When life gets too serious, dance.

(a) Dance is the art of movement to music, using prescribed or improvised steps or gestures

Anything goes, there are no rules or steps you must abide by.  Me, well, I do the robot with my dog in my living room or sing my head off in my car driving down the highway.  Not only does this provide comic moments for random onlookers, it also delivers a power packed punch to relieving stress. Levity feeds the soul and sustains our spirits, especially during moments of challenge. 

(b) Dance means to bob up and down

Dancing doesn't mean everything is wonderful.  Far from it, and that’s why we must continue to move and shake our tail feathers. Dance tells the blahs of life–the moments of struggle–that we aren’t going to give up and let the darkness win. My best friend lost her dad this week in a long battle with cancer, another friend lost her mom. Our journey on the planet is anything but easy, how do we navigate when everything seems to be exploding around us?  You know, when you feel like the harder you push the more exhausted you feel?  

Insert joy. Song. Silliness. Dance. Dance is the embodiment of play and when you can't "figure out" how experience joy while in the storms of your life circumstances, shake your booty. Shaking your body will shake up your perspective.  It's easy to forget that life is not about things working out flawlessly, but rather about the mess of terrain and falling down in the process of my own journey. The dance of it. 

Dancing can happen anywhere and anytime. Once we see that happiness is not a destination, it doesn't necessarily come with achievement, we bring forth a new opportunity for a conversation around surrender, and being in the moment. Dance is not a destination. Dance is surrendering. 

Surrender exits when we let go of control.  I thought I was in control for years and then, when everything fell apart, I understood that living life requires you to be brave, which is really all about surrender.

The more I live and breath and travel this world I see how little control I really have. My understanding of this lack of control used to keep me up nights, literally. I would plan, scheme, attempt to predict and forecast how things would unfold. My shoulders seemed to be in that permanently-raised-to-my-ears position of protection. But the reality is that safety is found in letting go of that tight grip. 

Surrender. Let go and just dance. You'll feel better. And when you move, life will move. Tweet that!

Once you free yourself up, give up controlling and planning and trying to define what life "should' be, an amazing life seems to just happen.

(c) Dance may also be regarded as a form of nonverbal communication recognizable in other animals

Your body is speaking all the time. What language is using and what is it saying?  Tweet that!

Amy Cuddy, a Harvard social psychologist, says by "just a few simple tweaks to body language, people become more powerful.” 

But Cuddy doesn't stop there, she goes onto prove as researcher how loud our body language actually is by what people gather just from looking at us.  I don't mean the superficial stuff like what brand of jeans you are wearing, but how you strut into the office, or make eye contact with passerby on walk. Think of walking into a room of colleagues and before anyone speaks you can already "read" the mood. In a split second you already know when someone is down by their posture and lack of eye contact, or, on the flip side, when someones is in a fantastically good mood it spills over into their expression, the way the move, the words they choose, and how tall they hold their head. 

Not only does our body language affect how others think, but it also influences our own mental and emotional system.  By moving and changing how we hold our body we can "trick" ourselves into feeling better, or believing we are confident and thriving, even when we feel like that is the last place we maybe at in the moment.  

Here are some evidence based articles supporting the vavavoom of dancing and how damn good it is for you.  BTW Dancing can been shared with friends.  

Go on. Shake it up. Dance! You'll be thankful that you did.

Amy Mattila