You know dancing is so much fun and it gets you moving! But did you know that ballroom dancing helps with stress and anxiety, too? In fact, the benefits of ballroom dancing are numerous.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that anxiety affects 18 million adults. That’s more than 18 percent of the population and the percentage is rising at an alarming rate. Anxiety is the most predominant mental affliction in the United States.
Anxiety and stress are finally something we as a society are taking seriously. Unfortunately, the reasons we are focusing on it is because the impact of stress and anxiety on our emotional and physical wellbeing is so profound.
From working too many hours, dealing with debt, using substances to alleviate pain, not taking vacation time, and turning on the news, it’s a recipe for panic attacks to say the least.
And while it is all too common to get an Rx to “fix” everything, we now know there are other ways to deal with stress and anxiety. Ways that are better for us and which impacts every aspect of our lives. And the side effects are all positive!
Salsa? Foxtrot? ChaCha? Doesn’t matter! The results are in and whether you think you have two left feet or not, dance has been proven to improve your overall mood and your mental health. (By the way, there’s no such thing as two left feet!)
Whether you practice dance regularly, or if you only dance at weddings or at aerobic classes, we all know how great it feels to be out on the dance floor.
Dancing is a great natural way to increase the flow of mood-improving chemicals. When they flow, our mental state is elevated and the grip of anxiety loosens.
And, it’s not just the physical movement of dance that helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression. When we dance with others, it helps us feel more connected. Feeling alone and isolated increases anxiety and depression.
With all of the many dance styles to choose from, it’s easy to find a style of dance you love.
Studies repeatedly show that there is a simple and highly effective method of managing anxiety. The answer can be found on the dance floor.
Dancers report that they experience a powerful release of stress and negative emotion as they glide across the dance floor. The music and steps take control and allows you to be present, in the moment. It quiets the mental chatter.
And yes, it’s fun!
When did adults forget how to have fun? It’s time to remember.
International research and studies conclude that there are many mental benefits of dance including:
- better quality of life overall
- increased physical confidence and abilities
- improved cognitive performance
- greater self-confidence in both appearance and capabilities
- improved social skills
- better spatial understanding
Anxiety.org tells us that “the mind follows what the body does.” That explains why dancing is so transformative and powerful. While your body is moving, your mind rejuvenates.
While dancing may not be a cure-all, it is a proven effective way for people of all ages to manage stress and anxiety. And it’s common to feel the effects as soon as you hit the dance floor.