Dancing, good for mental health?
We are officially two weeks into the New Year! Two weeks is the amount of time in which it takes for us to build habits. So, if you’ve been consistent with your New Years resolutions during these first two weeks, it is safe to say you will be just fine moving forward. If you are still looking for new ways to keep consistent on your resolutions there is still time! Remember not to stress yourself out too much over a little resolution. Speaking of stress, let’s talk about mental health. It is a pretty unanimous statement to say that last year was really hard on people’s mental health. With the new year starting, we can look at it as a fresh slate! Dance has its mental benefits along with the obvious physical ones. Lets take a look on how your mental health can improve from dance!
1. Reduce stress and anxiety
Whether you’re someone who dances competitively, or someone who just likes to bust a move on the dance floor, dance can be beneficial to all! As we know, any type of physical activity is going to be good for the mind and soul, but why? Well, studies have shown that when people dance, there are two chemicals that are released in the brain; dopamine and endorphins. Dopamine being the chemical that works as a natural mood booster, and endorphins working as a natural pain killer. So, when your cortisol levels are high from stress and anxiety, you need these two chemicals to release in order to lower the cortisol. And it works wonders! Adding dancing to your routine regularly will not only be something fun to do, but it will allow you to relax naturally.
2. Cognitive repair
Our brains are very powerful, and capable of more than we know! But, as we age the brain does start to lose some of its sparkle just like the rest of our body. Studies have shown that learning a choreographed dance can help reduce and prevent cognitive impairment. Having to learn a routine can be challenging, especially as a beginner, but this level of challenge isn’t just physically. The mind has to readjust to the new routine just as much as our bodies do. Learning a few steps here and there is one thing, but then having to put all the steps together and remember the order of the routine is like a puzzle. This exercises the brain, making your memory and cognitive abilities stronger! They even say this may help with prevention of dementia!
For those who struggle with mental health issues like social anxiety or depression, you know that being around others can be difficult when times are tough. But the thing is, when times get worse what we need in order to heal is to be around others. Isolation will only increase the issues at hand, so we have to push ourselves out of our comfort zone just a little to take that first step. Dancing with others is a great way to do this! As we previously discussed, the brain releases endorphins when we dance; endorphins are what help us with being social with others. What this means is that when you dance with other people, you will find that you will become more comfortable outside of your own bubble. When you dance with another person, and both brains release this same hormone, it can act as a bonding agent. So, dance would be a great way to build friendships or relationships!
So, the next time you’re feeling down or struggling mentally, get up and dance! This can be simply putting on some good music in your room and dancing solo, or you can try taking a class! Here at Bella Ballroom, we specialize in helping beginner dancers try something new. Our clients vary in age, gender, level of dance ability and reason for wanting lessons. Even if you don’t have anyone to dance with, come on down and dance with one of our instructors! You may be surprised with how you feel after each lesson. Our most hesitant clients find themselves excited to get back into the studio, because dancing makes them feel good!