According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), addressing your whole health is important to healing because your mind and body are deeply intertwined. For example, if you feel sick or have a cold, you are more likely to feel down. Therefore, Exclusive Hawaii Rehab takes a mind-body approach with a holistic program to address your needs for healing as a whole person. Through the embodiment of experiential therapies like surf therapy, you can reconnect to your body to transform your mind.

What Is Surf Therapy?

The International Surf Therapy Organization (ISTO) states that surf therapy combines surf instruction and surfing with therapeutic activities. Surf therapy can happen as individual and group activities to promote and support your psychological, physical, and psychosocial well-being. Moreover, according to Frontiers in Psychology, surf therapy interventions provide mind-body healing through physical activity and interpersonal connection. Surf therapy typically includes opportunities for individual mentorship, social skill building, psychoeducation, and group discussions for resilience and personal growth. Through the power of socializing, nature, and exercise in surf therapy, you can dismantle the root of self-destructive behaviors.

How Can Surfing Improve Mental Health?

You have likely heard people talking about how working out makes them feel better physically and mentally. The stories you hear about the positive impact of moving your body reflect the mind-body process. As the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health notes, engaging in sports and exercise can have significant long-term physical and psychological benefits. Through physical activity, your brain releases chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. The neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine communicate with each other and send signals throughout your body to regulate different functions.

Serotonin and dopamine are often called happy hormones or feel-good chemicals because of their mind-body impact. As chemical messengers, serotonin and dopamine affect the mind-body processes like digestion, memory, and mood. Specifically, serotonin can help regulate your mood and improve the quality of your sleep, among other things. Dopamine, conversely, is connected to your brain’s reward system as it produces feelings of pleasure.

Moreover, spending time in nature surrounded by the calming sound of the ocean and crashing waves can help reduce stress. As the American Psychological Association (APA) points out, humans have an innate drive to connect with nature. Stepping away from the hustle and bustle of your busy life gives you space to reconnect with the natural world and yourself. Therefore, surf therapy can help reduce stress, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Through nature and physical activity, you restore your attention and connection to the self, nature, and others.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Using Healthy Activities to Increase Self-Confidence and Mindfulness

Engaging in healthy activities like surf therapy helps increase your self-esteem and mindfulness to support your well-being. As noted in the Universal Journal of Educational Research, physical activity can increase your self-esteem through interpersonal relationships. Through physical activities, you can engage with and connect with other people. Socializing and connecting with others makes you feel included. Your sense of belonging through acceptance from others helps increase your belief that you are worthy of healing and fulfillment.

Surf therapy helps you engage in social interaction and community building with your instructor and fellow surfers. Moreover, surf therapy presents you with the challenge of learning a new skill or enhancing the skills you already have. Through the challenges of healthy activities in surf therapy, you gain self-confidence. With self-confidence, you start to believe in your ability to meet and overcome challenges through problem-solving and hard work. Moreover, nature-based activities like surf therapy increase mindfulness as nature supports a sense of connectedness to the world’s rhythm.

Nature’s slower pace moves you closer to mindfulness as you disconnect from the busyness of your daily life. When you take the time to disconnect from your fast-paced life, you can restore your attention resources. With restored attention, you become more present and aware of your thoughts and feelings. Therefore, increased mindfulness helps you recognize the roots of your distress and regulate your emotions in healthier ways.

Do I Need to Know How to Surf to Benefit From Surf Therapy?

Participating in surf therapy does not require you to know how to surf. Part of the therapeutic process in surf therapy is learning how to surf. While you are not expected to become proficient or even average at surfing, part of the therapeutic process is engagement in the practice of trying. Taking on the challenges of surfing is geared less toward learning to surf and more toward fostering personal development for your well-being.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Surf Therapy at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we know everyone’s needs for healing are unique to them. Through our holistic, whole-person approach to care, we work as a team to find and build a plan of care that will best support you and your recovery. Therefore, your access and experiences with surf therapy can be tailored to fit your specific needs and goals for healing. Honoli’i Beach Park, our local break, is only 15 minutes away and has regular surfing and boogie boarding sessions. In our beautiful and lush secluded 30-acre treatment center, you have the space to explore and personalize your healing to restore balance to your life.