I didn’t see the picture.

It hit me recently while teaching my “Course in Happiness” program!

Here I was talking to the audience about doing more of what you enjoy and more of what makes you happy.

Then the light went on. I should listen to my advice. I guess sometimes it’s hard to see the picture when you’re inside the frame.

I found myself busy being busy.

It was starting to affect me, and I wasn’t feeling well.

I took my advice and returned to one of my life’s loves, FISHING. Soon after, I started to feel much better and much more motivated.

I got more done when I returned from fishing than I had in quite some time.

I needed the balance.

I researched why I felt better after fishing, and here is what I discovered.

Fishing can indeed have positive effects on mental health for several reasons.

Here are some ways in which fishing can be beneficial for your mental well-being:
1. Relaxation and Stress Relief: Fishing provides an opportunity to disconnect from the stresses of daily life and immerse yourself in a tranquil environment. The calm and peaceful surroundings, whether on a quiet lake or in the middle of a river, can promote relaxation and help reduce stress levels.
2. Mindfulness and Meditation: Fishing often requires patience and focus, which can lead to mindfulness. This activity allows you to be fully present, focusing on the sensation of casting, the rhythm of reeling in, and the anticipation of a bite. This mindful state can help calm the mind, improve concentration, and alleviate anxiety.
3. Connection with Nature: Spending time outdoors and connecting with nature has been shown to have numerous mental health benefits. Fishing allows you to appreciate the beauty of natural surroundings, listen to the sounds of birds or flowing water, and breathe in fresh air. Being in nature can reduce feelings of depression, improve mood, and increase feelings of well-being.
4. Social Interaction: Fishing can be a solitary activity, but it can also be an excellent opportunity to connect with others. Fishing trips with family or friends can foster social bonds, strengthen relationships, and provide a sense of community. Sharing experiences, stories, and laughs while fishing can boost your mood and enhance your overall mental health.
5. Sense of Accomplishment: Catching a fish can provide a sense of achievement and fulfillment. Setting goals, strategizing, and successfully reeling in a fish can boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Even if you don’t catch anything, simply being out in nature and engaging in the process can give you a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
6. Physical Exercise: Fishing often involves physical activity, such as casting, reeling, and navigating various terrains. Engaging in these movements can provide light to moderate exercise, which releases endorphins and promotes a positive mood. Physical activity has been linked to improved mental health and can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

It may not be fishing, yet I am sure there is something you enjoy that you must make time to do more of.

I hope there is, and I hope you do it and enjoy the way it makes you feel.

Keep the Faith,