How Dancers Cope With Mental Stress
Dealing with mental stress can be just as important as addressing physical injuries for dancers. In this piece, we are glad to share with you some info and thoughts on how to cope with the day-to-day challenges that can weigh on your mind and have an effect on your dancing.
Mental stress and strain can lead to burnout and depression, and it can be a major roadblock in not only a dance career but in leading a healthy life. Here are a few thoughts on how we, as dancers, can take steps to support our mental health and that of our fellow dancers.
first, any dancer has to understand that it is part of the human condition for our brain to make up stories. Our psyche connects the dots with the information we have to draw a conclusion for a scenario. How many times have you not been cast, and your brain thinks, “I am not good enough for that role” or, “I shouldn’t be in this company, I don’t fit in?”
If you feel that your negative thinking is pushing you down, do not forget that our brains may tend to slant towards the negative is empowering and helps us evaluate whether or not this “story” our brains made up is actually true. Trust yourself, and trust that your coach/choreographer is doing what is best for the company and for the production. Another good tool that will help you to cope with mental stress is meditation. It has been proven to reduce stress, improve athletic performance, strengthen the immune system, and lead to faster recovery. It also helps us connect with our physical and mental self through awareness. Guided meditations can give you a mantra to focuses your day on. If you enter your day with gratitude and abundance in mind, it feels uneasy to shift into petty thoughts or self-limiting talk.
As dancers, our mental health is not to be taken lightly. It’s as important as our physical health. If you broke your ankle you would seek medical attention. If you don’t feel like yourself emotionally it could be a sign of a problem, and you don’t have to just suffer silently. It is better to:
- Talk to a friend or a trusted family member
- Share your thoughts
- Express your emotions
- See a mental health professional
- Connect other dancers
We hope the tips that we described in this article helped you to cope with any professional stress you as a dancer might have. Share your opinion with us!