It’s no secret that dancing is good for the body. Whether you are gyrating to the latest hip-hop sounds or waltzing across the dance floor, dancing can be an effective form of endorphin-releasing cardiovascular exercise. Choreographed dance can also be an intense expression of creativity. But, there’s another benefit of dancing that everyone can take advantage of, and you don’t need to take a class, or even know the difference between a pirouette and the cabbage patch to experience it.

Many of us have a difficult time expressing emotion. For some, it is something we struggle with naturally. Others feel pressure to only express positivity, or have learned that there are appropriate, limited, times to express feelings. However it happens, keeping emotions bottled up negatively impacts every part of life. When pent up sadness collides with anger, fear, and hope, chaos fills the soul.

Dancing freely, either to rhythms and beats, or to the silent sound of our hearts, provides a medium to release pent up emotion. By merging body, mind and soul, the chaos calms and emotion flows out of the body into movement. When we turn our attention inward, our body can take over and all the fear, anxiety, sensuality and joy that lives within can release and transform itself into motion.

Though there are many forms of guided dance, such as Chakradance or dance therapy, designed to facilitate emotional expression, you can tap into the power of dance right now, in your own living room.

Try it for yourself.

Go to a place that is free of distractions and turn on music or sounds that speak to you. Or, embrace the silence and listen to what is inside you. Switch off your mind, close your eyes and start to move. Don’t think about what you are doing, don’t decide on steps to make or force the movement. Just give yourself over to the dance and experience it. Dance as long as you need to for your emotions to clarify and pour out.

Now, turn your mind back on. Think about a situation that is causing stress or a memory that haunts you. Let your body work its way through the maze of emotions until you arrive at peace. You may be surprised at the movements you create, but keep going, all the way to the end.