It’s simple: dance keeps you alert, energized and ready to move.
Dance and relaxation improve your mood, health, and energy levels. When you’re nervous or agitated, it increases your body’s “fight or flight” response, which makes you more physically anxious.
When you’re feeling sad or unfulfilled, dancing helps you feel less depressed, irritable and depressed. Dance also lowers the levels of stress hormones, which can lower your blood pressure, decrease feelings of anxiety and boost your focus and decision-making skills. Anecdotally, dance teaches you how to express yourself in new and creative ways.
Dance helps you enjoy life. It gives you “the feeling of being alive”. And it can also help keep you calm and comfortable at times of stress.
What’s the connection between dance and stress? Many times physical and emotional stress is caused by mental or cognitive stress. As we age, a lack of physical and emotional well-being can leave us at risk for depression, heart attacks, and strokes. The key to feeling better can actually be in your body—your brain’s ability to process sensory input is affected by how well your brain is regulating stress.
Cognitive stress can come from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, low self-image, and other life experiences. This can lead to an internal conflict about how to manage stressful life events. Some mental health professionals think it’s helpful to practice mindfulness to help reduce the effects of stress on our bodies.
Studies have found that people who have the ability to relax and focus better report less stress, less exhaustion, faster recovery, less stress-related symptoms, and more overall resilience as they age.
The benefits of dance on our mental health is now well established.
What about stress relief?
The benefits of dance on stress are very well documented. People with cardiovascular conditions and those with high blood pressure have been shown to reduce their heart rate by dancing. This is especially important if your cardiovascular condition may be interfering with your job.
One study found that while in a state of deep relaxation, the brain experienced lower levels of oxidative damage and free radicals, and therefore less stress.
People who did yoga during stressful times reported the best mood and decreased levels of inflammation, which can lead to heart disease. The same study found that yoga did not increase symptoms of depression and stress, which was unexpected.
Finally, if you have a health condition such as high blood
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