Shake it Off


As a person who can’t control myself from performing dance moves whenever the DJ plays my favorite song or whenever a Uptown Funk comes up on the radio, I absolutely love to dance and if the space allows, to jump up and down. Knowing that dancing always makes me happy, I went on and researched for possible explanations of why this is always the case, and found out that how you stand and how you move actually affects your mood and your emotions.

In a study that was done in the University of Haifa in Israel, researchers found out that our gestures and behaviors not only affect our mood but also affect the moods of the people who are affecting us. The happy movements included in the study were skipping, jumping, raising hands up in the air, which is my definition of dancing, and the sad movements included slumping forward and closing the chest (Huffington Post).

A psychologist and dancer, Peter Lovatt, says that “Your body posture changes the way you think about problems. It influences the decisions you make in life even after one minute. ” According to the research he has done regarding posture/behavior and emotions, dancing or doing particular kinds of movements even if it is only for 60 seconds, can boost your mood (Lotus Pocus Focus).

The Kid President, in his video of 20 Things We Should Say More Often, also suggests as a bonus that we should dance to make the world a better place:

Even if we don’t feel comfortable dancing, we can improve our posture to both make ourselves and other people who are observing us feel happier and better about themselves. A happy world is a good world to live in.

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6 thoughts on “Shake it Off”

  1. I love your ripple effect idea! I think its super creative and shows how such small acts and dramatically affect our moods, and ultimately lives! I also liked the fact that you researched why you feel happier after dancing. How much you initiative this idea as a ripple effect in social or communal settings?

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  2. I also like that this is backed by research. While it sounds like a great idea to begin with, a professional opinion helps reinforce the message. Do you think it matters if you dance alone vs. in a group?

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    1. I know that dancing out of the blue can get awkward when it is out of context, but even skipping/jumping or performing any kind of movement that reflects happiness for a short amount of time would be beneficial both for the performers and observers. So I think it is a matter of what the person wants to do, if they feel comfortable alone then they can do it alone, if not they can make it a group effort.

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  3. I think this also translates a lot to sports. A player’s gestures and movements impact the morale of the entire team. To give you an example, in the Patriot League Final we had a player who scored and started dancing, despite being down a goal, which immediately raised the spirits of the whole team. This wasn’t just because of the goal, his celebration lifted all of our moods and gave us belief to go on and win(which we did).

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    1. It is good to hear real stories which show that gestures/movements/dancing actually helps others to boost their mood. I know that when I used to play tennis I would try to keep my posture straight, and occasionally skipped while picking up the tennis ball because it made me more motivated.

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  4. Dancing not only helps to increase people’s moods but it is also contagious as you can see from the video below.

    dancing will help you be in a better mood, but it may also affect people around you and bring people together. This is a simple action but it has a huge ripple effect in that it is super contagious.

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