Anxiety is often misunderstood by people who are unfamiliar with it. It is generally more than the standard stress many people feel. Clinical anxiety can be debilitating, affecting a person’s ability to function normally. A doctor may prescribe many medical treatments for anxiety, in addition to some simple lifestyle changes. Exercise and something different in the schedule may be part of those changes, and dance is a great possibility.
Dance as Therapy
Dance therapy does not have to be what many people think of when they hear the phrase—people in a gym class or office being taught “movements” that supposedly help calm them. Rather, dance therapy may simply be a doctor-approved attempt to find something healthy that gets your body moving and your mind off of anxiety.
People who struggle with problems like anxiety may find that almost any type of dance can be very therapeutic. From sassy Salsa and Tango, to graceful and soothing Ballroom dances, as long as you enjoy learning and doing, the therapy is probably working. Studies have shown that, while it may not have a curative effect, people who choose to add dance to their overall doctor-prescribed treatments see and feel real positive results.
Studies suggest that the process of learning complex steps relieves anxiety by consuming your concentration, forcing you from your overwhelming anxious thoughts onto something better. To put it simply, the mind becomes focused on something else. Dance goes beyond physical exercise—which is important, of course—because it requires a focused mind. One of the many problems with anxiety is that it clouds the mind; many describe the feeling as being overwhelmed by a mass of negative thoughts. Learning to dance leaves no room for that.
Studies on dance therapy have been conducted on patients with a number of disorders, including anxiety. In these studies, patients that spent time learning to dance generally fared better than those who did not. Dance is more than the average method for lowering anxiety; it adds fun to the method. It is a challenge, but an enjoyable one that almost anyone can undertake. It’s affordable and easy to find classes. Also, if you want company, you don’t have to do it alone. Some people’s anxiety is relieved by the presence of a trusted person—a family member, spouse or partner, friend, etc. Dance classes offer the opportunity to both relieve anxiety through movement, and through contact and comfort of others.
Of course, people with anxiety sometimes struggle with social interaction, fraught with overwhelming fears of judgement and comparing themselves to others. A person with this sort of anxiety-related issue can still dance as part of therapy. That is why private lessons exist—people sometimes need lessons in a more private environment.
Clinical anxiety can be a complex thing to treat. A doctor may prescribe many things to aid a person in maintaining a normal life and keeping the anxiety under control. Asking about dance lessons is well-worth trying; it could be an effective, affordable, fun addition to overall treatment. If your doctor thinks that dance lessons could help you manage anxiety, register for dance classes at Dance Passion Studio today.