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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tiny Resolutions January 12: Dancing for Mental Health with Guest Blogger Patrick Smith

Ed. note:  Today's guest blogger is fashion merchandiser Patrick Smith.  Formerly the VP and general manager of merchandising for Harley-Davidson, Patrick and his husband split their time between homes in Kansas City and Milwaukee, where Patrick designs, gardens and creates.  --jls

Patrick and Hannah cut a rug

Tiny Resolutions:  Dancing for Mental Health 
Anyway you move, mental health is flowing into you.
Nothing left to prove, nothing else to do.
You hear the truth your body hears,

It's in your eyes and in your ears.
Like air, it's flowing into you.
Dancin' osmosis. No hocus pocus.    
         -Will Powers, Dancing for Mental Health

It’s 0 degrees outside as I write this, with a wind chill of 22 below.  It’s been this way for over a week now.  The news urges caution leaving your home as they broadcast frostbite warnings.  The dogs don’t even want to go out.  All the cuddling and huddling in front of the fireplace is getting boring.  Snacking has started to lose its appeal, kinda.  All the tiny resolutions in the world don’t seem to be warming my bones, or getting me off this damn couch.   Guess it’s time…
Time to crank up the music and shake my groove thang.  
Time to start Dancing for Mental Health!  
Let’s face it, Most of us are nowhere near active enough on a regular basis and fail to do half the exercise that we really should be doing in order to be optimally healthy.  And for those of us in colder climes, it can be even tougher this time of year.  These days it seems like more people than ever are watching other people dance (on shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars) rather than dancing themselves.  Which is unfortunate, since dancing is something just about everyone can do.  To me it doesn’t even seem like exercise, it just feels good, it feels like being alive, even in the depths of winter.  And doing it at home, in any room in the house, wearing absolutely anything, or absolutely nothing, is the easiest thing you can do for yourself physically!  It yanks you out of your head and in to your body, requires absolutely no skill whatsoever, and get’s those joints moving and the juices flowing.
James Brown, circa 1980/Michael Ochs/Getty Images
So get up off that couch, put on whatever music gets you clogging, stomping, moving, grooving, gyrating or boogying and start shakin’ what your momma gave ya!
Do it alone, or dance with a broom, your dog or cat, the kids, your neighbor, lover, husband, wife, brother, grandma….you get the idea.
And for you skeptics, the science portion of our blog:
Studies show that dancing can help you lose weight, stay flexible, reduce stress, make friends, boost memory, diminish depression, help your heart, improve your balance and increase your energy!  The New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Physiological Anthropology and the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity are just a few of the places you can find study after study extolling the virtues of getting up and gettin’ down!
What are you waiting for?  As James Brown, one of the great dance practitioners of our time, always said, “Get up! Get on up!”

1 comment:

The Witch said...

I love dancing, definetely will spare an hour just to get back to it It´s been too long since I moved a feet.