The appreciation of nature is evident throughout human history. Nature fascinates humans. This appears to be for good reason. Natural surroundings have a positive impact on the mind and body. When it comes to mental health, studies suggest that individuals living in an area with a high amount of green space are better able to manage stressful life events.  Furthermore, those individuals perceive themselves as having better mental health. Natural surrounding impact physical health. Patients at Glenbeigh thrive when taking advantage of the walking trail or when participating in outdoor activities. Sitting quietly, reflecting by the ponds, often provides the natural bond needed to connect one with their inner spirituality. The positive impact of green space on mental and physical wellbeing could be why Healing Gardens are popular in many urban hospital spaces around the country. It may seem simple that people feel better when exposed to natural surroundings - they can heal faster when seeing and experiencing the sights and sounds associated with nature. Western culture has conditioned people to believe the idea that doing multiple things at one time is good. Focusing on a single task or “just being” somewhere is not considered beneficial or productive in fast-paced cultures. Many people early in recovery struggle with just being. Natural surroundings offer a chance to be somewhere without worrying about the next task or achievement. By being mindful and focusing on the sound of the wind or the smell of flowers can improve overall wellbeing.

Since 1981, Glenbeigh, Rock Creek, has been promoting the benefits of incorporating natural surroundings to enhance addiction treatment. The campus consists of over 80 acres of serene surroundings that offer walking trails, meditation spots and outdoor recreation areas.

Carolanne Semancik, PhD