Developing greater mental and emotional resilience as a dancer (mental health for dancers)
As a dancer, you will know that to reach your true potential as a performer you need to develop a body that is both strong and flexible. You may have already spent several years working hard to achieve this level of fitness but have you ever stopped to think about your mental health? Dancers learn from an early age the skills of self discipline and focus, but can also become caught up in ‘black and white’ thinking, or learn to feel not good enough, and these ways of thinking can create inner conflicts.
As you know, a strong, flexible body allows you to perform difficult steps and routines with ease. It also helps you to avoid injuries that can be sustained from the demanding intensity of your daily routine. As a dancer, mental health self-care skills can play a vital role in your life as a performer and also in your daily life. Can you imagine how you would benefit as a dancer if you paid as much attention to your mental health as you do to your physical health?
The levels of resilience that you demand from your body can sometimes come at a cost to your mental and emotional health. Exhaustion, bullying and perfectionism, these can result in long-term stress which will affect your physical health and your performance as a dancer. Because of these factors, dancers mental health can be affected in ways that are rarely addressed in schools or companies who are often focused on performance related matters. Without learning about this side of yourself and developing a range of simple mental health self care techniques these problems can lead to some serious long term issues that may affect your career and also your daily life.
Learning how to develop greater mental and emotional resilience is a vital tool for anyone who wants to enjoy a happy and successful life. It is something that as a dancer you can use to help yourself through the challenges you face as a performer and as a person.
Injuries and failures
Unfortunately there are times when, no matter how hard we try, our lives do not go to plan. An injury may result in the loss of a role, or even your career as a dancer. Perhaps you may fail an exam or audition because of anxiety and then your mind can become an obstacle to your future success. This is why Terry Hyde of Counselling for Dancers is now offering dancers mental health workshops where he teaches a range of different skills helping dancers of all ages to become mentally fitter and emotionally stronger.
A strong and resilient mental attitude enables you to overcome disappointment and setbacks and retain your poise and equilibrium. Take a look at the list of forthcoming events to see if there is one near you. Invest in yourself and your dancing career, invest in your mind.