Dancing is an inherent part of humans, from the early days of civilization to today, dance is always present in one form or another. Dance also has proven benefits for your physical health, like keeping your levels of stamina high due to sudden outbursts of energy and movement and improving your balance and coordination.
So what about your mental health? It’s no secret that physical activity is a key component of a healthy mind, and many therapists and psychologists recommend daily exercise to cope with stress and anxiety. Dance is particularly beneficial for your mental health though! If you want to find out why, keep reading!
Sport vs creativity
Dance creates the perfect balance between sports and creativity. Have you ever gotten bored of running on a treadmill or doing endless sets of burpees? Dance has a hugely creative component that distracts you from the enormous physical exertion you’re doing. On top of this, the feeling of nailing a difficult choreography is second to none!
Dance is used as a therapeutic expression and social anxiety therapy
Research on this topic has been carried out by scientists for the past thirty years, but recent findings have become a lot more conclusive in just how helpful dance can be in therapeutic expression and social anxiety therapy.
Rita Lee, a psychology blogger at Paper Fellows and Boom Essays tells us- “Dance helps people loosen up and eventually feel comfortable performing in front of large audiences made up of total strangers. Dance provides an artistic portal where people who struggle to voice their emotions can do so through the movement of their bodies”.
Dance gets you in a great mood
Research suggests that even one lively dance session can greatly help with conditions such as depression and anxiety. Research has proven that when performing the activity of dance, your brain releases feel-good chemicals in abundance. This happiness is not only felt whilst dancing, but is noticeable long after the session is over, so if you want to put yourself in a great mood, take the plunge and go to a dance class!
Dancing helps you become more body aware
Most of the time, people don’t realise they have a bad body posture, or bad habits when it comes to sitting or standing and balancing their weight. When you dance, you activate muscle groups that aren’t used all that commonly in day to day activities. This makes you a lot more aware of your body.
James Woods, a lifestyle writer at Essay Roo and State of writing tells us- “On top of this, injury prevention practices common in dancers will help you be more aware of your aches and pains, and listen to your body more frequently.”
Dancing is all about the community
There is research that suggests that dancing alongside others, who you may have considered strangers at one point or another, light up mental pathways that tear down walls and increase the connectedness you feel with them. This lends itself to easier social interaction amongst yourself and your dancing partners. On top of this, dance groups and classes tend to naturally be social environments where making new friendships based on common interests is very easy and rewarding. Accomplishing a performance as a group is a very bonding experience that can create a sense of togetherness very difficult to achieve in other environments.
Dance reduces depression
Depression can be a life-altering and sometimes devastating condition. Treating depression can, unfortunately, be tricky as well, with no one size fits all prescription or therapy. There is however research that suggests that dance can be a great tool to reduce depression. Researchers tested this by prescribing a 12-week dance course to people who had recently been hospitalized due to depression. The results reported that most of those people saw a significant reduction of their depressive symptoms, and their quality of life improved significantly.
Dance shouldn’t replace therapy or medications where they are needed. However, dancing can be a fantastic tool to combat the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and can also just improve your mental health and mood, having a great day has never been easier!
Elizabeth Hines writes about the latest tech and marketing trends, innovations and strategies. She also writes for online magazines and blogs, such as OX Essays, and others. She Hines is a digital marketer and content writer at Dissertation help and Academized.