Dance your stress out.
How often do you communicate in the hidden language of the soul? Yes, I am talking about dancing. You might have turned on the music and started dancing to its tune. But do you ever realize that you are dancing your way to the healing, to better health, to a better emotional well being and a better life? Shaking a leg can reap many more benefits than just sweating!
Dance therapy or dance movement therapy(DMT) is the use of psychotherapeutic movement to facilitate comprehensive well being. It’s an approach wherein the fluid dance movement in a therapy setting is used to achieve physical, emotional, cognitive, and social integration.
We all have heard the phrase that music is the food of life. So if music is the food of life, then dance for sure is the energy that we derive from food. Dancing is a powerful expression. It’s an expression that can create stress-relieving, joyous, and healing episodes most of the time.
Let’s see how dance therapy benefits us.
a) Stress buster
We all deal with a large amount of stress daily. We cannot get rid of it but what’s in our hands is to tackle it with effective measures. Integrating dance therapy in our daily life eases stress.
It has been scientifically proven that exercise helps in alleviating stress. Dance is an excellent form of exercise. It is an activity which is fun and useful. It’s great for the body and has a remedial aspect to it.
Dance therapy incorporates movements aligned with thoughts and feelings. Dancing brings about an instant change in emotions and attitude. It’s an instant mood changer. Dancing is a physical activity. The endorphins released during dancing improves our sleeping pattern, easing our stress level. We feel uplifted and less stressed instantly.
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b) Improved physical fitness
Body movement, in any form, benefits a great deal to the body. We have heard on numerous occasions that “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” A life with lesser physical activity is dull. A sluggish self is an unhealthy self.
Dance therapy movement increases fitness in an energy-driven atmosphere. Partner dancing, line dancing, lyrical form dancing with the help of props facilitates a lot of physical movements. Stretching and deep breathing is an active element of dance therapy. It helps to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility.
Dance therapy focuses on strength building, coordination, and balance. These are the prerequisites of an exceptional physical form. Thinking of getting fit? Why not resort to Dance therapy.
c) Improved self-confidence
Coordination and collaboration are instrumental in improving one’s confidence. Dance therapy includes basic elements of social interaction like supporting your partners, making eye contact, saying positive things, and enquiring about each other’s well being. All this helps in the formation of a bond. People start to rely upon and trust each other.
The mirroring technique in dance therapy helps in validating the feelings of each other by copying their body movements. Nurturing trust, sharing props, offering hands, etc., helps to increase the feeling of acceptance in an individual. This boosts their self-confidence and self-esteem. Dance therapy helps to give assurance, which is crucial for confidence building.DMT encourages social bonding with strangers. The lively dance sessions provide a trusting, positive, and encouraging environment to promote self-confidence and self-esteem.
d) Stimulates creativity
Creativity is one of the greatest capacities of humans. We are inherently creative people; all we need is a spark that can stimulate creativity. A muscle not used for a longer time deteriorates. Likewise, if a person ceases to use his creative tendency, the flames of his creativity will succumb.
Dance therapy harnesses the power of imagination. Participants are made to focus on a particular feeling, say Empathy, and asked to creatively express it in the form of physical movements. It is a simple approach, yet it has far-reaching effects.
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e) Depression buster
Physical movement can re-organize our brain. It can help to revoke repressed sentiments and release creativity.
Dance therapy helps to reconnect our bodies with the present. There is a strong connection between motion and emotions.
Dancing alters our emotional state. Set of movements can arouse several emotions like happiness, anger, fear, and sadness. Dancing engages our cerebral cortex and leads to an increase in grey and white matter. This means that dancing improves our memory and motor control.
New body movements are capable of developing new emotions. It releases endorphins, which helps you become more resilient when bombarded with the challenges of life. It helps you to be happy and makes you better at coping strategies, thereby reducing depression.
Sentiments can be caged inside the body for years. It’s necessary to let it out in one form or another. Our body has the key to free these sentiments. Dance therapy provides a musical and lyrical atmosphere wherein one can experience different sensations and feelings. DMT provides a platform where we can reclaim a genuine connection between words and actions. Next time when you feel low, just listen to some music, get in the flow and let your body move. Remember, with every movement, you are not only expanding your movement vocabulary but also taking another step to a better version of yourself.