It’s a downright gloomy day here in Toronto. I’m looking outside my office window right now and the whole city seems to be the colour of concrete. The air is chilly, it’s raining and well, it’s enough to make a girl want to hide under a fuzzy blanket and eat warm chocolate chip cookies. Can you tell my mood has been as gray as the weather today? Yes, I have the rainy-day-mid-autumn blahs’which is why this blog post by New York Times writer/evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson caught my eye. In this piece, she explores the idea that certain facial expressions can affect our moods. Force a smile and it might actually make you feel better. Judson writes that this idea isn’t new, but she wonders if certain languages can affect mood based on the way they force speakers to move their faces. She describes research that found that when people read vowel sounds that make their faces scowl, it actually put them in a fowl mood.
Judson’s blog has inspired me to try and lighten my mood. I’m sitting here smiling at the computer as I write this entry and…you know what? Yeah, I do feel better. Perhaps it’s only because I’m imagining how silly I must look grinning at my screen like the Cheshire Cat. Still, whatever works, right?
How do you lighten up when you’re feeling grumpy?