We love to dance for a variety of reasons: it’s expressive, it’s communal, it puts us in the spotlight. We may live for the warmth of stage lights, or for the deep emotional release we feel from moving with strength to a captivating piece of music. But did you know that dancing is also incredible for your mental well-being? We’ve highlighted a few reasons, here, why dancing is so good for your brain.
Dancing releases endorphins
Endorphins are neurotransmitters, or chemicals in your brain that pass signals from one neuron to the next. They help to block pain, control emotion and evoke pleasure. Intense aerobic activity can trigger a rush of endorphins in your body, which is what people refer to as a “runner’s high.” But the endorphin release from dancing are said to be even more dynamic, because while your heart rate is up, dancing also triggers emotional, physical, mental and social response. Basically, it’s the best natural high you can achieve. 5,6,7,8…keep moving!
Dancing strengthens the mind/body connection
Because there are so many elements at work, our coordination, ability to think and react quickly and methodically are all heightened when we dance.
The physical expression of dance keeps your body in shape, limber, and agile, while the emotional expression allows for enhanced feeling and sensation. This not only occurs within your physical sense like touch or sound, but within your mental capacity for depth of emotion. When your mind is at work, you are exercising your artistic expression, and there is also another layer of metaphysical connection- connection to purpose, grace, inspiration, and/or something higher than oneself. The connection between these multiple aspects of self that is intensified when we dance makes us more dynamic in mind, body and soul.
Dancing Makes you Smarter
Research is starting to show that dance increases mental acuity, and can be helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia (both disorders that deal with the function of your brain diminishing.) Scientists theorize that it has something to do with what is called Neuroplasticity, which, in less scientific terms, is your brain’s ability to change and adapt. The way the mind, body and heart work together when we dance helps to increase the complexity of the neuron wiring in our brains, which helps when it comes to storing memory and staying quick and sharp in our minds.
So keep moving and keep grooving, because dance may keep you younger, smarter, and happier throughout the rest of your beautiful life!
For more information and articles referenced here, please see the following links: