Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK and this year's theme is kindness. With the week running from 18th to the 24th of May, the focus on kindness is a response to the coronavirus outbreak, which is having a big impact on people's mental health.
Many people suffer from mental health conditions like depression or anxiety and are dealing with feelings that won't go away, affecting their day-to-day life. Some may feel a heightening in such mental health conditions especially during this pandemic. Mental health and coronavirus are incredibly interlinked, with many battling with more or new emotions and stress. With the slow easing of lockdown restrictions for access to outdoor exercise and activities, attention is drawn to not only being alert to COVID but to take care of your mental wellbeing.
The sights, smells, sounds, or simply the chance to escape work or the indoor environments, being outside with nature can have a positive, therapeutic effect on your mental health. Time spent outdoors is calming and relaxing, but if you are not sure how to enjoy nature, then we, here at Angling Direct have a great recommendation!
Many long-term anglers will agree that there is nothing like spending the day by the water, casting a line into the horizon. Fishing offers plenty of opportunities to get out in nature and realize the emotional boost that comes from spending time outdoors. Whether you’re just learning how to fish or how to improve, you can get more than a trophy catch from a day of fishing! There are many psychological benefits of fishing as well as being helping with your physical health.
We have listed just a few ways that fishing can improve your overall well-being.
One of the biggest mental health benefits of fishing is that it allows anglers to focus on the task of fishing. You can let go of all your cares and worries from home and work when you arrive at the bankside, giving you the opportunity to decompress and appreciate the stunning day on the water and surrounding nature as well as keep your mind on how to land a fish in the net! This focus helps to reduce anxiety, fight off depression, and promote relaxation through lowering cortisol levels (stress hormones) which can last up to three weeks after a fishing outing!
Fishing requires you to take your mind off internal conflict and stress of the every day and can in some ways be very similar to meditation. The sport of fishing asks for patience and quiet and in turn, gives time for an angler to reflect in peace. Angling gives you the opportunity to step away from the noise that constantly surrounds us and concentrate just on yourself. For some anglers, a day of solitary seclusion on the water, with a brew in their hand, sitting in your fishing chair, is the perfect chance for clear thinking and introspection that can bring greater understanding and happiness.
Fishing is by far a challenge to new or long time anglers. Sometimes wish just will not bite but this gives you the chance to think of solutions. Whether you change up your bait, the weight of a lead, the distance of a cast or even use some fishing tech like the Deeper Fish Finder to identify some potential catches, there is always a way to challenge yourself in the world of angling. All of these challenges are helping you develop problem-solving and analytical skills, improving your cognitive function and creative thinking.
With the patience and determination to land a catch, you are certainly rewarded! It can be a great self-esteem boost when your hard work and skills pay off with a mighty fish in your arms! Considering what works and does not work through your trial and errors not only strengthens decision-making skills but keeps you positive for the next fishing trip to come. Remember to set personal goals for you to achieve on your next adventure.
Many may find a trip out to the water’s edge a break from technology as many of us are constantly exposed to screens. With this in mind, fishing is both enriching and rewarding for children and adults, getting everyone off their digital devices and promotes an appreciation of the natural environment whilst making the family feel calmer and more creative.
Although the UK is unpredictable with the weather while fishing in the summer and autumn you will likely have the chance to soak up the sun and in turn some healthy Vitamin D! As long as you remember to wear your UV protection, the sun improves your immune system and promotes cell growth, helping to fight off illness and disease! It’s also a great mood booster! Fishing is not all about sitting and waiting, there are also physical demands that improve your health whether it is walking to find the perfect swim, wading in the water or exerting your arms in casting all day. Regular physical activity is also key to relieving tension and improving your well-being.
Even with sticking to the Government’s and Angling’s Trusts recommendations for outdoor exercise, you’ll still reap the benefits of nature through lone fishing!
If you are new to fishing, you can get started fast with all our fishing gear available to order to your front door, our fishing video tutorials as well as some great beginners guides found on the AD blog! Before you head off to the water, be sure to get a fishing license! Lastly, if you are seeking advice or want to do something to raise awareness for mental health, you can find more information on the Mental Health Foundation's site.