Could this be the single person's antidote to loneliness?
In support of Loneliness Awareness Week, Kimberley Pena explains that dance therapy can reduce the feeling of disconnect
With over nine million people in the UK, almost a fifth of the population say they are always or often lonely*, but almost two thirds feel uncomfortable admitting to it. It is likely that if you are taking time to read this, you can relate to this statistic. However, it is important to remember, that you are not a statistic you are human and, rest assured, you are not alone in your experience of loneliness.
As a Dance Movement Psychotherapist, I work with clients to support their mental health. When we have periods of low physical and mental health it can leave us feeling alone and lost. The focus of my work is to primarily support a client rebuild their relationship with their moving, feeling, breathing body. This allows a person to express and understand their experience, which can alleviate the feeling of loneliness. Combining the simplicity of ‘being with’ and being heard can have a profound impact.
We understand that loneliness stems from a feeling of disconnect, which we assume is remedied through contact with others. However, if we are able to reintroduce a sense of connection within ourselves, this can reduce the experience of loneliness. Understanding this can be hugely reassuring, especially in our current climate when being with others is not always possible.
If connection is the antidote to loneliness, our hope to alleviate this can be found in the connection that is possible when we look within. When we are connecting to mind, body and spirit using creativity, movement and dance we can experience a deep and profound connection.
Let us be encouraged by the words from the well-known hymn Lord of the Dance:
‘Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he and I’ll lead you all wherever you may be and I’ll lead you all in the Dance said he’
How comforting it is to be reminded that when we give ourselves the freedom to dance, we become open to an opportunity to be in touch with the profound grace and peace offered though our faith in Christ Jesus.
Dance, as a form of expression, can become for us a living prayer, providing the space to remind us of the miraculous connection between ourselves and the Holy Spirit, and it is in that space we are reminded, we are never alone.
‘I am not alone, because the Father is with me’
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