I was walking along the banks of the Water of Leith the other day with my daughter and we came across a couple of things that caught our attention. First was a grey heron at the river's edge. These birds do not migrate so perhaps no surprise that it was around, but nonetheless unusual to see such a leggy bird in Edinburgh's city centre. The other surprise was a private GP's clinic advertising cosmetic surgery "to get more 'likes'". We admired the natural beauty of one, but were antagonised by the artificiality of the other. Surgery for social media approval seems so sad and superficial. As we huffed and puffed up the hill home we discussed the Channel 4 programme, "Your Face Says It All". In the first programme of the series, a young woman of 23 underwent botox treatment for a hard frown line on her face. Her reasoning was that she felt better after the treatment. The programme went on to explain that curiously the neuroscience supports that view. We were told that when we physically smile our "happy chemicals" are triggered, which in turn enhance our mood, and we know that other people are engaged by and respond positively to a smile. Indeed, as a way to lift one's mood the programme medic recommended sticking a pencil between the lips to cause them to turn up!
So, it's free self-help and charming...on not-so positive days, remember to "turn that frown upside down!"
Please do go see your GP, however, if your low mood is persistent or recurrent.