There is a reason why Kevin Bacon slides, jumps and chassés across an empty warehouse. To relieve his teenage drama and stress! All of his classmates, getting the chance to dance for the first time at their prom, looked more like freed prisoners than teenagers filled with angst. Why? They were relieving their stress through dancing!
What is it about dancing that makes us all feel so free and relieved of our everyday stresses?
1. When the body feels good, the mind does, too!
The scientific reason for why dance has the ability to act as a stress reliever stems from the idea that when the body feels good, the mind does, too. Any type of physical activity releases neurotransmitters and endorphins which serve to alleviate stress. Neurotransmitters are chemicals within the brain that help communicate messages throughout the body. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkiller to reduce stress and improve the mind’s perception of the world. Thus, after a good workout the endorphins cause the body to feel calm and optimistic. The endorphins also aid in improving the quality of sleep, so that a few sleepless nights due to stress can be avoided after dancing!
2. Dance offers a creative outlet for people to express their personalities in a safe environment
Your work environment isn’t always to best place to express who you really are. More often than not, you need to be a more buttoned up version of yourself and hide much of your inner self. Dancing offers an outlet for people to express who they are––through music, movement or even costumes! Dancing helps you connect to who you really are. Leave that suit or pencil skirt at the office and trade it in for sparkles and spandex!
3. Dancing improves your physical health
From weight loss, to increased flexibility, stronger bones and building muscle tone, dancing is a total body workout.
Dancing can be a way to stay fit for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. It has a wide range of physical and mental benefits including:
- Improved condition of your heart and lungs
- Increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness
- Increased aerobic fitness
- Improved muscle tone and strength
- Weight management
- Stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Better coordination, agility and flexibility
- Improved balance and spatial awareness
- Increased physical confidence
- Improved mental functioning
- Improved general and psychological well being
- Greater self-confidence and self-esteem
- Better social skills.
And nothing makes you feel less stressed than when you know you’re doing great things for your physical and mental health.
It’s well know today that stress is a silent killer and causes things from inflammation in the heart to psychological distress. But you can avoid these terrible effects by taking simple measures like, well, dancing! So, take a lesson from the Footloose gang and when in doubt, dance it out!