Dancing is my all time favorite mood shifter. It may as well be the definition of destress. It requires neither money, nor another person to help. Just you, the music, and a decent sized space so you don’t bump into anything. (We’re trying to destress, not add stress through injury). But what exactly are the benefits of dance?
The Benefits of Dance on Our Stress Levels
Dance is simple yet so powerful and exquisitely designed to regulate our stress and our mood. It’s a cosmic gift that allows us to send our energy out into the universe, and shake the bad vibes. People have danced throughout history, and dance can be traced back all the way to the ancient Egyptians. Though it’s hard to say exactly why it was passed down from generation, to generation, it’s been helping people relieve stress for millennia.
The effect of dance on our stress levels is impressive. If we dig into the neuropsychology of anxiety and stress we find that first, it leverages our fight, flight, and freeze response’s deep desire to move. A kinetic expression is an action that your stress response is trying to initiate to solve its problems. Moving your body helps fill the flight response’s need to run or physically move away from the problem. So, while you can’t dance away from your problems, you can dance the stress out. Next time you’re wondering how to destress after work, or how to destress during finals, both of which can create prolonged strain on our body and brain, put on your favorite song and feel the music.
Click to learn more about the benefits of movement on stress.
The Emotional Benefits of Dance
Equally important is the emotional connection that dance gives us. Whether it be rage, sadness, or ecstasy. Dance and music are a hot wire into our emotional experience which so often goes unfelt. Many of us tend to bottle up our emotions, and either bury them down deep, inflicting internal scars, or explode at inopportune moments, hurting those around us. Dance allows the energy of emotion to take motion in a positive form, letting us feel the things we need to, in a healthy way! Of course, exercise also releases endorphins which are natural mood boosters, and instantly lower stress and anxiety levels. No need to stress about fitting in your daily workout either!
Whether you get down to hip hop, salsa, classical, or just fist bump while singing into your hairbrush, the idea is to destress and express. So, the next time you need a shift. JUST DANCE!
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