Overcoming depression, improving sleep, and even increasing life satisfaction may start with hitting the dance floor.
Everybody’s out on the floor floor don’t you know
Can’t do nothing better, so let it go
Set your troubles free
Dance with me
Let It Go
Recent research revealed that dancing can be the best way to handle stress and depressed feelings. A study published in the American Journal of Dance Therapy found that tango dancing was successful in decreasing depression and insomnia and increasing reported life satisfaction among study participants.
Additionally, an article on goodtherapy.org reports that dancing reduces stress, improves mood, muscle tone, balance and coordination. In addition dancing can be instrumental in reducing body pains and enhancing libido.
In her article “Dance Away Stress and Depression” Christy Matta reported that dancing reduces cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. As a result this activity can improve mood, quality of sleep, anger reduction and lowered anxiety. Matta also reported that dancing gives you some of the same benefits as meditation because it requires you to be “fully present and in the moment.” It does not matter if you are a practiced professional or just going crazy on the floor, some concentration is required. Best of all, the more ‘into the groove’ you are, the more focus is needed. Meanwhile, your worries float into the background.
You get many of the same benefits from regular dancing as you would from walking, jogging and general aerobics. These include energy boost, reduction in muscle or physical tension, improved physical fitness, weight management, increased erection frequency in men and enhanced sexual arousal in women.
Don’t wait until you feel down to bust a move, if dancing makes you feel better then the sooner the better. Also, dancing is not just for connoisseurs, it does not matter how you look on the floor, as long as shake it.
I recommend talking to a medical doctor if there are any concerns about the viability of your involvement in dance. Also, dancing may not be sufficient to tackle mental health struggles. I recommend using a combination to strategies to assist with overcoming depression including meeting with a mental health professional.