By Senior Airman Michael Smith, 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 15, 2014
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
A hobby that takes your mind off of work is something everyone should have. For Senior Airman Travis E. Hill, 17th Communications Squadron focal point technician, that hobby just happens to be over 40,000 years old.
Fishing dates back in human culture to the Paleolithic era as a way of survival. Today, people all around the world take part in fishing for work and as a hobby.
"I started fishing when I was a little kid, around five or six years old," said Hill. "My dad is a big fisher, and he first got me started."
As a child Hill fished purely for fun, but as an adult he continues to fish for other reasons.
"Fishing is very relaxing and stress-free for me," Hill said. "There is no pressure. You get to enjoy the outdoors on your own terms in a stress-free environment."
According to Airman 1st Class Maria C. Castillones, 17th Medical Support Squadron mental health technician, having a hobby is one of the most efficient outlets to relieve stress. It frees time in your schedule, especially for military members who feel overwhelmed by their day-to-day commitments.
From deployments to temporary duty locations, demanding jobs and high standards, being in the military may not be the easiest job. Sometimes having a hobby set aside to enjoy after work can help keep the equilibrium between work and play.
"We live a stressful lifestyle," Hill added. "Taking some time to get away from it and into a hobby like fishing keeps you balanced and helps you manage that stress."
Not all stress is bad though, and many stressors in life provide a positive effect.
"Stress is a normal part of life," said Castillones. "It can be positive by keeping us aware and alert. It can also become negative when it is not managed well. Without relief, it can negatively impact our overall health and wellbeing, which can lead to physical and emotional symptoms."
Castillones finished by stating that there are many great hobbies that can be useful in relieving stress. The amount of enjoyment generated when participating in an activity can determine the amount of negative stress that is relieved.