The art of dance on mental health

Dance is an art form that many people partake in many different ways such as ballet, street dance, Irish dancing or traditional Guernsey dancing etc. Dance can help us in many ways such as physically or mentally and can benefit everyone throughout their whole lives.

There is an increasing amount of empirical evidence that supports the hypothesis that dance is good for people’s mental health, especially patients with depression. Published papers and studies have proved that patients who had been hospitalized for their depression were put in sessions of recreational dance and found that there was a massive reduction in depressive symptoms. Other studies have also shown that youths with mild to moderate depression have shown reduced levels of depression when involved in a 12-week program of dance and movement. Additionally, in studies done by The New Medical shows that when people with Parkinson’s disease engage in a 10-week program of dance, their mood levels increased.

The BBC news investigated a project launched to improve the lives of people with mental illness, The Reach4Dance initiative. Sarah Cook did a study on how dance is a powerful therapeutic tool to help your mental health. As a student, she ended up in hospital for several months after becoming suicidal depressed, however she discovered the art of dance and then used this as a way of dealing with stress, grief and other negative emotions, she said that ‘dance is a way of dealing with feelings and releasing them, instead of locking them in and going to the doctor with depression and anxiety.’

Personally, I love to dance and have used dancing as a productive way of keeping healthy. I believe that it has really helped me improve my mental state and get me through tough situations when I’m feeling down. When I am not dancing at least once a week, in the holidays, I notice an increase in negative moods throughout the day. Dancing gives me something to look forward to at the end of a long hard day, it helps me release my stress and the wonderful people there make me feel extremely welcome, I give special thanks to my teacher Ellie Mitchell at Music Box Dance who makes my experience at the dance school the best it could be.

Overall, it can be agreed that the arts consistently help people to relieve their everyday stresses and are extremely beneficial for our mental well-being. If you are struggling with your mental state or just want somewhere to relax, please visit Guernsey Mind here;

Or contact a local club, whether that’s visual art, drama, dance, music, film or literature to help let out your creative side.

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