If you’ve ever danced around in the kitchen to your favorite song you’ll know that dancing, no matter how badly, just makes you feel happy. Dancing is a part of every human culture around the world and it is truly a universal language. But what is it about dancing that has such a powerful effect on our mood? We are going to take a look at why dancing makes you feel happier.

1) Dancing is a form of exercise

Doing any sort of exercise will help to boost your mood. This is because when you exercise, you trigger the release of a combination of hormones, known collectively as the “happy hormones”. These include endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. Together, these hormones boost feelings of happiness, pleasure, and love. There is also a decrease in the amount of the stress hormone cortisol.

Dancing seems to trigger the release of more of these hormones, especially endorphins, than other forms of exercise. This might help to explain why you perhaps wouldn’t feel as happy jogging on the spot for 5 mins as you would spend dancing.

2) Dancing is cathartic

We’ve all heard about hitting a punching bag to get rid of feelings of anger, but dancing can also be a really effective way of releasing your emotions (and it doesn’t just have to be anger). Dancing, and the music that you dance to, can trigger a true emotional release. It allows you to really feel the emotions that you’re feeling and then let them go through your body movements. This can help you feel happier because it allows you to release any negative emotions that you have built up.

3) Dancing boosts your self-esteem

Feeling self-conscious or bad about yourself can really impact your happiness. The achievements and progress that you make in a dance class can make a huge difference to how you feel about yourself and your self-confidence. And the more you love yourself, the happier you will feel inside. Creating goals and achieving them can be an important part of improving your mental health and your self-esteem.

4) Dancing can be social

Humans are social creatures and loneliness can have a wide variety of physical and mental effects. Quite simply, for most of us, being around other people makes us happy. And especially so if we are working with other people on a shared pursuit. Learning a routine with a group of people can really strengthen your social bonds, and there is something very special about moving together to music.

5) Dancing is a creative outlet

Creativity is different things to different people but it is an important part of the human experience that can often be neglected in our busy lives. You might not be a painter, and you might not be able to write a novel, but dancing can allow you that creative outlet that your mind craves. Dancing is unique in that it allows you to be so in tune with your body while being creative which, for some people, can make it feel much deeper and more personal.

6) Dancing amplifies the effect of music

Music can be an almost spiritual experience for many people. It can have a powerful effect on your mood and listening to music can promote the whole range of human emotions. While these emotions can sometimes be negative, if the music is sad for instance, the effect afterward is always a positive one where you will feel happier and less stressed. Dancing is an important part of this effect because moving to music actually works to amplify this emotion-boosting effect. There is a very good reason why we often feel compelled to move our bodies to music, and letting that happen can have a powerful effect on your mood.

7) Dancing can be a form of meditation

The focus and repetitive movements involved in dance can make it a form of meditation similar to yoga. Your mind becomes clear of all of the day-to-day worries and stress while you focus on moving and breathing. This can lower your stress levels and boost your happiness.

The bottom line

Dancing makes us happy. Whether we are dancing in a group or dancing alone in our kitchen, whether we’re making it up as we go or a professional dancer, there is something truly special about how moving to music makes us feel. Getting up and moving to music, in whatever form that is for you, is one of the best things you can do to improve your mood.

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