Here at Renaissance Ranch, we understand that it takes more than talking to restore mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.
Sometimes it takes a hearty dose of nature.
Of late, numerous studies are confirming what we’ve always known innately: time spent in nature is good for you. And the many benefits of nature can significantly aid in a patient’s recovery. That’s why we incorporate plenty of opportunities for patients to get outside and participate in activities ranging from personal study to outdoor sports.
Nature Boosts Mood and Counteracts Depression
Humans are naturally inclined to be interested in, and drawn to nature. Leafy green catches our eye, and the lines and patterns of branches, flowers, and grass invite us to observe. Nature gets us outside of ourselves, and distracts us with the quiet cycles of the season. This may be why a walk in nature mutes the area of our brain that deals with self-reprimanding thought patterns. Being in nature, or even seeing pictures of nature, can reduce stress, anger, and fear.
Nature Improves Health
Time spent in nature can also contribute to physical health. Exposure to sunlight resets circadian rhythms, and give us a good night’s sleep (which can be a rare thing for patients struggling to overcome addiction and withdrawal).
Time spent outside encourages physical activity. Often, while we’re outside, we exercise without even noticing it. Studies have found that seniors in walking distance to public parks and green spaces live longer, and access to fresh air reduces our risk of respiratory illness, hypertension, and diabetes.
A healthier body means a mind more able to heal and recover.
Inspires Gratitude and Connection with God
Our spiritually centered program believes that the essential ingredient to anyone’s recovery is the hope found through a relationship with God. Time spent in nature allows us to recognize and appreciate God’s creations, and inspires gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us. In ancient times, prophets retreated to the mountains or the wilderness to commune with God. We believe that quiet pondering in nature can awaken the spirit, heart, and mind. It gives us the opportunity for important lessons and reflections to sink into our hearts, evoking a change that endures once our time in a professional recovery plan is over.
Real Stories of Recovery
As soon as I walked through the doors of the Ranch I felt hope. My life had spiraled into depths of shame, misery, guilt, depression, sadness, and suffocating darkness prior to reaching those front doors. The 2 months that followed would forever change my life and provide a foundation within that is unshakable.
I have been called to serve a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the Fort Collins, CO mission. I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices and love of everyone at The Ranch. I attribute my recovery to God, hard work, and the things I learned while I was there. I am so excited to go serve my Heavenly Father, it has been a long hard road to get here but I know it is what he wants me to do. My heart is full of gratitude and love for those who have cared for me... Thank you for all you have done for me...
I had a head full of gospel knowledge and a heart full of shame. I felt like a failure. I hated who I was. That all changed during my stay at Renaissance Ranch. I quickly realized that I wasn't alone and that there were others who felt the same feelings of self-hatred, failure, and shame. This realization, coupled with the nonjudgmental environment of the Ranch, I was able to be completely honest and open for the first time in my life. From the guidance and empathy of my counselors and brothers, I learned it was okay to feel and I started to believe that there was hope.
Renaissance Ranch gave me a gift that no amount of money can ever repay. Through their unique, caring approach I learned how much I was loved, and that I never had to feel alone every again.
Renaissance Ranch will always be a special place to me and will always have a special place in my heart. I had already attended one rehab facility. The Ranch truly saved my life by teaching me and allowing me to understand and love who I am.
My sobriety date is July 15 2008. And for that I am very grateful. The ranch has given Me the tools to live a life I never thought was possible. I have never forgotten the feelings I felt when I was there in treatment and that's what gets me through the day, is the feelings and brotherhood that I was so blessed with while I was in the ranch.