Make or Break: How The Environment You’re in Affects Your Recovery

addiction recovery environment

Some excellent and sage advice: “You can’t heal in the same environment where you got sick.” Cliche? Maybe. Blatantly truthful? Absolutely. 

Where you are physically holds a lot of power over where you are mentally. When it comes to your surroundings, it’s crucial to hone healthy situations and experiences for yourself; especially if you’re in the vulnerable early stages of addiction recovery. Choosing the right treatment center can be difficult, but doing the necessary research and selecting an environment conducive to healing will yield exponentially better results. 

If you’re struggling with any form of substance abuse, your environment can either build your mental health empire, or wreak havoc on it. Dealing with addiction can feel overwhelming, confusing, and distracting, among other things. If you’re also in a hectic, unstable, stressful living situation, your symptoms are more likely to get worse before they get better. You need specific and helpful commodities in order to fully commit and maintain a healthy streamline to recovery. 

5 Ways the Environment Can Affect Your Mental Health 

Anything in your environment can affect your mental health, but the following are the most notable: 

  1. People: Managing inconsistent communication, conflict, or unreliable people can be very stressful. If you’re not around people who are positive influences, you should reconsider the company you keep. Humans are a social species, and the truth is, we need each other to survive. People need people, and we can’t go it alone and still do our best. In retrospect, if you are living with or surrounded by people who aren’t on the same page of health as you are – they are impacting your success in recovery much more than you realize. 
  2. Sensory: Your surroundings greatly influence your levels of comfort, relaxation, and safety, including lighting, temperature, sounds, smells, and colors. When surrounded by dark and cold spaces, people often feel unmotivated and more depressed. The reduction of sunlight can be linked to panic attacks and depression-related disorders. However, harsh, bright lighting can lead to anxiety or agitation. To keep things stable for the majority of your day, you’ll want to be around natural light; natural light triggers our serotonin – a happy hormone –  to release in our brains. Being around open, cracked, or closed windows is your best option, as long as some natural light is filtering through. When it comes to sound, it has been found that working with music in the background improves concentration and well-being. White noise, like the sound of ocean waves or a quiet fan, can help you feel calmer or help you drift off to sleep. 
  3. Organization: When a space is cluttered, you may feel overwhelmed and anxious, whereas a tidy area can create a sense of calm. Size and space can be a privilege; regardless, ensuring your rooms are decluttered as much as possible is an excellent way to create more space.
  4. Nature: Again, natural light is a helping hand in recovery, but nature itself has been known since the beginning of time to relieve stress, calm your nerves, and allow you to transform into a grateful state of mind. Being in the presence of nature allows you to take a step back from your everyday stressors, like the sounds of bustling people or the growling of a car’s engine. Nature can align you with your innermost self and thoughts, allowing you to release the fear and angst you may be carrying around with you. 
  5. Culture and values: Being understood at a deeper level requires connecting with others who share similar cultures and values. A lack of social support can lead to feelings of isolation and depression. Finding like-minded people who may be struggling with the same thing as you or people who have overcome what you’re currently experiencing could be a massive boost in motivation and happiness. 

The Undeniable Fears of Care Centers

The fear of recovery comes from the unknown. There is often an instinctual belief that rehab will be an institution of some sort, with empty halls filled with insensitive, judgemental people and bright fluorescent lights that find you wherever you go. 

Does this sound comfortable? A place where you can heal? Probably not. Your fears aren’t irrational. There are some facilities like that – where you can be seen as just a number, filtered into the medical system for them to treat, and then pushed out to make room for someone else. It’s easy to fear that. Who would want that? When you’re in a specific space, you become spatially aware of what’s around you. And if those things are empty walls, sterile areas, and hurried staff, you won’t be able to completely commit to your recovery journey because of the negative impact your environment is having on you.

Choosing a recovery center can be stressful. You’ve taken the first step of admitting you need help, which is already a challenging concept to come to terms with. Now, you have to choose somewhere to stay for therapy, guidance, and healing. Leaving home and what you’re accustomed to can be intimidating; it’s easier to stay where we’re familiar, regardless if it’s bad for our health. We understand this struggle, and this is why Discovery Point Retreat is such an exceptional place to start in your recovery. 

How Our Centers Align With Your Needs

With a home-like environment, we soothe your needs when it comes to social, emotional, and physical well-being. We prioritize comfort and safety for you because we know you’re dealing with an addiction that has taken hold of your life, and you now need a balance of peacefulness, motivation, and recovery. You need people who share your same goals and are there to support you in your journey to health.

To allow yourself to open up, receive help and heal from within, you need a comfortable, non-judgmental environment where you feel like a member of the family the moment you walk in the door. Our supportive staff shares your goals and cares about your success; some have even been in the same exact position you might be in right now. They took what they learned from treatment and decided to give back after their own recovery. Not only does the staff create a safe space for you, but you’ll be able to create deep connections with peers who are facing the same struggles and understand what you’re going through. Sharing your emotions and feelings is never an easy thing to do, but it’s one of the best ways to understand yourself and heal. If you’re living with or hanging out with people who hide their emotions and bottle them up, you’ll end up doing the same thing, resulting in an unhealthy situation if you ever want to recover. 

Along with having supportive people around, you need a warm, welcoming, and congenial environment. At our centers, we offer gathering places indoors and out, where you can sit, socialize, relax, or practice mindfulness. We provide delicious chef-prepared meals that will nourish your body and soul, inspirational music that drifts throughout the hallways, natural light-filled rooms, and cozy beds with memory foam mattresses. 

Physical wellness is also important – and at our centers, we offer a variety of ways that you can get your body moving. We have on-site gyms, basketball courts, a seasonal pool, yoga sessions, and nature trails for a refreshing walk in the woods. All these aspects of the environment combine to create a holistic sense of wellness, which enables you to fully recover. 

Choosing What’s Best For Your Recovery

In general, choosing an environment that is healthy, happy, and comforting should always be a priority. It complements your mental health, motivates you to be proactive, and can regulate your serotonin and dopamine levels. 

If your current circumstances are not conducive to your healing process, you need to try to make some changes. If you continue to try and heal in a space that causes you more stress than comfort, your ability to recover will decline rapidly. Finding a warm, comforting, safe space to focus on yourself and allow your mind a break from your everyday stressors will drastically benefit you. Once you’re in a better place mentally, you can make healthier choices when you return to your original environment. You will lead a happier and more motivated life, pushing yourself forward into better situations, settings, and relationships. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, the environmental stressors around you can make recovery difficult. At Discovery Point Retreat, we explore the trauma, depression, or stress that may push you towards unhealthy temporary relief options. To heal, you need to break away from the environment that may make you sick. Call our attentive team today at 855-306-8054 or contact us online.


We’re here to help you get started. Tell us a little bit about you or your loved one: