Today, as in the past, dance is part of ceremonies, rituals, celebrations, and entertainment. Various cultures have used movement and dance in their social events to achieve harmony of physical, mental, and emotional health. With music and movement, our attitude is better. We strengthen our muscles, improve our fitness, and get rid of tension and stress because we feel relaxed and satisfied. Dancing preserves and enhances our well-being, elevates our mood very quickly, and promotes self-confidence. With so many advantages, what’s not to love about it? Let us take a look at all the ways dancing can help you relieve stress.

How are dancing and stress relief related?

Dancing is an activity that includes motor, auditory, and visual stimuli

Motor – We move and are physically active. During dance practice, we put pressure on our muscles and tendons and stimulate the flow of endorphins. Auditory – Music accompanies dance and certainly awakens some feelings in us! If we enjoy a song, it also gives a positive stimulus to our endocrine system.

Visual – Images appear in our mind as an association to the music in question. For example, oriental music can encourage you to imagine yourself as a sensual dancer in a beautiful costume dancing in the moonlight.

Dancing combines several positive stimuli on our endocrine system and causes us to release happiness hormones. One hour of dancing can make us feel radiant, fulfilled, happy and satisfied! And the influence of these hormones lasts for up to several hours. It goes a long way in the effort to annul all feelings of worry, sadness, hopelessness, lack of will, or anything that stressed us out that day and made us feel bad. By dancing, we will not make the problem disappear. However, we can shake out everything that bothered us and look at our issues from a different angle, full of positive energy. Here are the ways dancing helps.

Movement releases stress and helps us express ourselves

Neuroscientific research proves what ancient people knew much earlier, and that is how movement is a fundamental human need. Feelings move through the body. Neurologically, movement evokes sensations, emotions, memories, thoughts, and images.  When learning a new dance, we have to remember certain moves that we have to connect with the rhythm of the music. Our brain connects new movements with music and positively affects our ability to remember.

Through dance, we express emotions, get to know ourselves, and become aware of our inner states. It gives us an outlet in an emotional and creative sense. Once we reach that point, we also get the need and aspiration for improvement.

Physical activity improves our health

Stress has a significant impact on the development of disease, weakening of immunity, and deterioration of health. And, like other physical activities, dancing has a strong effect on reducing stress levels. Dance develops cognitive abilities and affects the emotional and motivational aspects of mental processes. When engaging in physical activity, a person is emotionally stabilized – they feel as if they have released tension, feeling light and relieved. Such is the influence of dance! 

Dancing is a whole-body workout, with benefits such as weight loss, greater flexibility, stronger bones, and increased muscle tone. It can help people of all ages, shapes, and sizes stay in shape. If you are looking to lose weight but lack the motivation to exercise, aerobics might be the perfect solution. Dancing is a form of aerobics that doesn’t even feel like a workout but gets those muscles working!

Dancing can help you relieve stress by putting you in social settings

Strong interpersonal relationships and socializing with others can have an astounding effect on self-esteem and a positive attitude! And, dancing as a social activity brings many opportunities to meet new people. Dance provides various social values such as artistic knowledge, creativity, a sense of belonging to a group, and creating a better image of one’s own body.

So, joining a dance class contributes to greater self-confidence and the development of social skills. Dancing offers a pleasant atmosphere and therefore has the effect of improving relationships and increasing socialization in people. Everyone is there to enjoy themselves, let off some steam, and appreciate the music. There is a feeling of freedom and togetherness that not many things can compete with.

Dancing as therapy

As we mentioned, the medium of dance can have a positive effect on inducing a positive mood. In addition, it contributes to reducing feelings of fatigue and lethargy, providing opportunities to interact with people in similar situations. Dance is also used for psychotherapeutic purposes: to solve the problem of social anxiety and as a way of expressing emotions.

Psychotherapy through movement developed as a method in the US and the UK in the 1940s. The pioneers of dance therapy were Marian Chase and Mary Whitehouse, originally dancers, who noticed the therapeutic effects of dance in their dance workshop participants. And in collaboration with doctors and psychiatrists, they began treating patients with mental difficulties or illnesses through movement and dance. Dance therapy is suitable for individual and group work, and as an anti-stress program. It is also used by professionals who treat substance abuse, since it can help people work through their issues and provide healthy outlets and coping mechanisms.

Final thoughts

As they say: There are shortcuts to joy, and dancing is one of them. If you are someone who enjoys immersing yourself in movement and music, we recommend you join a dance class in addition to your gym package. First and foremost, dancing is fun. It is also full of benefits, both for our body and our mind. Regular dancing improves heart and lung health, balance, and coordination. It helps with your confidence and self-esteem and improves your stamina and overall living quality. All of these are part of the ways dancing can help you relieve stress.