Does Fishing Help Anxiety? | Busting The Surrounding Myths

Fishing is commonly seen as a hobby to have fun or as a competitive sport, but fishing can also have more positive benefits for an individual. One such way is fishing can help with mental health, specifically anxiety.

Fishing helps with anxiety and is also one of the best methods for managing anxiety due to stress, social fears, work, and many other reasons. By combining well-recognized methods of reducing anxiety with a fun hobby, fishing is an excellent tool for combating the anxious mind.

Keep on reading for reasons why fishing benefits those living with anxiety. Further on, we’ll discuss how being outside can help relieve anxiety and stop specific triggers.

How Does Fishing Help With Anxiety?

Anxiety is a complex and common mental health problem, and while nothing beats professional advice, fishing can be a great way to calm rare cases of anxiety.

Fishing combines many of the best methods for treating anxiety, such as focusing on new tasks and physical activity, into one easy-to-enjoy hobby.

1. Fishing Offers a Break From Everyday Life

One of the primary ways that fishing can help with anxiety is by providing a sense of escape from daily stressors.

When you’re out on the water, it’s easy to forget the worries and responsibilities that can cause anxiety.

The peaceful and calm atmosphere, combined with the repetitive and meditative motions of fishing, can help calm the mind and reduce stress and anxiety.

When fishing, you are often separated from your phone, which can add a lot of anxiety-causing stress. Simply putting your phone down and picking up a fishing rod can help you with anxiety.

Fishing Offers a Break From Everyday Life

2. Fishing Gives You Something Else To Focus On

In addition to providing an escape from daily stressors, fishing can also be a great way to improve focus and concentration.

When you’re fishing, you need to pay close attention to your line, the water, the weather, and other factors that can impact your chances of catching a fish.

This level of focus can help to distract you from racing thoughts or worries that can trigger feelings of anxiety.

You can effectively reduce anxiety symptoms by shifting your focus to the task at hand rather than letting your mind wander and spiral.

Especially for stress-induced anxiety, keeping your mind and hands preoccupied with something like fishing can help keep your mind healthy.

3. Fishing Provides Physical Activity

Fishing can also be a great way to get outside and enjoy physical activity. Exercise is well-known for its ability to improve mental health, and fishing can be a fun and engaging way to get moving.

Whether you’re reeling in a fish or just casting your line, fishing can provide gentle exercise that can help reduce stress and anxiety.

For more adventurous individuals, choosing further and more remote fishing spots provides an excellent reason to hike into an area to find the best fishing spot.

Fly fishing is another great way to exercise while fishing, requiring walking up and down a stream and going to unique areas to find the best spots.

Fishing Provides Physical Activity

4. Social Fishing Environments Help Relieve Anxiety

In addition to the physical benefits of fishing, the social aspect of the activity can also be beneficial for managing anxiety.

Spending time with friends or family members who enjoy fishing can be a great way to build relationships and reduce feelings of isolation, which can trigger anxiety.

It might be interesting to read why do people enjoy fishing after all!

Fishing can also be a great way to meet new people who share your interests, providing you with a supportive community that can help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Joining local fishing clubs, entering tournaments, and making friends with the same interests can all help you feel less anxious.

5. Catching Fish Can Fill You With A Sense Of Accomplishment

Another way that fishing can help with anxiety is by providing a sense of accomplishment.

When you successfully catch a fish, you can experience a sense of pride and satisfaction that can boost your self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting, fishing can provide a sense of accomplishment that can help to improve your overall well-being.

Whether breaking a long skunk of catching nothing or catching a new personal best, you will surely feel a sense of pride in that fish.

Being Outdoors Helps With Anxiety

Spending time outdoors has positively impacted mental health, including reducing anxiety symptoms.

Since fishing is a hobby that requires you to be outside and connected with nature, not only are the benefits of fishing impacting you, but also the positive feelings provided by the great outdoors.

Do check out my article on how fishing makes you feel!

1. The Sounds And Smells Of Nature Can Calm Anxiety

Being in nature can provide a sense of escape from the daily stresses and responsibilities that can trigger feelings of anxiety.

Nature’s sights, sounds, and smells can create a peaceful and calming atmosphere, allowing you to disconnect from the daily stressors and unwind.

Nothing is quite as relaxing as the sound of a breeze passing through trees or the sound of a meandering river. These sounds are great for cleaning your mind and practicing active meditation, thanks to fishing.

The Sounds and Smells of Nature Can Calm Anxiety

2. Nature Can Give You A New Perspective

When the beauty and majesty of nature surrounds you, it’s easier to put your worries and concerns into perspective.

This sense of perspective can help reduce stress and anxiety, allowing you to approach life with a more positive and relaxed mindset. Fishing offers you a view into a new perspective: the mind of fish.

Putting yourself into the minds of fish to find where you would live, what you would eat, and what would entice you to strike a bait if you are a fish can help give you a new perspective.

3. The Trip To And From A Fishing Site Can Reset Your Mind

Spending time outdoors can provide opportunities for physical activity, which has been shown to impact mental health positively.

Activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping can provide a gentle form of exercise that can help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Physical exertion can also help to release natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain, known as endorphins.

The Trip To And From A Fishing Site Can Reset Your Mind

4. Feeling Connected To Something Larger Helps Anxiety

When you’re exploring a new trail on your way to a fishing site, being in nature can help you feel more connected to the world around you.

This sense of connection can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can trigger anxiety.

Being surrounded by nature on all sides can give you a new idea of how connected everything is, grounding you from those anxious feelings.


In conclusion, fishing is one of the best ways to help reduce anxiety due to many factors.

If you are someone who frequently has feelings of anxiety, fishing can be a great tool to keep on hand to minimize those symptoms.

Feelings after a fishing trip can be much better than going into the day, and catching a big fish can make all your troubles melt away for a while.

Being in nature is always good for mental health and can help you find new perspectives.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not freshwater fishing in the nearest creek or enjoying saltwater fishing by taking boats far in the ocean.

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