Getting Outdoors Can Help you Cope with Trauma

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The great outdoors is nature’s medicine. Trauma takes a toll on your physical, spiritual, and emotional well being. Nature allows you to have solitude, healing, and regain focus. The oxygen in nature promotes health respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Nature is not a stand alone treatment for trauma. However, if you have PTSD or have been exposed to a traumatic event, nature works great in combination with therapy and treatment. Individuals with PTSD have high rates of substance use because drugs and alcohol are often used as a way to cope.

Trauma affects several different parts of your body which can be alleviated by nature. PTSD is actually an anxiety disorder causing numerous problems. Trauma makes your body have a heightened flight or fight response. Essentially, with PTSD, your body is stuck on overdrive. These reactions can have a direct impact on a variety of conditions, including:

  • Eczema
  • Panic disorders
  • Depression
  • Memory impairments
  • A feeling of disconnection with the world and your body
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anger and aggression
  • Increased cardiovascular problems due to extreme startle response
  • Body aches and pains
  • High blood pressure

The outdoors aides in healing. First of all, being in nature helps lower stress levels. Cortisol, the stress chemical, is responsible for excess weight and cardiovascular issues. The outdoors actually lowers stress therefore decreasing the dangerous stress chemical Cortisol.

Spending time in nature, specifically camping, resets your body’s internal clock. Spending a few days to a week camping can help your sleep schedule get back on track. Healthy sleeping affects your mood, reactions, and even drug and alcohol cravings.

Peace and serenity are beneficial to your mental health and boost your life. Research was conducted several years ago and found that nurses who lived in greener areas had a 12% lower mortality risk than their urban counterparts. Nature truly is medicinal.

Nature also improves focus, attention, and memory. These three areas are directly affected by PTSD and exposure to trauma. Nature also encourages relaxation. PTSD symptoms include an exaggerated startle response, so experiencing nature directly helps with many of the symptoms of PTSD.

The Kimberly Center is focused on you. We want to help you take the next steps towards treatment and recovery. The Kimberly Center is well known for their compassionate and expert approach to treatment. Our staff are trained knowledgeable in the correlation between trauma and its relation to addiction. Call us today at 855-4-KCENTER to learn more.

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