What if I told you that you could get more out of your life and live longer just by ballroom dancing? From a physical perspective, this is totally true, but it’s also true from a psychological perspective. You see, starting something new tricks your brain into paying more attention to what’s going on in the moment, thereby slowing down your perception of time, keeping you “in the moment” as compared to those unintentional binge fests of YouTube videos where you think: “Where did the time go? What did I even watch?” (Or maybe I’m the only one who partakes in these binge fests… #guilty). So without further ado, here are four ways you can trick your brain into getting more out of your day with the help of ballroom dance.
Learn Something New
- Ballroom dance is the perfect opportunity to learn something new and it just so happens that learning a new skill breaks up the monotony of one’s day or week. I’ve worked for this company for years and everyday teaches me something new. It’s awesome!
Go Somewhere Different
- A new location forces your brain to take in and process the sounds, smells, and sights. A great perk about dancing? The special events are held at a variety of ever-changing locations. Be it a night out at a local wine bar, a weekend event held high in the mountains, or somewhere in the middle, you’ll be sure to go somewhere you’ve never been.
Introduce Yourself To New People
- As an introvert, I understand that meeting new people may not be high on your list of priorities (see this article on introverts), but interacting with new people forces us to learn a whole new language, in a matter of speaking, because we’re processing body language, tone of voice, word choice, and a whole variety of other things. Learning to dance forces you to interact with people you may not know as well (or at all), giving you the opportunity to take in lots of new things.
- You’ve locked your keys in the car. Most of us have been there, some more than others (#guiltyagain). Each time, it forces you to improvise. Those creative juices get going and you start to analyze all of the possible options until you stumble upon one that works. Dancing forces you to improvise as well, and actually helps you become better at it, which makes the newness something you hope for instead of fear. And the benefits carry over into other aspects of your life. So get those improvisational juices flowing!
Moral of the story? Switch it up. Starting something new excites your brain and forces you to take in a whole bunch of new stimuli. While it might leave you exhausted, looking back you’ll be glad of every minute spent in that moment. And the beauty of dance is that you’ll be constantly exposed to new things every time, be it a step, concept, dance, partner, location, or song. And that’ll help you stay more in the moment and feel like you live longer. So do your brain a favor and start ballroom dancing!