What are the benefits of dancing? Can we dance our stress and negative emotions away?
I love exploring new and fun ways to heal… especially ways that stimulate the senses. I believe, as a culture, stress is killing us. I also believe that stress is interfering with the creative thinking that is required to find solutions to our most pressing problems. I think it’s time for a paradigm shift! Many of us are familiar with the power of laughter to heal. This newsletter is focused on another fun way to heal…Dancing!
Dance your Stress Away!
Last week, I spent 4 days at the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee. (see Florence video) Bonnaroo is a giant music festival that offers hundreds of bands and nearly 100,000 participants come to dance and sing in the heat and rain like warriors. I am REALLY glad I went! I almost didn’t go, when my inner saboteur tried to guilt me into having a more “practical” weekend.
Once there, I was able to cut loose in a major way, let my analytical mind take a rest, and feel quite free from the expectations and pressure to which I had previously succumbed. As I soaked in the sounds, smells, sights and started to dance, I began thinking about the power that lies in losing our minds (a little or a lot!) while dancing. Dancing is a fantastic way to heal and manifest.
Dance is usually for fun occasions, but I’d like to offer a suggestion that it is absolutely possible to dance any emotion out of your system, which can be very healing. Why not dance out anger, frustration and anxiety? There is a musical selection for every emotion, and it might provide you with some clarity as you choose the songs that best express how you are feeling. Even head banging, slow dancing, mimicking a favorite performer… anything goes! Dancing also can serve as a powerful way to direct emotional energy toward manifestation. Remember Native American ‘rain dances’ that invoked rain to protect the harvest? Dance rituals date back to Ancient Egypt and dances for all types of intentions exist. (see war dance video)
Next time you are feeling overwhelmed, angry or anxious, try dancing!
SCIENCE: Dancing to Heal
- Dancing decreases cortisol. Cortisol disables the human immune system and increases undesirable fat storage around the waist and hips.
- Dancing stimulates serotonin release. Low serotonin levels can lead to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, obesity, insomnia.
- Dancing creates and endorphin release. Endorphins are effective “analgesics”, which kill pain and elicit waves of relaxing and soothing feelings. The frontal lobe of our brain has more endorphin receptors than anywhere else in our body. The frontal lobe is responsible for our creativity, personality and many high-level social and cognitive processes.
The effect of a dancing-induced, “biochemical cocktail” is multiplied by adrenaline, an endorphin amplifier and a powerful antidepressant!
Bottom line: Dancing activates beneficial hormones and neurotransmitters while reducing the harmful stress-related hormones. You also get the added benefit of a cardiovascular workout because the pleasure of dancing has us exercise longer.
My intention with these newsletters is to deliver mind-body healing resources in a fun way. I believe each of us has a unique and personal path toward healing that we discover over time.
As we align ourselves with our personal path and purpose, life feels richer, more joyful and creativity abounds. This newsletter will bring you mental, emotional, physical and spiritual nuggets of goodness to raise your awareness and vibration.