August is Happiness Happens Month, and nothing makes people as happy as dancing does! We’re not going to say that the only way to fully embrace the month is by putting on your dancing shoes, but consider this: In a recent study in Poland, recreational dancers saw their moods and energy levels rise after dance activity. They also reported less tension, and more creativity. Just some more evidence for what we’ve known all along: Dancing is a great way to get happy! But have you ever wondered why dancing is so good at improving your mood?
It Releases Endorphins
Dancing, and other types of physical activity, trigger the release of hormones and neurotransmitters that can dramatically improve your feelings of wellbeing and joy. These fall under the umbrella of “endorphins,” and they are substances that communicate to your brain that you are happy, relaxed, exhilarated or any combination of the three. Regular exposure to endorphins can lower your stress levels and make you happier overall.
Exercise Can Make You Healthier
Exercise can improve your cardiovascular and muscular health, and it is a proven treatment for many of the ailments that come with age. For example, in this study from 2012, just over half of the participants saw improvement in their osteoarthritis pain after a short program of dance, yoga and tai chi once weekly. Physical exercise has also been found to slow the progression of or even prevent dementia, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Now that’s really something to be happy about!
Socializing with Friends Is a Proven Blues-Buster
As we get busier, it can be harder to socialize with our friends, or make new friends to begin with. This can cause our happiness to suffer, even if we don’t realize it. Loneliness brings your happiness down and your stress levels up, which can have profound effects on your physical health. Several studies have shown that loneliness raises your risk of health conditions like high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and many types of disability. This isn’t even counting the long-term effects on your mental health, which can include depression and cognitive decline. On the other hand, many studies have found that social support was associated with high levels of self-reported happiness and wellbeing. Spending time with friends can happen anywhere, but doing it in a dance studio just compounds that happiness-increasing effects, in our opinions!
Let happiness happen to you this August, and all throughout the year, by visiting your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios! We have packages and classes for all skill and interest levels, so get on your dancing shoes and get happy!