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4 Extraordinary Benefits Only People that Grew Up Dancing Know

4 Extraordinary Benefits Only People that Grew Up Dancing Know

Were your memories from growing up filled with long rehearsals, dance recitals and contentment you felt when the music was turned on? Of course, there was the stress of getting a routine down perfectly, the heartbreak when you did not make it to the dance finals and moments when you did not get alone with your dance partners, but the good memories outweigh the bad. Dancing when you were younger was not only an extracurricular activity, but a way of life. Here are some benefits of growing up as a dancer:

1. They know it helped boost self-confidence and self-esteem

It has been proven that dancing helps raise your self-confidence by allowing you to overcome any internal obstacles you have about being able to perform. Dancing improves your levels of self-confidence because you had to perform in front of a crowd. Your levels of self-confidence in accomplishing this task by not how well you do in comparison to others, but solely being able to do a few moves from memory.

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Self-esteem is closely related to self-confidence, but differs in that it is the regard that you view yourself with instead of being measured about how well you perform a task. Being able to successfully do a dance number boost helped both your self-confidence and your self-esteem, something that is highly valuable growing up.

2. They know it takes a unique combination of athletic ability and artistic talent

Professional dancer Shanna LaFleur said “it takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.” This statement rings true with you, because you always thought it was hard to define what a dancer was. In some ways were not just an athlete, but also a person with an artistic disposition. Dancing required physical stamina, but also creative interpretation. You experienced your fair share of physical injuries, but you also remember the times when you felt mentally stimulated due to the strong artistic requirement it takes to be a dancer. You know dance is not just a sport, but an art form because it helps convey emotions and tell stories in a creative medium.

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3. They know it helped alleviate stress

Dancing allowed you to tap into your own creativity. Through this expression, you became more at ease with yourself and relieved any stress you might be holding onto. It was a great form of therapy, because you got to dig deep into your own personal experiences and express them creatively through movement. George Balanchine, one of the 20th century’s most famous choreographers, is known best for his wide range of emotions that he wove into his pieces.

In a study done by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Swedish researchers observed 112 teenage girls who were dealing with issues including back and neck pain, stress, anxiety and depression. Half of the subjects went to dance classes and the other half did not. The results showed a clear correlation with the girls who danced, stating that their mental health improved and that there was a boost in their mood, which lasted up to eight months after the classes ended. After an especially hard day at school, you remember how dancing helped you forget all your troubles the moment the music turned on and you started to move.

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4. They know it aided in sharpening cognitive skills

Dancing was great for your brain because it engages different areas, including emotional, rational, kinesthetic and musical regions. The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study that measured various recreational activities on mental acuity as you age. Dancing was the only physical activity that helped prevent dementia by a whopping 76 percent. It turns out that dancing not only allowed you to be in better shape, but also made you a better student.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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