freelance journalist, print journalist, online journalist, copywriter, content editor, freelance editor, health and lifestyle, blogger Turn that frown upside down (unless you've been Botoxed, that is…) | Christine Morgan - Journalist
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I just love the story in today’s press about how Botox researchers stumbled across the idea – though admittedly it’s not a new one – that your facial expressions can intensify your mood. Writing in the journal Emotion, the New York-based psychologists discovered that smiling makes you feel happier while frowning can make you more miserable – at least, without going into a discussion of neural pathways and so on, that’s the gist of it. So obviously, if you can’t move your facial muscles because they’ve been Botoxed into oblivion, it can have an effect on your emotions as well as your facial smoothness.

As I said, it’s an idea that’s been around for a while. Apparently the concept was first discovered more than 100 years ago, when scientists believed your facial expressions have a feedback effect on your brain, and therefore your mood. Indeed, it’s long since been a slogan of the eternally optimistic that you should smile when you feel down – because you can’t be in a bad mood when you’re smiling or laughing. Or words to that effect.

Bad luck for the severely Botoxed though. There again, it’s just as hard to frown when your facial muscles have been paralysed as it is to smile.  So I assume that while you’re not going to be able to intensify any existing feelings of joy, you won’t be able to make yourself more sad or depressed either. Must be like existing in a perpetually neutral emotional state.

So having given it some thought, I think I’d rather have the wrinkles and keep the ability to intensify my feelings – so when I look I the mirror, I’ll just smile, and maybe the wrinkles won’t seem so bad.