Today I went back to church after 5 weeks off. That is the longest I haven’t been at church (while actually being settled somewhere) since ever. Our church was moving locations so in the interim we didn’t meet. Our beer friends kept meeting, so I didn’t feel like I was missing too much. Still seeing the same people and having the same conversations.
However, the one thing I missed was the music. I love singing! I sing and dance almost every night when I get home from work and it’s just me, the dishes, the mail and Alexa. I sing in my head all day long and every single time I get in the car. I sing to snippets of songs and the rare commercial I watch. I sing when we shop at Ikea and barely resist singing as I walk between the train and the bus.
I was listening to a podcast on Friday on my way home from work and it was about singing, particularly singing with other people. (It was Robcast 140 if you’re interested.) Rob was interviewing Davin, a professional singer and voice coach. He was talking about studies that show how valuable singing can be for your body and your spirit.
Singing, even by yourself, releases endorphins and oxytocin. It trains your body to breathe deeper and steadier. If you sing with a group of people, you’re more likely to sync with other people – breath and heartbeat working as one. There are numerous physical and mental benefits to belting it out… and I love this!
I was still seeing my people pretty regularly, but the option to sing with other people doesn’t exactly happen too often in my normal life. So, this morning, I was very happy to be back at church and singing along with everyone else, friend or stranger. If you’re not a church person, try to find a place where you can sing with other people. It’s well worth it.
Singing makes me feel like I felt when I stood on the top of a hill and saw the view in this picture. How could I not breathe deeply, slow my heartbeat and let the oxytocin do its thing? And the beautiful thing with singing is that I don’t have to travel nearly as far, take time off work or spend lots of money to get that feeling. I can just do something that I’ve always enjoyed.
Also, completely unrelated, today I sat in the very front row, in the very center seat. Because that’s where my beer people sit and they generously saved me a seat. But seriously, I’ve NEVER sat there before. Not in elementary school or high school or college. Or ever. Who even am I?!