By Jane Heather

The Brazilian’s love for dance turns out to be healthier than one can ever realize. Dancing the Samba or the Carimbo is no longer just for fun; it’s a great way to relieve stress and several studies have proven that. While there are plenty of other ways to keep stress levels down like doing Yoga or Tai Chi, why not dance your stress away and have plenty of fun while doing it too?

The Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School studied the link between dancing and the brain. Based on the study, dancing offers “pleasure double play” wherein the music stimulates the brain and the dance stimulates the sensory and motor circuits of the body. The study further explained that dancing and its rhythmic movements are therapeutic. With that said, dancing proves to be one of the best ways to beat stress and take control of your daily life once again.

Re-Focuses Your Mind

When chronic stress starts to interfere with your ability to live a normal life, that’s when you know something is very wrong. You’ll find yourself constantly anxious and worrying. You get exhausted by simply thinking about how to survive your day. Simply put, your mind is focusing on the stress… but this shouldn’t be the case at all. You have to re-focus your mind and that’s where dancing comes in the picture.

Dancing is a skill, which means that you have to practice to improve that skill. Dancing involves synchronization, and your brain will work hard on making sure your ears listen to the music while your body dances to the beat. Not to mention, the choreography is great for the memory as you try to memorize the steps. By being able to focus on how your body moves, your mind escapes from thinking about the stress.

Feel Better and Happier

Movement is always good for you, which is why exercise is a recommended activity to relieve stress. Physical movements aid in the release of the body’s happy hormone called endorphin, and when you dance, the release of endorphins is much bigger. At the same time, dancing connects to the emotional centers of the brain. As a result, there is an emotional release, one that is very helpful when you have so many pent-up emotions and feelings due to stress.

Boosts Confidence

When stress hits you, it can be very overwhelming. It makes you feel helpless, which leads to feeling insecure about yourself. It physically, emotionally, and mentally drains you until you feel like there’s no winning the battle against stress. Knowing this, make it your mission to get your confidence back – the very thing stress took away from you. Dancing helps boost one’s self-esteem through balancing one’s mood and improving self-awareness and mindfulness. The more in tune you are with your body, the more confidence you’ll feel. Additionally, the more you get better at dancing, the prouder you’ll be by yourself too.

Dancing is a beautiful exercise, an art form that enhances the mind, body, and soul. Take advantage of that natural rhythm inside you and channel your energy into dancing your stresses away. Believe that stress can be beaten, and you will the battle without ever looking back. Remember, you are in control of your life, so wiggle and twist your way into a happier and more confident you.

*Jane Heather is a Soul Brasil magazine contributor and a professional freelancer writer.

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