Dance has always been a part of my life and listening to music causes my imagination to create dance routines in my head. So when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety I sort refuge in dancing.
Enabling my brain to shut off the anxious voices for an hour and absorb myself in the music and routine, helped me refocus on my positive thoughts. These hours were the highlight of my week and would help me get out of bed in the morning.
The fact you can express yourself through dance is also something that focused my mind. Charleston is a very cheeky dance, so your face has to show that. By putting on a happy mask, it reminded me of what it felt like to smile and it became easier to do it again and it was good to feel those happy hormones in my body.
Dancing (any exercise) has been proven to release the positive hormones in our bodies, which help rebalance the chemicals in our brain. I was strongly encouraged by my doctor and the ladies at My Charleston to increase the amount of physical activity I was doing throughout the week to encourage the production of these hormones.
I strongly believe that dance has helped speed up my recovery. I would advise anyone to find the things you love and hang on to them - remind yourself in those dark times of your illness how good life is and how much enjoyment you get from it. I know this pulled me back from oblivion a few times.
If you are experiencing anxiety or depression you can access services through your GP. If you would like to try dance but feel nervous we will happily chat to you about ways to softly introduce you into a class.