Boosting your brain and protecting your memory does not have to be hard work.
I am all about making things easy and achievable and here is a perfect example:
Dancing is a wonderful boost for mental health!
Dancing gets your brain in gear – it requires memory, organisation, coordination, judgement. It lays down new pathways in the brain as you learn steps.
Music stimulates emotions in the brain. It releases the “love drug” oxytocin and the “feel good” hormone serotonin. These boost your mood and reduce stress.
Connecting with other people, whether it is couple dancing or group dancing, lifts depressive symptoms.
Studies have proved that dance protects the brain from cognitive decline.
While any dance is beneficial, dance requiring memorising steps boosts brain power.
Scientific research shows that dancing improves depression and lowers the risk of dementia. Furthermore, it has been shown to significantly improve symptoms of gait and upper body movements for people with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s. This is because dance can be considered a form of rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) and patients are seen to speak and walk better if they have a steady rhythmic cue.
If you prefer dancing alone, there is also good news. Conscious dancing -unchoreographed, mindful movement – provided a therapeutic effect for 95% of people with depression, anxiety, or trauma.
Finally, take a look at this couple dancing:
Simply watching will bring a smile to your face! I hope it inspires you to push back the sofa, put the music on and DANCE!
Wishing you all health and happiness,
Dr Maria Amasanti
- Akandere M, et al. The effect of dance over depression. Coll Antropol 2011;35(3):651-6.
- Verghese J, et al. Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly. N Engl J Med 2003; 348:2508-2516
- Laird, KT, et al. Conscious dance: Perceived benefits and psychological well-being of participants. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2021;44:101440.