There is something serene about going fishing.
Experiencing the sun setting or rising; a fishing pole with a rod; a boat to or from the shore, trees, a lake or river, the mountains; and a blue sky or cloudy day...
Some say this is the best kind of therapy.
And that ain't just lip service—science has actually studied fishing as an effective form of therapy!
FISHING INCREASES SATISFACTION
For example, forty veterans participated in a four-day therapeutic fly fishing program and reported a significant decrease in symptoms of post traumatic stress and depression, as well as an increase in feelings of satisfaction.
The same results have been found in students who struggle with mental health issues. In some circles, fishing is "the advocated activity as therapy" for students with mental illness.
AN EMOTIONAL BOOST ANYONE CAN ENJOY
You don't need to be a long-time fisherman to reap the benefits of fishing. Some of the best benefits of fishing come not from the act of fishing itself, but from the full experience of fishing.
Connecting with Nature – From a wide forest lake to a small reservoir, you can't beat the beauty of being surrounded by water, trees, mountains, hills, and wildlife. Removing yourself from the pressures and responsibilities of every day and replacing the hustle and bustle with the sights, smells, and sounds of nature is a feeling you'll crave in the following days.
Peaceful Solitude – No work, no errands, no technology. Doesn't that sound lovely? Fishing provides the peaceful solitude you need to stay centered within yourself. We all need moments of peace to ponder, reflect, and renew in order to identify where we've been, where we are, and where we want to be. (A little relaxation time never hurt anybody, either.)
Self-Discovery – If this is your first time "gone fishing," you may just discover a new favorite pastime! Or, perhaps you'll take an interest in birdwatching, identifying plants, kayaking, hiking, or camping. Whether it's a new hobby or interest or an "ah-ha" moment, going fishing can be your first step on the path to self-discovery.
Getting Exercise – Hiking to your favorite fishing spot, climbing through reeds and rocks, lugging around your tacklebox, pushing a fishing boat off the shore... fishing and all the preparation beforehand can be an excellent workout. In addition to being a healthy daily practice, getting that exercise in can improve your mood, energy levels, and mobility.
Improving Mental Performance – Whether you're watching for the slightest movement of your fishing pole or listening for a splash in the water, fishing heightens your senses. To be a successful fisherman, you'll need to pay special attention to the details and focus intently on your fish's next move.
As the weather warms, whip out the fishing pole and make your way to the nearest fishing pond. Your mind (and body) will thank you!