5 Ways Dance Can Improve Your Mental Health

When we think about dancing, it brings many thoughts to our minds. We think about how cute our little ballerinas are in their perfect pair of ballet shoes. We also think of teens and young adults, in perfect physical shape doing moves that defy gravity.  And we think of living couples staying in shape on the ballroom dance floor. Just about everything we think of is physical and visual.

Dance is more than physical

Our bodies are made up of many parts. The brain is the control center and it needs particular chemicals to stay sharp, focused, and fully functional. The brain holds our mental capacities. If we remember, if we do not remember, if we reason, if we plan, and if we put our plans into action; it is all do to the brain.

You may logically deduce that the brain is responsible for the physical abilities we are able to master. But, rarely do we realize that our physical actions have a direct impact on the abilities of the brain. That is probably because it is an abstract idea. If our legs are weak, we can walk and make them strong. If our stomachs get flabby, we can reduce calories and exercise our core muscles. But if our brain is sluggish, we really do not have an immediate fitness plan for the brain.

Change the way we think

It is a proven fact that physical movement, like dance, actually improves our mental abilities, and there are physical reasons why.

In a study done by the University of British Columbia, it was proven that exercise like dancing which gets our heart rate up, releases chemicals that clear up that brain fog that comes on us with age.

Options

The great thing about dance is, there are so many forms of dance, there has to be one you enjoy. Take a tour of some studios and see what looks like fun. Observe:

  • Hip Hop
  • Ballet
  • Swing
  • Ballroom
  • Freestyle
  • Zumba
  • Cha Cha
  • Rumba

The list goes on and on. Don’t worry if you don’t have a partner, there is usually at least a few people who don’t have one. It is a great way to meet people.

What other ways does dance help you mentally?

  • Helps release stress and anxiety
    • 1 in 3 people will suffer from some type of trauma in our lives. It could be the loss of a job or a serious car accident. Maybe you will
      mental health
      Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash

      suffer the loss of a loved one, or have an illness. Whatever it is, it takes you to a level of anxiety you have trouble recovering from. While you may not want to go dancing, do it anyway to lift the heaviness you are feeling.

    • There are times, words cannot express the emotions we are feeling. Many people are surprised to find they were able to express it through dance. Our minds understand us when words fail us.
  • Beat depression
    • There are times when antidepressant medication is needed. But, sometimes they can be avoided with the help of dancing and eating correctly. If you can avoid medication with dancing, wouldn’t that be awesome?
  • There have been many studies by highly-qualified experts that associate dance with lowering the chance of dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and many more serious illnesses.

Some of these studies were done with dance and compared with football, soccer, tennis, and golf. But so far it seems to be only the rhythm and movement of dance gives the people who need them reduced symptoms.

It stands to reason, there is something there to find and science is working hard to find it. Until that day comes, do the best you can, That means see your doctor, take your medications, and dance.

Conclusion

It has been known for years that dancing is a fun way to keep our bodies in physical shape. There are no limits. You can start at 3 or 4 and dance until you are 80 if you want to. As we age it is not just our physical bodies that weaken. Our mental abilities suffer too.

The world we live in is not the world our grandparents lived in. We have to put more effort into taking care of ourselves. Give dancing a try. This could be what you have been looking for all your life.

About the Author

Wendy Dessler is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

 

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