Dancing Your Way to Happiness & Kindness

Can you dance yourself to happiness and ultimately kindness? Absolutely! Think about it. Have you ever seen a happy person be unkind? I don’t think so!

How can we dance ourselves to happiness and kindness?

By turning up the volume on your favorite upbeat songs and grooving to the music and dancing like no one is watching. Or better yet, just don’t care if someone is watching! Admit it, have you not fantasized about being that fun-loving actress/actor in some movie or show where the character decides to break out and start dancing? Why do we love those scenes in movies? Why do we sing along to music? Why do we find ourselves snapping our fingers and tapping our feet to the beat? Because singing, listening and dancing to music brings joy and happiness. There have been multiple studies conducted on dancing. In these studies, dancing and listening to music were linked to stress reduction, a boost in memory, increase in energy levels and an improvement in overall happiness.

Let’s take a look at a few of the studies:

Swedish researchers, in a study first reported in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, studied 112 teenage girls who were struggling with psychosomatic symptoms and problems including neck and back pain, stress, anxiety, and depression. Half of the girls attended weekly dance classes, while the other half did not. The girls who participated in the weekly dance class reported enhanced mental health and improvement in their overall mood, with the positive effects lasting up to eight months after classes ended. In another study, reported in the The New England Journal of Medicine, dancing was shown to enhance memory and help prevent the development of dementia. In a controlled study, reported in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, researchers found that partner dance and musical accompaniment can help reduce stress. Furthermore, research published in The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition found that a weekly dance program could improve physical performance and increase energy levels among adults.

My own study conducted over the last few weeks:

Just before I posted Cheerleader for Kindness, I started my own daily dance parties. To be accurate, it’s more like hourly dance parties or whenever I have 5 minutes. I now find myself dancing in the morning while getting ready for the day, in my office, in the kitchen while cooking dinner, and definitely in my car while carpooling the kids to school and commuting to and from work.  Just yesterday, I was informed by my 12-year-old that her friends saw me rocking out in my car as they drove by on their way to school. I’m not sure if this embarrassed my darling daughter, but I don’t care! I have found my dancing shoes, so to speak, and I’m not taking them off. Whether I am feeling happy, stressed, sad, uninspired, or just need a change in energy, I now turn on YouTube Music or the radio, crank up the volume and rock out! I dance like no one is watching and if they are my only hope is that I bring a little joy or a smile to their face. And just maybe they think, “wow that woman looks like she is having fun!”

Dancing is fun! It feels great to let my body move to the music and usually by the time I’ve danced to an entire song, I feel happy, energized, beautiful and confident.  Maybe that is how those Swedish teenagers felt. I believe that Happiness and Kindness go hand in hand, and if dancing brings me joy and makes me happy how can I not be more kind and create more kindness in this world?
Current Happy Dance List:

With Happiness & Kindness,

Jenni

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/GaborBibor

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