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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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