‘Hustle’ for happiness: 8 in 10 adults say dancing boosts their mood

LONDON — There are countless methods, chemicals, and complex plans that supposedly hold the key to happiness. Sometimes, though, it’s the little things that make all the difference. For instance, a new survey of 2,000 adults finds that 80 percent feel much better after dancing for a few minutes. Three in four respondents went so far as to say that hitting the dance floor genuinely makes them happy.

Happiness can be an elusive goal for some, but maybe what we needed all along was the tango or Macarena.

Another 70 percent say they bust a move to relieve stress and relax, while over half believe dancing benefits their mental health. The survey, commissioned by Zumba, also notes that two-thirds of respondents wish they could show off their stuff more often. Much of that desire may have something to do with the 41 percent saying they consider themselves “quite bad” or even “appalling” at dancing.

“The positive effects of dance have been shown in the scientific literature to help our stress and anxiety in lots of ways, particularly in difficult times like these. Dancing helps the mind break away from set patterns of thinking – and that’s why dancing reduces stress,” says psychologist Dr. Peter Lovatt in a statement.

“When we move our body, it releases different neurochemicals. The opioid receptors become more active and that means our pain threshold increases,” Lovatt adds. “We feel less pain when we dance. We know dancing bonds people together – dancing in unison is good for us, because it encourages social bonding, stimulating the production of endorphins in the brain.”

Dancing is good for the body and the mind

Dancing also offers physical health benefits as well. Over 80 percent of the poll agree that it’s great exercise.

How often are people dancing? Among the 69 percent who enjoy a good groove, adults spend about two hours and 15 minutes a month on the dance floor.

There’s also the social aspect to consider as well. In all, 28 percent say dancing has provided some cherished memories and 23 percent dance to keep in touch with friends. Meanwhile, nearly four in 10 say they’re able to forget their worries while dancing. Another 42 percent feels it allows them to lose themselves for a little while.

About a third have taken a formal dance class. While 57 percent say dancing is a skill that can be learned, one in four say it’s a talent you must be born with.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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