Nowadays, life can become so stressful, especially when we are at work or school. We all need a break from this monotonous cycle, and what better way to do that than going on a fishing trip? Going fishing is a fun and relaxing activity that connects us with nature and our peers. But do you know that there is more to it than fun? This form of enjoyment also has excellent benefits for our mental well-being.
Are you interested to know how fishing affects mental health? Here is how a fishing trip benefits your mental wellness.
Fishing trips allow you to reconnect with nature. As it usually involves walking through a small forest to reach your fishing area, it lowers your overall stress, improving your mental well-being.
One study has shown that this happens because a day with nature lowers your cortisol levels – the primary stress hormone. High levels of cortisol have been attributed to fatigue, mood changes, anxiety, and depression, so reducing it makes wonders to your emotions.
Also, fishing is a relaxing activity that lets you slow down from the usual grind of being at work or school. It calms you down, reducing your stress levels. This calming effect of fishing is why some therapists and counselors use fishing as a therapeutic exercise for people who have experienced trauma and chronic illnesses.
Improves Your Mood
Fishing is a rewarding hobby. For anglers, the idea of getting the next big catch is as exciting as actually sinking their hooks on the prized fish.
The idea of getting a reward improves your mood – making you happy. Compared to the rewards that we obtain from work or school, this activity is not as stressful as there are no repercussions to catching none. It will not affect your salary nor your grades. It is just a form of enjoyment that boosts your happiness.
Also, fishing trips allow you to spend time with your peers or family. Being surrounded by people you care about also improves your happiness and your mental health.
Fishing and going on fishing trips, improve your happiness, and boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. Even if it is not the biggest catch, catching something fuels your pride, making you believe in yourself more.
Lower self-esteem is not a mental health issue per se, but it can potentially lead to one. The negative emotions that we have towards ourselves impact our happiness and relationships. It has also been found that low self-esteem in your childhood to early adulthood increases your risk of addiction. It leads individuals to believe that drugs and alcohol make you forget about the negative feelings.
This impact on our happiness, relationships, and predisposition to addiction leads to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. So, improving your self-esteem through a rewarding activity, like fishing, is beneficial for your mental wellness.
Gets You Active
Taking a fishing trip gets you moving. Whether it is a short walk to the lake or river, or a few minutes wading in the waters, it gets you physically active, boosting your mental health.
Exercise and other physical activities have been found to help with depression and anxiety. It releases endorphins – natural brain chemicals that make you feel good. It also improves your self-esteem and self-confidence, reducing your risk for mental health issues.
Routines impact how well you remember an activity. And if you go on fishing trips regularly, then you are also getting yourself regular exercise.
Improves Your Memory
Going fishing requires attention and focus. It also needs planning, especially if it involves driving a few miles to a fishing destination and taking a hike to reach the waters. These activities improve your memory, resulting in a boost for your mental health as well.
Fishing also improves cognitive thinking because there is no exact science behind it. There is no one perfect way to get a catch or best bait to use. And so this activity allows your mind to think of solutions to your problems constantly. Fishing also enables you to develop both creative and analytical skills to improve your catch and cognitive function.
People with mental health issues like schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, and depression may experience memory problems like lack of attention, forgetfulness, difficulty planning, and reasoning. Aside from getting affordable counseling, taking a fishing trip is an excellent therapy option to combat the effects of pre-existing issues. And over time, it may improve your mood and cognition as well.
Gets You the D
Fishing trips allow us to soak under the sun and get the necessary vitamin D that our body needs. We all know that vitamin D is crucial for our physical health, impacting bone health and brain development and functioning. But do you know how it affects our mental health?
Vitamin D is both a vitamin and hormone that helps with calcium absorption, immune system regulation, and neurotransmitters release. These neurotransmitters include dopamine and serotonin, which is what people who develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD) lack.
Depressive symptoms are common in people with SAD, especially during the winter, when they receive relatively little sunshine. Studies have shown that people with this mood disorder have also changed vitamin D levels, affecting serotonin levels in the brain. So getting some sun through fishing is an excellent way to replenish our vitamin D needs and improve our moods.
Going on a fishing trip is a pleasurable activity that connects us with nature and fellow fishing enthusiasts. It is a great mood booster that improves our cognition and mental wellness. So what are you waiting for? Plan your next fishing trip, and spend quality time outside with your friends!