“Dance like there’s no tomorrow
Don’t care about the sunrise
Somebody please just hit the lights
All I wanna do is dance like there’s no tomorrow”
These lines from Paula Abdul’s song aptly describe my love for dancing. Not that I am a trained dancer or people love the way I dance, it is just that dancing makes me happy. I gather a bunch of kids from the neighborhood, switch on a fast dance number and dance like the kids do. Even a few minutes of dancing lightens hours of stress on my mind. I do not mind what people have to say about my dancing skills. This is because I dance for myself, my happiness, my contentment, my life.
I had no idea about emotional benefits of dancing until recently a psychologist friend told me how dancing has been healing people all around the world. I was just of the opinion that dancing helps reduce weight and such things. People who dance can connect easily to other people and even make friends quickly. While there are several forms of dancing, there is no particular one to relieve stress. If Bharatnatyam is what makes you happy, don’t think much and go ahead.
My two year old daughter inspires me to dance and keeps me on my toes. Initially I danced to make her happy, but now with practice I know that dancing is a biggest stress-buster. In India, there is a ritual of people dancing at wedding processions. What I liked about this kind of dance is that while dancing, people are not embarrassed at all. They dance to their contentment, in the happiness that their relative or friend is getting married.
Dancing for emotional happiness too requires a little bit of practice. Firstly, do not think about specific steps. Just move along with the music. Secondly, forget about the embarrassment of people watching you or commenting about your dance skills. If you feel embarrassed, close your eyes and move your body. Read here about how dancing benefits you emotionally.
How Dancing Benefits you Emotionally
A Smarter You
Yes, this is true. You can become a tad bit smarter than you already are if you dance on a regular basis. This is interesting, isn’t it? Dancers are known to be ‘body thinkers’. They are said to be kinesthetically intelligent. While dancing, some of the crucial parts of brain get activated. This ultimately leads to good decision making capabilities if there is regular utilization and exercise of these brain functions. Psychologists are of the opinion that dancing might lead to opening of new pathways present in the brain, which helps in better absorption of novel information.
A Shapely Brain
What? Dancing will help keep my brain in shape. I knew it that if I dance regularly, I will shed a few kilos, but how will the shape of brain be affected by dancing? Dancing helps keep the brain and associated faculties stay in shape. For the purpose of brain health, opt for memorized dance steps and motions. While matching music with steps, your brain gets good workout. It even results in increased circulation of blood. You will be surprised to know that this even helps in reducing the chances of dementia, ageing and even loss of memory.
After dancing for some time, I feel energetic and enthusiastic. This helps me in concentrating on my work. For instance, what would have taken 30 minutes; I can easily complete it in 18-20 minutes after a round of dancing. My attention span has improved drastically post taking dancing as an activity. Dancing helps improve functioning of the brain and thereby increases the ability of concentration.
A Great Antidepressant
Dancing elevates mood. People who feel lonely and depressed should take up dancing for several benefits. It even helps in cases of anxiety. After a stressful day at work or during bouts of low self –esteem, dancing is something that has been a great help. People who find it difficult to cope should definitely take up dancing to notice transformation.
An Extrovert You
Get out of the cocoon with dancing. It not only opens up your mind but makes you connect with people easily. You will be able to make friends easily. Moreover, if you are going through a low phase with a friend or partner, take up dancing classes together. You will not only learn something, but will also be able to resolve differences that had crept up in the relationship.
A Fun Therapy
The word therapy sounds boring. But when you take up dancing as a therapy, you will not only enjoy the journey but the results as well. Dancing helps alleviate several mental ailments. It keeps both mind and body fresh. Many believe that each body has some kind of music playing inside. If you concentrate on that music and dance to the rhythms of it, you will feel good and happy. Above all, dancing is like a meditation, which you can enjoy whenever you feel like.
You might be thinking of taking up some dance classes now. However, till that time, what you can do is set the ringtone of your cell as one of your favourite songs. Every time your phone rings, dance to the tunes of it. It will instantly uplift your mood.
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