Most of us know the benefits of spending time outside include reducing stress. Fishing is of course done when outside so all of the good things nature does for you fishing should too. Unless of course you’re fishing companions are annoying or something doesn’t go your way on your fishing expedition. Then fishing can be anything but stress free.
The reason I started thinking about this was because of an article I read online. It touted the surprising ways fishing can reduce stress and then I was reminded of a journal entry from years ago.
It was on a day when I had taken my son Josh fishing a long time ago. He was probably 5 or 7 years old and we went to the back lake. Of course he was just a kid and I had no patience when he was anything less than helpful. His line would get snagged, twisted, caught on shore and a number of other irksome things happened throughout the day. At one point I yelled at him and of course lamented about it in my journal that night. It was anything but stress free. Recently I asked Josh if he remembered that day and me yelling at him and much to my relief he had only stored the good memories of us fishing together.
I hope in the future he will only store good memories as well. There have been times much more recently when I have had all I could do to not scream at him. He’s 14 now and frequently goes fishing by himself but on that rare occasion when we go together it’s like he has no clue what to do. He’ll be waiting in the boat for me and when I get there I’ll ask, “Is the boat filled with gas?” “I dunno.” “Do you have bait?” “No, I thought you would get it.” “How about the permit?” “I forgot.” “Do you have the tackle box?” “No, but I have a couple of lures.”
This followed by fishing line in the propeller, no oars and no anchor and it’s a recipe for stress. That’s when a person needs to hear the sounds of nature, take in the beautiful scenery around them and take deep breaths of fresh air to combat the rising stress level. Focusing on the relationship and spending quality time together instead of actually attempting to catch a fish is a much better way to reduce stress.
Is fishing a stress reliever? It sure can be and then again it might not be the most effective path to relief.