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8 Ways Fishing Relieves Stress

If you didn't ever think about the fact that fishing relieves stress, consider these eight points.


If you've ever looked around the internet at lists of the "10 best ways to relieve stress" or other similar articles, you've probably seen our beloved sport of fishing come up a number of times.

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That's because fishing is an athletic event, an escapist activity, an opportunity for thoughtful reflection, and an avenue for stirring accomplishment all rolled into one. So next time you're feeling the pressures of work or family life, hit the lake and fish. You'll be amazed at how quickly your tension just melts away, for all of the following reasons.

View the slide show for the perfectly good excuses to go fishing.

1. It gets you away from the bustle of everyday life

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Perhaps more than everything else, more than the fish, more than the sleek and expensive gear, more than the thought of someday ending up as the champion of the Bassmaster Classic, we all love fishing because it is an escape. An escape from the bustle and noise of civilization, an escape from the pressures of the work week, an escape from the bills and decisions waiting at home, an escape from everything. When life piles up and becomes too much to take, fishing can provide a much needed afternoon away from it all where you can recharge, unwind, and come back ready to take on the world.

2. It gets you away from your screens

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This point could probably have been crammed in with the initial "escapism" point, but with how addicted our modern society has become with computers, smartphones, tablets, and every other gadget out there, it deserves its own piece of real estate on the list. If you want to really get away and leave your stress behind when you go fishing, then there's only one way to do it right: turn off your cellphone. By separating yourself from the text messages, the emails, the Facebook notifications, and all of the other distractions, you'll be able to take yourself back to a simpler time when it was easier to get off the grid.

3. It exposes you to the beauties of the natural world

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Why is it so important to disconnect from your smartphone while you're out fishing? Because if you don't you're going to miss things, namely the beautiful splendors of the natural world. As we grow up, it becomes harder to find time to just get outside and enjoy nature. Fishing provides the perfect opportunity to reverse that trend and take all of the vistas in, from gorgeous riverbeds to wide open lakes and kaleidoscope horizons. By turning off your phone, you can take full advantage of the therapeutic qualities that nature can have on the soul.

4. It gives you time alone with your thoughts

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Sometimes, you just need a moment to yourself to think and reflect. Taking some time to make deep considerations about your future or to revisit nostalgic memories from your past can be remarkably effective for relieving stress. And frankly, there's no better time to have those long meetings with your thoughts than with your fishing rod in your hand, your line, lure, and hook in the water, and your eyes scanning the horizon as the wind ruffles your hair and the sun warms your skin.

5. It gives you guilt-free time with your best friends

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Fishing can be a great opportunity to take some alone time, but some people can beat back their stress a lot more quickly by just having fun with their friends. That's what is great about fishing, though: it's flexible. Whether you want to get away from everything on a solitary fishing trip or pack a boat with your best buddies and set off for a day or two at sea, you can do it.

6. It can demand heavy concentration and investment:

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Much of the stress relief inherent in the sport of fishing comes when you are simply waiting for a fish to come along and bite your hook. But fishing can also demand your utmost concentration and effort. When a big fish finally takes the bait, you can find yourself fighting for minutes or even hours just to reel it in and close the deal. For people who like to forget about their troubles by pouring themselves entirely into a single endeavor, the battle and the catch are the real stress relievers of fishing. In order to catch the fish, you are going to have to keep your mind on the prize, and that means forgetting all about your frustrations at work or your worries at home.

7. It combines time and timelessness

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There are anglers out there who would swear that they go through some sort of wormhole every time they fish. While you're out in nature, just taking in the sound of the river, the scent of the trees, and the feel of the wind, it's easy to lose all sense of time. Before you know it, five hours have passed and it's time to go home. Since stress is often connected to the feeling that there aren't enough hours in a day, completely forgetting about the advance of the clock is a great way to get back to a centered and relaxed place.

8. It provides a reason to explore your local area

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Too many people move from town to town, school to school, job to job without ever really exploring the places they live or uncovering the treasures it has to offer. If you are going to be an angler, you need to explore. You need to find the best lakes, streams, and rivers in your area. You need to find spots where you can just commune with nature alone. In doing so, you might discover other things about your hometown that you never knew before. Building an appreciation for the place you live that isn't possible if you just think about work all the time.

9. It can be a source of huge accomplishment

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When you land a huge fish on a weekend getaway, it can feel like winning an Olympic gold medal. Having opportunities to notch big accomplishments and achievements outside of work will add value to your life, cut down on your stress, and make you a happier person in general.

10. It tires you out

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Tired of lying awake in bed, tossing and turning because you can't get a hundred different worries and obligations off your mind? Go fishing. A day out on the boat or by the river, battling fish and trekking around in the wild, can completely drain you. When you climb into bed at night after a long fishing trip, you won't have the energy to worry and you'll drift off to sleep quickly and effortlessly.

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