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Beautiful colours | How colour affects our mood.

Beautiful colours | How colour affects our mood.


How colour can affect our mood

So often, we refer to colours to describe how we are feeling.  On a really bad day, we might feel blue or see red and find ourselves turning green with envy all at once! Throughout history there are so many sayings describing moods with colour. Some of which have become common sayings and common descriptors.

So, it's not hard to see that looking at a colour or being surrounded by specific colours can impact your mood as well?

The science behind colour 

Human beings see colour through the reflection of light. When light hits an object or element, it absorbs some of the light and reflects the rest as wavelengths which hit the retina within the eye. Colour is simply the re-transmission of an energy that has not been absorbed. Our brains respond to these wavelengths in an area controlled by the hypothalamus, which also manages our hunger, temperature, and sleep. Because our brain is at work processing and handling colours, our subconscious mind does play a part in how we perceive and respond to colour. This great article from the University of Melbourne explains the process beautifully.

How colour interacts with our mood

It is believed that most of us associate certain colours with certain moods (hence the common sayings discussed earlier). Put this theory to the test by reflecting on how you feel when you look at a particular colour or what you think about when looking at a particular colour. 

What colour/s make you feel most comfortable?

What colour/s make you feel most excited?

What colour/s help you remain focussed?

What colour/s make you reminisce certain memories?

Colour has been proven to cause physical reactions in some people. In one study, people who gazed upon the colour red experienced an increased heart rate and blood pressure. Of course, colours come in many tones, shades and hues and the saturation and the undertone of a colour can make a big difference to your response when viewing it. You will find it helpful to understand what colours do to you, before decorating your house, choosing a wardrobe style and buying decor.

How colours affect our mood

The shades on the colour wheel - greens, blues and purples often help us feel relaxed and calm. The cooler colours are more commonly seen in nature and are associated with being more peaceful and tranquil. Warm colours generally help us to feel more vibrant and alert - they are empowering and energetic. Bright and bold, they are commonly associated with passion, happiness and harmony. Apparently, they can also make some people feel hungry. It might be best to keep these colours out of the kitchen if you are calorie counting!

Using colour in your home

So if colour can affect mood, it is worth carefully considering colors before you paint the walls a specific shade or pick a statement piece of artwork with one or two dominant colours. Using colour at home isn’t only about picking a shade that you like, but picking one that creates the mood or feeling that you are after in your living environment.

Different strokes for different folks

While there is general agreement that we all have associations with particular colours, and that exposure to colour can affect our mood, it’s important to remember that everyone is unique and will have different preferences for colours. There aren’t really universal rules for how people experience colour - a person’s past experience may lead them to love pink but hate orange. Colours in a room or artwork can work together in a complimentary yet unexpected way; it often comes down to personal taste.  

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