As I sat sipping a coffee the other morning, a mum and baby were at the next table. Well, mum sat at the table while her little girl (a big assumption, I know, but she was dressed in pink and her mum was calling her Rosie) was strapped into her buggy.
Now Rosie was being as good as gold while her mum enjoyed what I'm sure was a rare and welcome moment of peace. However, uttering only small contented gurgles, Rosie was nevertheless struggling against the buggy's straps - desperate to see everything around her. It wasn't enough to observe what was immediately in front of her, She wanted to see it all, including the stuff round the corner, and that's what small children do.
They have an insatiable desire to look and learn, especially since much of what's going on around them is taking place (in their world) for the first time ever. It's how they make sense of the world - or at least try to. (I have to confess that I'm 56 and it still doesn't make much sense to me.)
The thing is, kids are great at being into everything, especially when they're small. As we grow up, it's common to become more inward-looking - but it makes you wonder if there could just be a link between not noticing the world around you, and suffering from low mood?
Clearly it would be naive to suggest that this is all there is to it, but I'm sure that actively seeking out the new, and going out of your way to examine your world in all its (yes) glory can play their part in giving your mood a helpful lift.
How difficult is this? For Rosie it was clearly no more than child's play, and if she could do it, I'm sure we can too.