Gurning [face-pulling] contests were once part of every fairground programme.
And here's where I have a confession to make.
No. Not that I regularly won these contests, but that being an only child with a stern father, I was scared of the bogeymen in the dark ... and I kept them at bay by
... gurning at them.
Here's the kicker. I still gurn, having discovered something fundamental about it.
For me anyway, it's instant therapy. Give me two minutes alone and I can absorb any shock, any disappointment, any insult or embarrassment and come back smiling.
I know why it works too - because the facial muscles are rooted so deep in the Old Brain they operate without thought like a broom to clear the trash out of the frontal lobes.
Try it and see for yourself with or without a mirror. The faster you pull your faces the sooner the therapy works - for me.
The idea : a graduate student might see this and do some research into "gurning as therapy" and a web-page might be started.