Dancing is a fun, feel-good activity for so many people. Whether you are busting a move on the dance floor of a wedding or dancing professionally on a big stage, it brings so much joy to move your body. What you may not know is that dancing can also be a major stress reliever as well.
In this article, we are going to talk about all the ways that dancing can help you relieve stress.
1. Exercise creative parts of your brain
Dancing involves hearing the beat of the music and moving your body. While this may seem like an automatic process that requires little thought, there is actually a lot going on in your brain to make your body dance.
If you are feeling stressed, dancing can help you use creativity to actually work through or process the way you feel. Dance can become a powerful way to channel stress and anxiety into your own form of art.
Whether you simply use creative movement to express your stress on your own or if you teach others this method through a class or workshop, it is a very powerful tool to have in your stress management toolbox.
2. Release pent-up emotions
Sometimes stress and anxiety can generate strong, difficult feelings. If you’ve ever had the feeling that you just want to “shake things off”, dance may be a great way for you to release those emotions.
Holding in feelings of stress can eventually lead you to blow up, which almost never brings a positive outcome. Dance can help you manage those emotions in an accessible way that won’t harm you or others.
Turn on a song that illustrates how you feel or how you hope to feel, and just let your body feel the music. Your movement might feel frantic and hurried or slow and thorough depending on what you are trying to release from your space.
3. Lower levels of cortisol
Cortisol is a stress hormone. It is credited with giving you that “shot out of a cannon” feeling when stressful situations arise.
Listening to music that you enjoy and dancing has been shown to lower levels of cortisol. When cortisol comes down, your body doesn’t feel stress in such extremes. Slower, even-tempo music is often the best way to lower cortisol, but the effect can be achieved with faster-paced music if that is what you enjoy.
4. Take your mind off of things
Dance is an escape. When all else fails and you just need to get out of your own head, you can use dance to get away from your stress and anxiety. It takes so much focus to hear music and move your body at the same time, it doesn’t leave much space for any other thoughts.
Whether you just need to dance it out for a song or two in your living room or go take a dance class for an hour, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to forget what’s bothering you when you’re moving your body.
5. Flush toxins from your body
Dancing brings your heart rate up and gets your blood pumping just like any other form of moderate-to-high-intensity exercise. When you get your blood flowing, your body works extra hard to flush out all the nasty toxins in your body.
When you dance, you are quite literally eliminating negative things from your body. Flushing out toxins and waste will decrease the physical and emotional stressors on your body, leaving you feeling healthier and more vibrant. This is a big reason why regular cardiovascular exercise is recommended.
And, if you need it, a bonus, sixth reason you should try dancing when you’re feeling stressed is because it’s fun! So, next time you can feel all that stress and tension building up in your body, hit the dance floor and try dancing for stress relief. You’ll feel better for sure.
And remember, it doesn’t matter what kind of dancing you do, ballroom, classical ballet, irish dancing or just moving your body to your favorite beat, any type of dance is a stress reliever so just go wherever the music takes you, have fun and feel your stress levels reduce.