Dancing Makes You Happy

Have you ever thought about why dancing makes you happy? What draws you to the dance floor or makes you bust out spontaneous dance moves in the middle of your living room?

Dance and dancing have been important parts of human culture for a long time. It’s not easy to identify exactly when dance became part of our culture, because it doesn’t leave behind physical evidence the same way many other parts of our culture do. Where cave paintings give us hints about the evolution of human communication and sculptures tell us stories about history, politics, religion, and people who lived long ago, there is no such concrete evidence about the origins and evolution of dancing.

According to scientists, dance has most likely existed as long as humans have – maybe even longer, as it is said that the natural impulse to dance may have existed already in the early primates who later evolved into humans! For thousands of years dancing has been not only a way to celebrate, but also a way to communicate and create bonds, pass down stories, and take part in ceremonies and rituals. 

So, I guess it’s safe to say that the ability and desire to dance lives deep in all of us. Dancing isn’t essential for communication anymore – we have developed more efficient ways for that – but it still has a big role in our lives. It’s a way to have fun, celebrate, exercise, and express ourselves, among many other things. Of course not everyone loves dancing, but the majority of us probably does – if not out in public, at least in the safety of our own homes.

So, many of us find dancing fun, but did you know that scientists have confirmed that dancing can also make you happy? Even though it’s by no means a miracle cure, several studies confirm that dancing not only boosts one’s energy, but can make one happy, or at least happier. Dancing releases endorphins, the so-called happy hormones, which are the body’s natural painkillers. They also create a general feeling of well-being and can have a positive effect on stress, anxiety, and even depression.

Every now and then it’s fun to dance the night away with your friends, but I also dance several times a day in my everyday life. This often happens spontaneously while going about my day, but many times also deliberately to boost my mood and energy. If I’m stuck on a work task, feeling down, or stressing out for whatever reason, I take a break, get up and start moving. Any movement is good for you, but dancing gives that extra boost, especially when combined with music. It’s hard not to smile while moving around and making up dance moves like no one’s watching. Sometimes just a few short minutes of dancing can turn the whole day around. So, next time you’re feeling blue or just need a little energy boost, get up and dance! 🙂