When I mention to others that I love fishing, they think I am obsessed with chasing fish and catching them for food. What they do not understand is that fishing is the process that starts a day before when you pack and get ready mentally and ends in bed when you feel that pleasant fatigue.
If that is not a best thing for the mental health, then I don’t know what is. I often tell my depressed friends to come with me and enjoy the nature if they want to uplift their moods. No, it doesn’t help clinical depression and does not fix your brain chemistry, but it sure removes you from the chaos of daily life and shows that there’s much more in this world than large cities. That’s why I wanted to write a few words about benefits of fishing on the mental health.
The biggest benefit of fishing for me is the interaction with nature and the calming effect it has. Sitting near the river or on the boat, surrounded by the greenness and waiting for the fish is one of the best meditations that can improve your mental health. I am not the only one seeing the effects. Two hospitals in Scotland have started offering fishing as a therapy to their mental disorder patients. If it helps patients with the severe form of problems, it will surely help your anxiety and mild form of depression.
One thing about fishing for relaxation and mental health benefit is that you simply do not need any expensive therapy or fancy gadgets. It is cheap and accessible for everyone. Almost anywhere in the world you can find a cheap rod and a river or a lake. I understand that for the people who live in the city it could be a challenge, but alternative is going to a spa or seeing a psychologist. That would cost you 10 times more.
Mental health could also be improved with fishing by having the sense of an achievement. It could seem like a slow process, sitting there and mostly nothing special happens, but once that rod starts shaking, you get all the excitement in the world. The catch could be big or small, but at least it is there. You will get a motivation to catch larger fish the next time and that feeling of achievement could boost your self-confidence that will affect other aspects of your life.
Fishing also gives you lots of time to think about things and it is a perfect opportunity to clear your mind from negative thoughts that affect your mental health. Few years ago when I was running a company focusing on health apps for smartphones, we had a busy schedule and several problems with meeting deadlines. It was one of the hardest times for me and fishing helped a lot. I used to take a 30 minute ride on Saturdays to the lake and sat there for hours, mostly thinking about life in a calm manner. Although that lake did not have any large fish to offer, I still came back with the biggest catch out there – a clear mind that was ready for challenges.
I hope I convinced you at least a little bit to give fishing a try. For some people it is nothing special, but for some it could be a life changer. Once you get the taste, you’ll love it the rest of your life. As I stated above, it comes with many amazing mental health benefits that will help you in other parts of your life.