Ways Fishing Helps Improve Your Mental Health

Ways Fishing Helps Improve Your Mental Health

Matthew Davies image of a person with a fish standing by a stream.

It is unlikely that you do not need another excuse to take up fishing as a hobby and a way to provide food to your family. However, if you need a few more reasons to take up fishing on a regular basis, I, Matthew Davies, am here to offer you those reasons. As many fishermen already know, fishing is a great way to escape from the stresses of everyday life. Whether you are on the shore, on the pier, or in the boat, you are living in the moment. There is nothing but you, your tackle box, and the calm, relaxing sounds of nature. These, among the fishing benefits listed below, are excellent ways to improve your mental health. So, let’s dive right into the subject at hand.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a significant role in strengthening our immune system as well as stimulating genes to release neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. In the past 50 or so years, doctors have discovered that an increasing number of people are vitamin D deficient. They attribute most of this to the rise in the number of office jobs. Interestingly, in recent years, technology has advanced to the point that lights in offices now give off a certain amount of vitamin D. Research shows that employees in office buildings using this advanced technology experience higher energy levels and greater satisfaction at work.

The same can be said about fishing. When you are out casting your line on any given day, you are absorbing copious amounts of vitamin D. Just remember to protect yourself from the rays of the sun. This can be done by simply applying some sunscreen. While it will prevent you from getting severe burns, it will not prevent vitamin D from reaching your body. So, while you are catching fish (hopefully), you can be catching some rays at the same time.

Living in the Moment

So much of our lives are spent in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We never take the time just to look around and appreciate much of anything. Whether it is running to a soccer game or going to a band recital, we are always focused on where we have to be. Over the last few decades, the number of time commitments to which we obligate ourselves has risen, while the number of hours in a day has remained the same. The more that we pile on our plates, the less time we have to focus on the little things in life.

That is where fishing comes in. When you are out on the water, there is nothing that can distract you. All that you have to think about is how good or bad the fish are biting. If you have the unfortunate day of fish, that aren’t biting, you can spend your time thinking about the temperature of the water, and what bait or lure you could try next. When all else fails, you can just sit back and relax and enjoy the time outdoors. There is nothing better than sitting on the shore of a river or lake and listening to the sounds of nature. It sure beats the sound of horns and sirens in the city.


There are many ways to incorporate movement into your fishing experience. If you are fishing from the shore, then you could move around to different locations. This movement will provide you with a small amount of exercise, which is better than sitting still. Another great way to get some exercise is to park a greater distance from your fishing hole or pier. Those extra steps will burn a few more calories than simply driving up to the shore and casting your line from there.

Additionally, there is nothing that will get your heart racing quite like when that fish finally hits on your line. You know that you will have to do everything right to ensure that you will have something to bring home for supper. While you and the fish are fighting to see who will win, there are a lot of movements that you will have to make. All of these movements equate to calories burned.

All of the above points will have a considerable effect on your mental health. The endorphins that your body releases during this moderate exercise can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Subsequently, fishing can serve as a natural stress and pain reliever.

Time Outdoors

You don’t have to be in the sun to benefit from time outdoors. Simply being outside can improve your mental health. According to one study from Time.com that was conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, spending about a half-hour outside each day at the park or on your porch can improve life satisfaction and mood. The study was measured on a scale of up to 55 points. During the study, it was found that the average person rose approximately 38 points.

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I am a proponent of outdoor activities besides fishing as well. I suggest that you find any activity that will get you to spend time outside the four walls of your house every single day. After all, we spend enough time inside while we are at work. Please, when the workday is finished, turn off the television, put down your phone, and walk outside. Remember, it only takes as little as 30 minutes a day to reap the benefits of the great outdoors.


So, the next time your spouse is getting on your case about fishing, gently remind them you are doing it for your health. Feel free to use the arguments that I, Matthew Davies, have presented in this blog. Take the time to get out on that lake as many times as you can in a week. You might not be coming home with dinner, but you will come back with a decrease in your stress and will feel much happier as a result.

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