Dancing isn’t just a fun way to stay in shape, it’s also a great way to improve your mental health. Not only does it help reduce stress levels, but it can also boost your mood and provide a sense of accomplishment.
In addition, dancing helps to improve social skills and reduce loneliness. In fact, in a survey of non-professional dancers, many said that their primary reason for dancing was to feel good about themselves and to meet new people.
When you dance, it requires a high level of concentration and focus that helps reduce anxiety and promotes mindfulness. Dancing also encourages you to think of nothing else but the music and your movements, eliminating negative thoughts that contribute to stress.
Even just listening to your favourite tunes while you dance can help lower cortisol, a stress hormone that affects everything from blood pressure to heart rate. In addition, dancing with other people can help you feel supported and build confidence and self-esteem, all of which can relieve stress.
Dancing involves memorizing steps and routines which helps to boost your memory. This makes dancing an ideal form of exercise for people who want to improve their cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia.
The act of learning dance choreography improves neural synapses and creates new ones, which help the brain remember things like names and places. Regular dancing can also improve a person’s ability to remember and understand speech.
Research suggests that dancing improves cognitive function in a way that is similar to the benefits of physical exercise. Specifically, dance may help to reduce the risk of dementia by stimulating sensory and motor circuits in the brain.
Dancing can also increase the levels of proteins called nerve growth factors that support healthy nerve cells. These proteins can help prevent and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.