If we were to ask you what activities make people happiest in this world, what would you say? Some might answer eating or practising a favourite hobby. Sex and romance might come to mind, but you’d actually be mistaken. Studies have shown that what really really makes humans instantly happy is singing and dancing and here’s why you should be dancing more often.
It triggers the release of endorphins
We encourage most of our clients to exercise more often. It’s an important pillar in our 8 Weeks to Wellness program because of the profound physical AND mental benefits exercise has on us. Endorphin release is part of that!
If you’re familiar with the post-workout high, you’re probably aware that most forms of exercise stimulate endorphin-release, which help the body cope with pain and physical and emotional stress. It’s been suggested that a lack of these feel-good chemicals is associated with conditions such as depression and even fibromyalgia. Here’s the cool part; it seems that while we’re boogying away we release a much bigger dose of these happy hormones!
Dancing taps into many different areas of the brain. As we follow a beat, in the hope that our body will move to the rhythm, our brain is stimulated both emotionally and physically. It puts all these messages together to blend thought process with muscle memory and coordination. That’s incredibly complex! The cognitive benefits of dancing range from memory improvement to strengthened neurone connections. Dance, in fact, has such a big effect on the brain that it’s now a form of therapy for Parkinson’s disease.
It lights up a magical bond
Dancing encourages social connection. Scientists call it the ‘self-other merging’, which we translate to bonding. It’s the same principle as meeting someone for the first time and discovering you share some form of common history. Maybe you went to the same school or you’ve travelled to the same places. Knowing this, you feel an instant connection.
You don’t need to be a professional by any means to reap these benefits. Our ancestors danced throughout history to release tension and let loose. If you’re not ready to show-off your moves on the dancefloor that’s ok, but do jig away at home, in the shower or anywhere you feel comfortable, especially if you’re feeling tense or stressed in any way. These benefits are too good to miss.