Fishing and mental health

Joe C

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We are in an age now where mental health is always in the news and people are more open about it (a good thing in my opinion.)

I own a barbershop and a hair salon which at times can be stressful. Fishing truly helps me be in the moment and is the only real time my phone is on silent and ignored.

Having suffered from an anxiety disorder since I was a boy, angling has been the one constant in my life that really does calm me down and help me practice mindfulness (a common method of thinking that is used to help treat anxiety disorders.)

Scary that a lot of young children now are growing up in an age of technology and a lot will never have the contact with nature that a lot of us benefit from.
 

Trogg

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With me, when i feel my dog starting to bark i will either sit and write short stories (although they always end in death) or i'll go fishing....once i'm on the bank i can litteraly feel all my hassles drain through my feet and into the water!
 

ukzero1

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There was a discussion on something very similar on another forum a couple of years ago regarding relaxation when fishing. Quite a few seemingly knowledgeable people were saying it's because you are not in an environment that causes stress or anxiety therefore you have a much settled mind. Now, I don't know if that's a fair assumption or not but I can see that concentrating on the fishing and the nature around you would take your mind off other things, or at least it does with me.
 

Joe C

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There was a discussion on something very similar on another forum a couple of years ago regarding relaxation when fishing. Quite a few seemingly knowledgeable people were saying it's because you are not in an environment that causes stress or anxiety therefore you have a much settled mind. Now, I don't know if that's a fair assumption or not but I can see that concentrating on the fishing and the nature around you would take your mind off other things, or at least it does with me.
Yes, I think this is a good point, I do a lot of float fishing, watching a float is actually very similar to meditation, except that instead of focusing on your breathing you’re focusing on an object.
 

lliopp

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I recently read an article about the benefits of being by water. It mainly concentrated on living by the sea, but one can only think that any time spent by lakes and rivers, is time well spent.
 

solwood

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If I carp fish or barbel fish I am using bait runners and inevitably start messing on my phone

If I am trotting a river I am in world of my own, phone stays in pocket and really relax, much more than even float fishing a lake

Guess which type of fishing I am doing more of
 

62tucker

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Walking up a small stream with spinning rod and a 2bb float for a few hours after small brown trout is a great way of taking your mind away from everything.. Even the walking up the stream. Every step is full concentration needed. If to deep got to get out and negotiate the trees or what’s there. Then the casting is a full concentration job. Under branches, into small rapids.
I love 48 hrs carp sessions but love 2 to 3 hrs on my own up to stream even if catch 1 or 2.
Sometimes do it without a rod. Making small dams to make a rapid for next time. But been walking same 2 miles for 40/50 years
 

Freesolo82

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Along side exercise fishing is one of the most important parts of my life that help keep my mental health stable, its relaxing gives me a sense of achievement and helps structure my day positively
 

Joe C

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Along side exercise fishing is one of the most important parts of my life that help keep my mental health stable, its relaxing gives me a sense of achievement and helps structure my day positively
This is definitely one of the things I need to implement, I currently take SSRIs (form of anti depressant) studies have shown that exercise is equal if not better than SSRIS in its ability to calm the mind.
 

stephanie

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I find water to be the ultimate in relaxation be it near it fishing on it riding in boats or on jetskis or the ultimate for me is under it scuba diving
 

Capt Birdseye

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I find water to be the ultimate in relaxation be it near it fishing on it riding in boats or on jetskis or the ultimate for me is under it scuba diving
Agree with that, unfortunately my water sports activities came to a premature end with an inner ear problem, so its just the fishing now
 

Pole-Fisher-90

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I suffer anxiety and have medication for it many a time I’ve been out fishing and just wanted to get home the feel of worry and what if is always a strong thought, however once fishing I’m usually ok it does chill me out.
 

Bamber93

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I too suffer with anxiety.. I take a low dose of Fluoxetine, been on a few different SSRIs but I still have my moments, i’ve been on them 4 and a half years now and feel I’ve become used to them and they aren’t having as much effect as they did a few years back. So i’ve come off them, I’ve tried before but no luck as my only escape was the gym but I don’t enjoy that any more.


I’ve just come back to fishing after 4 years and it’s be best thing I’ve done. As someone has mentioned above, it’s great to not even be bothered about checking my phone which we are all guilty of i’m sure.
I look forward to going, I’m watching videos on YouTube for tips, i’m shopping online for gear, it’s all an escape.
It’s also nice to go and do something on my own. Sometimes speaking with other anglers on the bank, but I can go 10 hours without thinking of anything but watching my float, or my tip (rod tip ;)) looking for fish feeding etc.


Great post
 

Simon R

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A survey (via the EA) dropped into my email inbox last week - all about fishing and mental health.

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I got halfway through it before giving up - all the questions were of the multiple tick box type - you know the ones with headers like strongly agree, somewhat agree etc etc.
But the way the questions were worded it seemed they were assuming the user (ie the person filling in the survey) already had various underlying mental health issues - mainly to do with anxiety. I'm not really sure what the term means but reading various articles online it appears that what I would class as nervousness (job interview, meeting a new client, going to the dentist etc) should actually be classed as anxiety and I should get counselling and be on some sort of medication. What a load of rubbish.

Anyway since there wasn't a 'not applicable' option I left the boxes blank but then every time I tried to submit the survey it kept telling me it was incomplete - to be honest I should have given up earlier - after I'd navigated my way through the six different possible genders and a similar number of sexual orientation choices. This is a survey aimed at anglers ffs.

I'm sure whoever it is behind this research will be able to gain some valuable scientific knowledge regarding the mental health of anglers once the data is compiled - what they're gonna do with this knowledge is anybodies guess - maybe we'll get angling on the National Health :p

Simon
 

Arry

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One thing I found, working shifts for 40 years took a toll on me both physically and mentally and fishing was my pressure release valve... Once on the bank, be it carping or match fishing as soon as I was on the bank I felt the worries of work fall away and everything about me was channelled into a days fishing...

I suppose that concentrating on the fishing took the mental emphasis away from the problems of the workplace, with the knowledge that a bad mistake fishing, didn't have a majorly personal consequence..
Even now that I'm retired I still have the odd "moment" to the point where I'm not allowed to look at the news with anything about Brexit being aired... that vein in the head starts thumping and my chest starts to tighten and SWMBO turns the telly over.... But now the match fishing has gone by the by and carp fishing has taken a back seat and my fishing has taken a different direction... mainly due to using vintage gear, which to my mind takes the pressure to catch off and leads to an even more relaxed day out.. with the added bonus of looking at some lovely gear and not lugging a ton of it about, Take it easy lads :cool: (y) :love::ROFLMAO:
 

corkycat

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I am no mental health practitioner Arry but I believe you've hit the nail on the head. In your post you alluded to "taking my mind off things" three times. Testament surely that having pleasant distractions will stop our brain from putting the wrong thoughts in the wrong places. Stay well.
 

Pompous git

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I hope this does not sound flippant but if you are a little bit crackers why worry? I end up talking to myself at times and if people
think I`m round the bend I couldn`t care less.
 

Scribe

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I hope this does not sound flippant but if you are a little bit crackers why worry? I end up talking to myself at times and if people
think I`m round the bend I couldn`t care less.
PG only start to worry when you talk to yourself and you get an answer in a foreign language you don't recognise. :)
 

HawkerMan

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As you will have noticed I speak fluent rubbish....
When I was a young man I was told if you worry you die if you don't worry you still die so why worry. This has being my mantra all my life and has stood me in stead.
 
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