each hike.
CONTACT JOURNEY HILLSIDE TARZANA
At Journey Hillside Tarzana, we understand the importance of integrating a variety of treatment modalities and experiential therapies into our recovery programs. This ensures that each patient can find a way to heal that makes sense to them. Our location in the quiet hills of Los Angeles gives us the unique opportunity to expose our patients to the benefits of nature and fitness-based recovery techniques such as hiking while providing a strong foundation of traditional and alternative treatment methods.