How Surf Therapy Can Aid Mental Health Recovery
Alternative Mental Health Recovery Methods by Jennifer Scott @ spiritfinder.org
When stressed, it’s important to reduce stressors, triggers, and negative influences. Trying to deal with the stress, trying to figure out what might help, can in itself become stressful. Who to talk to? What to do about it? When even small steps move toward a goal, it’s progress, and if it’s by way of the activities one enjoys, then they’re on the path to recovery. There are many options to help with mental health. Here are plenty of ways you can restore your mental well-being. Here are four alternative mental health recovery methods to consider, courtesy of Surf Therapy.
1. Yoga tunes body and mind
Practicing yoga is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, as mentioned by Stylist. It also helps with concentration. Yoga is a form of exercise that builds core strength but it has a meditative element that helps one remain present in the moment. Practicing yoga with others can also support mental health recovery by building a safe community, especially when the group is focused on recovery.
Beginner’s are often a little self-conscious about trying yoga, but instructor Victoria Woodhall says, "It's not about how good you are at making 'yoga shapes', but how putting yourself in postures makes you feel on the inside. If it's any consolation, really bendy people may find certain poses so easy that they are not feeling any progression or developing their strength, leaving their mind to get distracted and wander." So don’t be afraid. Give yoga a try.
2. Exercise awakens body and mind
Exercise releases dopamine, a feel-good hormone that can give a feeling of peace. Committing to going to the gym early in the morning before work or penciling in 30 minutes of exercise a day requires hard work, which helps in shaping the determination one needs in mental health recovery. Eating a healthy diet also takes self-control and careful planning. But healthy foods will help with stamina while exercising, to allow for longer or more productive workouts.
3. Getting outdoors opens up body and mind
What is it about nature that acts like a cure-all? Simply going out for a walk around the neighborhood or hiking in a nearby park can help get the mind off things and to focus on the present. When stress arrives, go outdoors and take a deep breath. This is so effective that some recovery centers promote outdoor therapy to help people recover their mental health. Nature can help one concentrate on the things that matter in life, and to leave the worries outdoors.
4. Surf Therapy for body and mind
Okay, we cheated, but anything one can do that will combine any of these methods is probably great for mind and body. Some believe that practicing yoga can improve surfing technique. There’s no doubt both require core strength, balance, and flexibility. Even without this connection, the combination of physical activity and being outside can’t be beat.
Because of the other surfers and swimmers at the beach, we might forget that swimming in the surf is a way to be in nature that can overwhelm the senses. Whatever religious or spiritual affiliations one might have, standing on a board and rolling with the waves, bathed in sunlight–it’s a powerful experience, and one that can uplift and help with recovery. Connect with Surf Therapy in Wales, UK, for more information.
There are many alternative mental health recovery methods. Getting out and getting moving are great ways to well-being, but there are plenty of other ways to get there. Unfortunately, money (or lack thereof) can cause all kinds of stress. Balancing work and life isn’t always easy, but if there’s time for a part-time job to bring in more money, and thejob is enjoyable, then that extra income may be well worth the time.
Decluttering the house and adding meditation to the routine are also effective at reducing stress, with yoga and meditation often practiced interchangeably. With group therapy there’s community and connection; one gets comfortable with others. And with meditation there’s solitude; one gets comfortable with oneself. Trust the process. The path to recovery is the path to mental well-being and a happier life.