Dancing Away Stress and Depression
In recent studies in both Germany and the University of New England has shown that dance tends to lower the levels of the stress hormones in our bodies and even seems to lower the levels of depression. Whether it’s the mindfulness of dancing, the endorphins that are released or just the sheer fun of it, it’s not known for sure. However, dancing does seem to have a positive influence on stress and depression.
Learning the Tango
In this study in New England, they organized a Tango session where people were taught how to do the Tango. They discovered that by learning the Tango, it requires a person to focus their attention totally on the present moment, which is what mindfulness is all about. The Tango is very unique because it is one dance that absolutely requires that you have a partner. Having a partner makes the need for focus even more important. When you have this amount of focus tends to help people to turn off the negative thoughts that are often associated with depression and stress.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Both mindfulness and meditation are widely used to reduce stress and has far many more mental health benefits as well. But, for some people, meditation just isn’t their cup of tea and they often don’t feel comfortable doing it. This is where the study shows that the Tango could be a very useful tool to use instead of meditation for those who are interested in lowering their stress and depression levels. Not only is this dance something that requires a lot of focus but it is also something that can be quite enjoyable.
Dancing With a Partner
The study also showed that by dancing with a partner to rhythmic music has a lot more positive effects than if you were to dance alone. It seemed to also reduce the hormone cortisol, a hormone that is associated with stress, in both partners along with many other positive emotional benefits.
This, however, does not mean that dancing alone doesn’t have positive effects because it does. It’s highly recommended that if someone is feeling the stress of life is getting to be too much, put on some music they like and dance, it will make them feel better, less stressed and may even help them feel less depressed.
A Few Recommendations
Here are a few recommendations when it comes to dancing and using it to improve your mood and lower your stress:
- Don’t feel silly about it, dance with yourself at home and just concentrate on the music and your movement as you move with the flow of the music.
- Join a Ballroom Dance Class. This way you can experience dancing with a partner and receive even more benefits from the art of dancing.
- Join a local Group Dance class. There is research that shows when you move with others it can expand your sense of total social connectedness. This can also help to lower your stress levels and even your depression levels.