7 reasons fishing is good for mental health feature image

7 Reasons Why Fishing Is Good For Your Mental Health

Taking to the water with a fishing rod, while enjoying the great outdoors has significant mental health benefits, including; reduced stress, increased concentration, boosted mood and overall improvement of self-esteem. Fishing has been directly linked to help people cope with the affect's of depression and anxiety.

Getting out on the bank for a relatively short period of time is a fantastic way to combat the stress of everyday life and enhance your psychological well being. In this article, we will be going through our top 7 reasons why fishing is good for your relaxation and positive mental health.

1. It’s great for your physical health

Did you know fishing is a great form of physical exercise! According to the World Health Organisation’s recent case study:

Due to the varying levels of physical exertion in angling, it is a pursuit that allows you to enjoy a more active outdoor lifestyle. Many people enjoy the great outdoors and getting up close to nature. This includes exploring many different waterways whilst taking in the local wildlife and scenery. Many UK waters have an abundance of fish species that you can pursue and marvel at their individual natural beauty and habitat. More information on the health benefits of angling can be found here - Angling for well-being

The physical intensity from a day on the water will benefit your body and mind. You can enjoy setting up rods, repeat casting, playing fish, walking a shoreline or standing all day in a boat. Meaning you can set the physical intensity of your day based on your own physical fitness. So no matter your level of fitness you can burn those excess calories!

fishing increases health recovery

2. Physical Health Recovery 

While we now know angling can help increase our physical health. According to Angling Research, it can also have specific benefits for those recovering from ill-health. According to a recent Angling Research study: 

“A growing body of research has pointed to the positive effects of green environments on physical recovery”

So fishing can provide the environment required to help physical health recovery; by providing increased movement at a pace that suits you. The psychological benefits of being in green environments or the way we like to put it, being in the great outdoors, can help improve your attitude and provide a feel-good factor.

fishing improves conentration

3. Increased concentration

Fishing ‘fascinates’ attention, allowing anglers to concentrate for long periods of time effortlessly.  People who participate in angling become so absorbed in the sport that there is no room for other thoughts and that sort of singular focus serves as a mental break for other things that may be causing you frustration in the everyday fast pace of modern life.

fisherman relaxing

4. Reduced Stress Levels

Fishing provides a form of relaxation by providing a distraction from everyday life and according to marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols. 

“ being ‘near or on water’ for any amount of time lowers stress and anxiety, boosts our well-being and happiness and lowers heart and breathing rates, among other benefits”

Angling also provides moments of excitement with the unpredictability of catching which helps with concentration and helps you focus which reduces the chances of boredom.

angler in the sun

5. Increased Vitamin D

Escaping to the outdoors and feeling connected to nature can boost feelings of well-being and can improve your mood. It can also help top up your vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, keeping your bones and teeth healthy. As well as boosting your immune system and has even been linked to fighting depression.

happy angler

6. Improved self-esteem

Fishing like most hobbies requires a certain amount of skill to master different tactics and techniques over time. This form of active learning and development can provide a sense of purpose and motivation whilst boosting your self-esteem.


7. Social Engagement

According to Angling Research:

“The quality of people’s social relationships has been found to be one of the most robust predictors of well-being”

Angling is a great form of socialising with family or friends. The ability to pass down angling knowledge from grandfather to grandson or father to daughter. Or even, fishing in the company of close friends can provide a sense of connection or belonging that you require.

Even if you prefer to fish alone, you can still engage with angling communities through various digital platforms ensuring you stay connected and have a sense of belonging in a like-minded community. If you feel you need to talk to someone then charities like Samaritans can help - tel: 116 123

7 Reasons why fishing is good for your mental health