Why dancing makes you so happy

Did you know it’s scientifically proven that dance makes you happier? 

Our ancestors painted their cave walls with pictures of dancers. Even babies instinctively jig in time to music. Dancing feels good – and while some societies ban it, there is no culture on earth that doesn’t possess an urge to dance.

Anthropologists consider dance to be a ”multi-faceted phenomenon”, an invisible, underlying system within us. While forms of dance differ across cultures, the best way to know if what you’re looking at is dancing is to feel like it’s dancing. It’s a you-know-it-when you-see-it sort of thing.

Here are 6 reasons why dancing makes you healthier and happier:

1. Endorphins
When you start moving your body, your brain starts to release endorphins – pleasure chemicals – in response to your body’s heightened motor activity. Ever noticed how sitting still at your desk keeps you feeling restless and bored? Your body craves physical activity and the pleasure associated with it. Dancing is a great way to keep your body and your brain on its toes as you move in time to the music to get these endorphins flowing.

2. Self-Esteem
Dancing helps you feel more self-assured. When you dance, you start to lose all inhibitions and gain self-confidence in your body and its movements. It effectively frees yourself of thinking too much about yourself, you become so involved in the rhythms and the music that you become impervious to self-criticism.

3. Dancing combats depression
It has been proven that many forms of aerobic exercise fight off depression. This applies to dancing too; as your dancing develops over a longer period of time, your body adapts and changes a depressive mentality into a more relaxed and positive one. You know that feel-good feeling after dancing for so long? That feeling is fortified the more you dance.

4. Dancing alleviates stress
People tend to recommend activities like yoga or meditation for stress relief, but a study from the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine showed that dance might edge out both these activities. The researchers found that tango classes lowered individuals’ stress levels more than meditation.

5. Sensitivity
Dancing can be a gateway into understanding more about how you feel and about who you are. Moving your body around and engaging your mind to steps and music strengthens all your senses – you naturally feel more grounded and acquire a higher sense of both physical and emotional sensitivity which stays with you off of the dance floor.

6. Creativity
Like painting, writing and playing music, dancing is an art – a performing art. It connects us to our capacity to think creatively and our ability to explore self-expression. Moving in time to rhythm and music triggers all kind of inspiration that can apply to other areas of life.

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