Many people know that dancing is beneficial physically, but did you know that it can help you reduce your stress as well?

Dancing is one of the best things you can for your physical health. It combines flexibility, cardio and strength, and it has helped many people lose weight. We’ve touched on the physical benefits of dance quite a bit, and you can read all about them when you check out our blog entitled Why Dancing is the Best Workout.. However, the benefits of dance don’t stop there. One of the most essential benefits of dancing is stress relief, particularly in a country where 75 percent of adults say that they have experienced moderate to high levels of stress within the last month alone and 33 percent of Americans feel that they are living with extreme stress. A little stress can be a good thing, but if you are dealing with stress chronically, there could be consequences.

How does chronic stress affect us physically?

Although stress is largely a psychological issue, chronic stress can affect your body in many different ways. Aching muscles, heart palpitations, tension headaches, constipation, diarrhea, irregular menstruation, a drop in testosterone levels and immune system deficiencies are just a few of the side effects of stress. Stress can also increase your risk for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more.

How does chronic stress affect us emotionally

Feeling stressed isn’t the only emotional consequence of chronic stress. Long-term stress can lead to burnout, anxiety and even depression. The constant worry that comes with stress may even prevent you from being able to get enough sleep at night, which just makes the other emotional effects of stress even more severe.

How does chronic stress affect us mentally?

Not only does stress have physical and emotional effects, it also affects us mentally. When you are under stress for a long period of time, it can lead to confusion and mental slowness. Stress also makes it difficult to think logically, and it can hurt your memory.

How does your body respond to stress?

When you are faced with a threat (regardless of if it is real or perceived), your hypothalamus, which is a small part of your brain that produces essential hormones, sounds the alarm throughout your body. This leads to the release of cortisol, the stress hormone, as well as adrenaline, from your adrenal glands. Adrenaline raises your heart rate, energy supplies and blood pressure, and cortisol curbs nonessential function in your body, like your digestive system and immune system. Your body was designed to deal with short-term stress, but when stress becomes a constant in your life, the elevated levels of cortisol can disrupt almost every single process and system in your body, which leads to the physical, mental and emotional consequences that we discussed above. Stress can be a scary thing, but luckily, dancing is a great way to find relief from your chronic stress. In our dance studio’s next blog, we’ll be going over the ways that dancing helps to relieve stress, so stay tuned to learn more!