Wellbeing seems to be trending lately but most people who hold movement awareness and community spaces for others have been well aware of how what we offer can be very therapeutic. Society and science is now catching up with us through awareness of mindfulness and mental health and not to forget the ongoing studies that support our theories. Wellbeing is made up of many things and here is my theory of why I think belly dancing is definitely a form of wellbeing based upon scientific evidence and studies.
Learning - There is evidence to say that continued learning may help boost self esteem and even lift depression for some people especially in mature people. Of course the first thing you do when participation in any type of dance class including belly dance is learn.
Community - In some research studies it has shown that people who are involved within communities are generally happier especially there is a transfer of giving and receiving. Community promotes kindness and sharing and that is one thing belly dance has a community where all dancers from student to professionals and teachers can be involved. Within the community are local communities in most areas of the UK where dancers hold events like haflas.
Social - Having a connection to others makes us feel valued and it's critical basic human need but studies have also shown that having social connections to others can lower anxiety levels and even lower the chances of other mental health issues. Social activities are promoted in belly dance where classes are the first social place and also events like haflas shows and events organised by belly dancers.
Move - Movement in the form of exercise is a great way to promote wellbeing. It slows down cognitive aging and cognitive decline that happen with age related cognitive diseases. Belly dancing is all about getting the body moving and it's also low impact so it is a safe way to exercise and it's fun.
Observe - Observing details of what is happening around us helps us to focus our minds. This is a form of mindfulness that has proven to really be beneficial for wellbeing. Within a belly dance class students observe what is bring taught and they also follow. Whilst following and practicing moves most of the time students are invited to observe how it feels within the body and also to close the eyes to focus ones mind.
Now you know a little bit about wellbeing and how belly dancing can promote it, it's the perfect chance to think about giving it a try.