Dance Your Way to Better Mental Health

Guys, dancing.

When’s the last time you did it?

Come on, when’s the last time you really let go? That one song came on and you couldn’t stop yourself from shakin’ it all around the room, and it felt amazing didn’t it?

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Not only is it a great work out, but letting loose is a great way to perk up my mood, or at least distract myself from the moment’s anxiety.

I first heard about this concept from Linda Barsi’s video called How to Take a Dance Recess. I mean, I had always been doing it in some sort of fashion. I always dance around the house when I’m cleaning, and I cut a rug at every wedding I go to, but this put a name to it; it gave it intention.

Science proves it, too.

 

Dancing Releases Endorphins

So many studies have shown that when we dance, loads of feel-good chemicals are released in our brains.

Even one session of enthusiastic dancing can help decrease depression.

Like with all exercise, dancing releases endorphins in our brains.

Endorphins are hormones in your brain that trigger neurotransmitters, creating feelings of fun and relaxation. When we dance, we are not only using the motor and sensory areas, but it also lights up the pleasure centres.

 

Dancing Helps Relieve Social Anxiety

It may seem counter-intuitive, but for years psychologists have been prescribing dance to patients with social anxiety and phobias of public speaking.

This is because dance, especially in a class environment, can help you loosen up.

It helps us express ourselves differently, especially if it’s difficult emotions. Dancing alongside somebody ignites pathways in your brain that brings you closer to that person.

Dancing Creates Social Bonds

There’s just something about moving our bodies to a joyful beat that humans really dig.

Cultures all over the world use dance to bring people closer together.

Music has always played a huge part in creating social bonds and reassuring your group that you’ve got their back.

This is why we humans like to throw parties for everything and why there is usually some form of music and dancing.

It’s Okay To Feel Ridiculous At First

Now, I already know what you’re going to say: I don’t know how to dance.

The beautiful thing about music is that you don’t need to know how to dance to enjoy it.

Put on a song, and for three minutes just let go and move that body, even just a little bit. Even if you just bob your head and hum along, if it’s more than you would do before then do it!

If you decide to stand up and really groove, here’s a hot tip: write your name in cursive with your butt.

I know, it sounds weird! Just try it, it works. You’ll feel a little ridiculous at first, but some would say that’s the fun part.

So bust a move! Get those endorphins pumping! Conquer that social anxiety! Build social bonds!

Let me know your favourite tunes to get your groove on to in the comments. If you’re feeling really brave, post your own dance recess video on Instagram and tag @rainydayoptimist!

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Comments

  1. Auntie K

    Hello Beautiful Jacquie! This is Auntie K and I am checking out your amazing website! My fabourite song to dance to is Spirit in the Sky by Norm Greenbaum.
    Here is an interesting piece of information if you choose to check it out. Gabrielle Roth has 5 rhythms dance that is designed to release emotions and clear the gunk within. I have previously viewed this on youtube a number of years ago, but right now can’t find the exact link that gave me all the dance rhythms that I could use to shake it for an hour. There are, however, other youtube videos of Gabrielle that are so interesting!
    Now I shall continue with viewing your insights, yummy!

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