Do you often feel demotivated or miss your old self? We genuinely understand how stressed you feel because of work and ongoing concerns in everyday life. But do you know that frequent exposure to high-stress levels severely harms your mental health?
We often neglect our mental health without realising it is equally important as physical health. Of course, there are ways to bring out positivity and reduce stress with the help of activities such as meditation, yoga, and music. But have you ever considered dancing as an option? It offers many health benefits in both mental and physical aspects. Plus, it is a great way to relax and get your serotonin up after a hard day.
So, without waiting any further, let us discuss the mental health benefits of dancing:
Helps improve memory
One of the fantastic benefits of dancing is that it improves concentration, attention and memory. When you dance, your brain is stimulated through movement, rhythm and music. And as you continue to practise and master different steps, your memory improves eventually. It has been observed that pattern recognition skills also increase when you learn new dance steps or patterns. It helps you concentrate better and become more disciplined.
Helps deal with depression and anxiety
Cortisol is the stress hormone responsible for creating panic, which is a common response to anxiety. When we dance, our brain releases chemicals that actively reduce cortisol, thereby reducing stress, depression and anxiety. As an effective exercise, it raises the heart rate and works on your muscles. In a way, it provides a unique way of coping with negative thoughts and concerns.
Helps you socialise
When you feel lonely and sad, it contributes to bad mental health. But the good news is that dancing can help! Attending dancing classes can help you meet new people and socialise. It also allows you to express yourself freely and develop self-awareness, which can improve your social skills too.
Helps improve mood and self-esteem
As dancing helps develop social skills, it is also fantastic for building self-esteem. By demonstrating new skills, individuals grow their self-confidence in various areas. This can then aid in improving overall social interaction. Also, talking to, and spending time with others, helps improve overall mood and self-esteem. This is because learning a new skill helps build self-esteem.
Helps improve your sleep
When we dance, the endorphins released by our brain are similar to those during exercise. It makes us tired and relaxed. So, when you exercise through dance during the morning or evening, it can help regulate sleep, leaving you better rested and relaxed.
Helps improve the cognitive function
White matter in our brain is responsible for communication between different brain sections, and the white matter deteriorates as we age. When it comes to this aspect, dancing helps slow down this process. Some classical dance forms, such as ballet and jazz, may improve your mental health and wellness. It will sharpen the mind and improve overall cognitive function.
Helps with expressing emotions
Dancing is a unique form that teaches expression through movements. This is why dancers can deal with challenging feelings and are able to release them through the steps learned during the lessons. What an individual might not be able to verbalise to others can often be expressed through dancing. This development of emotional expressions relates directly to the reduction of depression also. If the dancers can express their emotions during the flow, they can also be mindful of their feelings.
Reduces risk of several disorders
Research has shown that dancing benefits mental health more than any other type of cardio exercise. In fact, dancing in any form has been found to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and chronic pain. It has shown positive signs in people with Alzheimer’s or memory loss and improved quality of life. The activity brought social, physical, emotional and cognitive improvement among people with dementia.
Helps practice mindfulness
Finally, dancing is a great way of learning and practising mindfulness, which is an excellent tool for improving mental health. Many people often struggle to be aware of their own body sensations and thoughts, but dance is an immersive training of being fully aware. Dancers know exactly how to check in and notice their postures. These small details help contribute towards being mindful and full-aware of the surroundings and internal thoughts.
Tips on Utilising Dance to Improve Your Mental Well Being
Whether you are alone or in a group, make a point to practise every day for a few minutes. Below we have listed tips which you can incorporate while dancing:
- If you wish to interact with others and socialise, enrol with a professional dance trainer. Several health clubs and community centres offer studio dance classes for all experience levels.
- Learn a routine to challenge yourself beyond the specific dance moves. Try to teach yourself a dance routine by watching videos or apps that explain the routine step by step.
- Many people dance for the joy and meaning it brings to life. So just do it because it feels good. Don’t let the worries about looking silly or not during perfect steps bother you.
You have now gained an understanding of how dancing has countless benefits, both mental and physical. However, walking into your first dance class might seem a little intimidating if you have never danced before. But what matters is the first step and commitment to learning something new. Here’s an idea – if you want to get started, you can even begin practising at home to ease yourself into it through online dance sessions. Once you start moving with the flow, you will both gain confidence and witness the fantastic benefits dancing brings.
So, the next time you feel low or anxious, just start dancing!
With this, we conclude the list of some of the most amazing mental health benefits of dancing. We recommend starting whenever you feel anxious or low. If you wish to discover more helpful advice, visit our website to read through our informative blogs on wellness.
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