Stress is our body’s response to a specific situation and can affect anyone. Stress may start affecting your health considerably, even though you didn’t notice it. Sometimes we blame the weather or other illness for headaches, deprived sleep, or lethargy, but the actual cause of these symptoms can be stress. If left untreated, stress can cause numerous harmful health issues.
Not all stress is harmful. Sometimes, it can be bliss. This good stress or Eustress possesses no threat as it has many trigger factors, such as when we feel excited, competing for a target, or riding a bike.
Long-term or chronic stress can cause a heavy toll on our life. It affects our behavior, feelings, and thinking capacity. High-performance pressure, long commutes, family issues, financial struggle, and no me-time can cause high stress beyond our coping ability. Even the mild stress during daily life may diminish our cognitive control.
The accumulated stresses of daily life can cause damage to our health in the long run, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart diseases
- Overeating and indigestion
- Fatigue and loss of libido
- Relationship problems
- Anxiety and depression
- Fatal accidents and suicide attempts
- In severe cases, memory loss and dementia
How can we reduce stress in our everyday life?
If your brain identifies a situation as a stressful event, it releases the stress hormone cortisol to fight against it. But, if our body experiences continuous high levels of cortisol, then it starts damaging our brain and other body systems. So, to avoid brain and organ damage, we should concentrate on the process that helps us cope with stress. We can take a step to explore stress management strategies, such as:
- Regular exercise
- Healthy diet
- Good sleep
- Executing calming techniques like yoga, deep breathing, or meditation
- Spending time and talking with family and friends
- Exploring new hobbies
- Having a good laugh
- Exploring physical activities like swimming, cycling, or dancing
How can dancing help us to relieve stress?
Dance is a great stress-reliever, in addition to good exercise, expressing feelings, and boosting self-esteem. Practically everyone listens to music while doing work or household chores, so adding a few moves can further uplift the mood.
Dance and other physical exercises activate our hypothalamus, which sends impulses to the pituitary gland to release endorphins. Endorphin is a member of four feel-good or happy hormones and acts as a body’s natural pain-reliever and stress-buster. The endorphins improve the quality of sleep and our mind’s perception of surroundings.
Benefits of dance
- A well-choreographed dance increases memory retention function as we have to remember the dance steps according to each beat. So, it can improve our memory and stall dementia considerably in older people.
- Compared to other exercises, dance has a significant effect on our mood. Even if we are watching someone dancing, our brain activates and releases neurotransmitters, and we feel the same as the dancer’s expression and feel happy.
- Dancing is a way of expressing our inner feeling. By dancing, we release frustration, stress, and worries that we are holding from a long tiring day.
- Dancing helps us stay physically fit as it is one of the best cardio exercises. It also helps relieve tension in our body and mind and increases self-esteem.
- Stress and anxiety hinder the focus and our judgment power. Dance releases endorphins which improve our focus and enhance our pleasure.
- Too much stress sometimes leads to an outburst at our friends or family, affecting our relationships. Dancing offers an emotional outlet to people without harming themselves or family.
- Dancing helps in the movements of those muscles and joints which remain idle in normal daily activities. It also strengthens our muscles and joint and soothes muscle stiffness.
- Dancing improves our physical health by losing weight, improving our stamina, and improving our heart and lung health.
Dancing engages a person’s concentrated focus and lets them immerse in their movements and music. Dance puts stress at bay as it needs a lot of concentration, thus redirecting anxiety and stress away from us. So next time when you are feeling stressed, play your favorite music and let those tensed muscles relax while dancing.
But if you are still having stress symptoms after taking preventive steps, consult your doctor and seek appropriate treatment.