We all know stress is a silent killer. When a person is stressed, their body responds with physical symptoms. According to Harvard Medical School, stress is much more than a feeling of anxiousness. When a person experiences stress their heart beats faster. Their blood pressure is elevated and they experience rapid breathing. The human body that is continually under stress, overproduces Cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone because it is physically called on during stressful times.
Cortisol is one of the steroid hormones produced by the adrenal gland. When your body is stressed it calls on Cortisol to help balance the body. Among other things, Cortisol controls the salt and water in the body to control your rising blood pressure. It goes to work to level your blood sugar. It shuts down the parts of the body that are not needed at that moment in order to concentrate on the crisis at hand. So, while you are actively stressing, your brain, vital organs, and immune system are being targeted. Continual stress means they are continually shut down or weakened. This leads to an immune system that cannot do its job, loss of memory, and damaged muscles.
As long as there have been people, there has been dance. Our ancestors had never heard of meditation, stress, or depression. However, they did know about dance. They understood that they could have a physical and emotional experience when they got into their dance. The music would play and they would dance. They danced until they became one with the music. They danced until the world around them was gone. Their music, body movements, and mental awareness were one. Dance gave them faith that there were going to be better days. In many cultures around the world, dance was part of worship and communication with their God.
Meditation is the deliberate and practiced art of concentrating, thinking, sorting out thoughts, prayer, and contemplation. This is a mental activity. When combined with the physical activity of dancing the mind and body reach a higher level of both. To many, it is an ecstatic experience.
Dancing and meditation
Below we will share five reasons why dancing is the best form of meditation.
1.Absorb the music
In order for a dancer to perform at the top of their game, they must tune out everything around them, and go deep into their minds. They focus on the music they hear and the movements of their body. This is one of the purest forms of meditation. When they come out of their dance meditation, they are free. They have experienced physical and mental release.
Dancing requires dedication, practice, and patience. She must control the muscles of her entire body while looking fluid and graceful. In this case, meditation is the primary agent in the exercise. The dancer is focusing completely. Meditation has given her the power to harness her energy and direct it.
3. Mental health
When we dance, our brains produce more Serotonin. This is often called the happy hormone. Serotonin gives you a feeling of joy and peace.
In the last several years, the number of depressed and anxious children and teenagers has increased. We know two-income families, video games, and bullies cause kids to stay inside more. They are not getting the exercise they need to be healthy. Allowing a child to take dance is a perfect fit. They learn to meditate as they learn to focus on steps until they no longer must think about them to execute the moves. Meditation helps them clear away toxic thoughts. Their bodies become stronger and more fit, and their brain is giving them plenty of feel-good hormones.
4. Breaks down barriers
When a person is part of a dance class, all that matters is that the team achieves their goals. When a dancer is in meditation, they have a heightened awareness around them. They are part of something bigger than themselves. What they are part of is not a person of a different race, not a different religion, not a different sex. They are dancers. They’re mentally stimulated and open to the energy of everyone in the group.
5. A life-change
Whether a person stays in dance or not, the lessons learned are part of them forever. They know there is “that place” inside them where there is complete tranquility. They have experienced freedom and release. They will never let that go. Even if they do not dance, they will meditate to visit that place.
It has been proven by many experts that dance combined with meditation is life-altering and healthy. It is easy to get started. Simply take your meditation skills and put them into practice as you concentrate and focus on the music and moves. You do not have to invest a lot to do this. You need dance shoes, a warm-up shirt or jacket, and some dance pants. Give it a try. You may find this is the best thing you have ever done for yourself.