Money, 30-year mortgages, dog walkers, frequent flyer miles…we’ve never had it so good, so why do we all feel so wrecked? We are run ragged trying to keep up with the 24/7 consumer culture that never sleeps. Gen Y career girls feel “a crazy mess full of anxiety” (Buell, 2015); Gen X, ‘America’s neglected middle child,’ sandwiched between 150-million Millennials and Baby Boomers is charting its own course to no applause; and Boomers are scrambling to leave a legacy in a world changing faster than a Twitter feed.
Overachievers feel ripped off; investors feel underwhelmed; technology keeps us up at night; markets are fluctuating; parents are aging; children are teenagers; new metrics emerge daily reminding us we are always being compared to something and are not quite good enough; and nothing, it seems, is getting any easier as our-BUZZ BUZZ-phone alerts never-BUZZ BUZZ-cease to interrupt-BUZZ-us-BUZZ BUZZ.
As we take on more and more responsibility and do our best to fix what we can in the middle of quicksand, it often comes at a cost; our happiness, confidence, and sense of accomplishment are diminished, and our energy is depleted by energy vampires. We lose our luster, inherit a fractured sense of self, and the stressed-out “Debbie Downer” inside us takes over.
How can we recharge our exhausted, lack-luster, fractured selves?
Turn off your phones, crank up the tunes in your living room and dance to the music you love!
WHAT? “That’s stupid” (says the energy vampire feeding our fear); “No time” (says the energy vampire blocking our joy); “Sounds infantile” (says the judgmental energy vampire); “I’m too tired” (says the energy vampire resolved with remaining tired); “The world is crashing down, and you think dancing is the answer to inequality, bad schools, crooked people, and financial woes?” (says the social justice warrior, energy vampire walking in a picket line carrying a, “WE NEED BETTER SOLUTIONS” sign in one hand and a phone that’s buzzing in the other); “I don’t dance.” Ergo, energy vampires multiply.
The West’s cultural fallacy is that dance is something to do only when we feel celebratory, prosperous and energized when in fact the opposite is true; don’t wait to feel energized to dance, dance to restore your energy!
Even when it feels like the world is crashing down, the fact is, to dance is human. We can benefit from its in-the-moment, mindfulness in motion; dancing to music we love breaks our negative thought patterns and re-calibrates our world view, if only for the duration of one song (still beneficial!). Dancing provides an additional way to express ourselves other than using words to communicate. It liberates us from the endless churning of our own minds and soothes our fears with rhythm and joy.
1. Stress relief and an endorphin release
2. A renewed sense of confidence
3. A boost of energy
4. A few unencumbered minutes of self-acceptance
5. A heightened state of self-worth
Dancing gives us the time and mental space required to move forward in today’s complicated world. So, turn off your phone and turn up the bass tonight!