Unleashing the psychological benefits of Zumba

Rivora Sebastian
I MSc Counselling Psychology

Motivation is important in almost every aspect of human behaviour. When you take a decision, your choice is certainly influenced by your motivational state. Therefore, motivation is defined as the energizer of behaviour in pursuit of a goal, which is a fundamental element of our interaction with the world and with each other. Hence, the counselling students of first year PG had their presentations based on motivation which included activities based on it, out of which a student took the initiative to do Zumba in the class involving her classmates. Her main aim was to release any social anxiety her friends faced when they dealt with a social outgoing event.

It is true that a related study on Zumba’s psychological benefits found that people who practice it feels more independent and further said that their lives seemed more purposeful. It’s not hard to see why the activity would be invigorating and freeing as “you have to let go and have fun during Zumba.” Just as some people with anxiety take improvisation classes to relieve their social skittishness, dancing around other people may help Zumba-goers feel less shy or self-conscious about their bodies. Research also shows that we're much more motivated to work out (and push ourselves harder) when we have other people to spur us on. Whether you have a certain competitive pal in mind or would rather be in a group setting is up to you: Scientists have found that both scenarios can boost your mood, and in turn your motivation.

The student asked her classmates to first close their eyes and try to visualise that they were enjoying and dancing to a video which made them feel happy. After this small ice-breaking activity the students were energised to proceed with the Zumba based on a motivational song titles ‘Stronger’ by Kelly Clarkson. It was found that many students were very shy at first but when they experienced the happiness from within, they did the activity once again without any sort of inhibition. This session influenced the teacher too who showed her support towards this new initiative of peer-bonding.

It was a fresh start for the day and this initiative brought in a lot of hope to the future of learning as it inculcates bonding and increase in socialization.

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