Mental Benefits in Going Fishing Once in a While
Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities around the world. Different people go fishing for different reasons; some fish just for fun and others fish for sport while many use fishing as an excuse to spend some time in nature. Regardless of the different motives, there’s no denying that fishing is inherently a meditative activity that allows you to disconnect from your daily stressors, forcing you to slow down and stay in the moment. This, in turn, has many cognitive and psychological benefits that can truly improve your overall well-being.
So, if you’re feeling burnt out or if you need a healthy outlet to unwind, take a look at the mental benefits of fishing below. Who knows, maybe fishing will be the hobby you never knew you needed.
Fishing Reduces Stress and Anxiety
The reality of our modern world means that we’re almost always stressing about one thing or another. Between money, deadlines, chores, personal responsibilities, and social obligations, the accumulation of all that stress can take a toll on our mental, emotional, and physical well being. However, fishing gives you the perfect opportunity to bask in the glory of the great outdoors where you can relax and let your brain unplug for a while.
Research suggests that those who live by a water body that supports fishing such as Anna Maria Island in Florida, for instance, reports lower cortisol levels (Stress hormone) and tend to be more productive both on professional and personal levels. This is one of the many reasons why locals have been known to be so welcoming to fishing tourists. If you happen to walk by any of the boat ramps or local marines in the area, you’ll always see people heading out to fish on an Anna Maria Island Fishing Charter pretty much any time of the day. Maybe it’s the steady rhythm of the waves crashing against the boat or perhaps it’s the soothing sound of the birds calling off in the distance, whatever it is, there’s no denying that fishing is a meditative activity that can significantly reduce your anxiety and drive your stress away.
Moreover, fishing requires your undivided attention and brings your focus to the present moment which can effectively take your mind off any internal conflict and stress. From locating the fish and choosing the correct bait to coming up with the right strategy and throwing the perfect cast, fishing engages your brain in critical thinking and encourages you to stay grounded which, in turn, gives you a healthy escape from stress and anxiety and promotes overall relaxation.
It Relieves PTSD Symptoms
The relaxing and calming qualities of fishing make it a popular practice among counsellors and therapists working with war veterans who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other individuals who have experienced trauma in their lives. In a study that engaged veterans in fishing activities, the veterans’ PTSD symptoms were reduced by 30% after each fishing trip.
In another study, researchers noted that the participants slept better, had lower levels of cortisol, expressed fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and were less likely to experience fear, hostility, guilt, sadness, and other feelings typically associated with PTSD. These powerful effects lasted for as long as 4 weeks, which makes the significance of fishing as a possible antidote to the horrors and trauma of life and war undeniable.
Fishing Enhances Your Cognitive Function
Fishing requires you to head to the great outdoors and, as research confirms, significant exposure to nature can do wonders for your cognitive function. For one, getting enough fresh air on a regular basis can significantly enhance your short-term memory. Studies show that fishing for even a few minutes once in a while in an outdoor setting can improve your short-term memory by as much as 20%.
Additionally, being surrounded by water, trees, and an open sky has long been linked to the reduction in mental fatigue and, consequently, the restoration of mental energy which means that fishing can also enhance your attention span and concentration.
It Improves Your Critical and Creative Thinking Abilities
Fishing in the great outdoors is a natural and effective remedy that can instantly clear your mind and the clearer your mind is, the more capable you’ll be of keeping your creative juices flowing. This is why some of the most successful authors, painters, and poets attribute their greatest inspiration to spending some time in nature, be it through a fishing trip, a stroll down the park, or any other outdoor activity.
Unlike the common misconception, fishing isn’t really an exact science; the spot where you caught that big fish the other day will not necessarily be as fruitful the next which means that when you’re fishing, you’ll constantly be looking for the best places to fish, deciding on the best kind of bait, and spotting problems ahead of time. This allows you to sharpen your problem-solving skills, develop your analytical abilities, and improve your creative thinking capabilities. All of which are fundamental life skills that you’ll undoubtedly need for your day-to-day life both on personal and professional levels.
Fishing Can Help Slow Down Cognitive Decline
Memory problems and cognitive decline are a natural part of the aging process. However, as we previously stated, fishing comes with its share of challenges that require awareness, focus, creativity, and innovation which makes it one of the best activities that can keep your brain stimulated as you grow older. When you go fishing every once in a while, your brain will be frequently challenged and engaged which can help you fight off the cognitive decline commonly associated with old age.
As you can see, fishing is more than just a fun, recreational activity. It also provides a wealth of invaluable benefits that can significantly improve your mental wellbeing and your overall quality of life. Not only can you enjoy these benefits on any fishing trip while you’re on the water, but you’ll also enjoy the positive, relaxing effects long after you come back home. With this in mind, we hope that you’re now sold on the wonders of fishing and will consider making fishing a part of your regular routine.
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