How colour affects your mood

14/02/2014

how-colour-affects-your-mood We often describe our moods in terms of colour - feeling blue, seeing red, green with jealousy - but it seems that the connection between colour and our mood may be closer than we first thought.

Psychologists from the University of California, Berkeley found that people tend to like colours that remind them of positive experiences, which is why we may tend to favour the blue hues of a sunny day and clear water. Another study found we are most drawn to yellow, a positive colour associated with sunshine.

Thanks to stop signs, emergency vehicles and teachers’ red pens, we tend to associate red with danger, mistakes and caution. Due to this, one study found that the colour red can actually enhance our memory and attention to detail - we are more alert and ready to take action.

Blue on the other hand is best at boosting our ability to think creatively. ‘Through associations with the sky, ocean and water, most people associate blue with openness, peace and tranquility,’ said Juliet Zhu of University of British Columbia, who conducted research into the effects of colour on behaviour. ‘The benign cues make people feel safe about being creative and exploratory. Not surprisingly, it is people’s favourite colour.’

Whether it’s a bright change to your wardrobe or some stunning flowers, adding a burst of your favourite colour can make your day a little brighter. Here are a few ideas:

  • Treat yourself to a bunch of flowers for the office or kitchen table. Not only will it add some fresh colour to your home, you’ll be able to enjoy the fresh smell of nature no matter what the weather is like outside.
  • Change your desktop background or phone wallpaper to something bright and cheerful. You may like to choose something with a quote or message that speaks to you - Kikki-K’s Happiness Project wallpapers have a new look and mantra for each month of the year.
  • Head outdoors and walk amongst nature. You’ll not only get the benefits of exercise, but the calming effects of being surrounded by natural greens.
  • You don’t need to renovate your home to change its look: some bright new cushions or a colourful throw rug will make all the difference. If you’re interested in a bigger project, consider a feature wall that adds a pop of colour to the rest of the room.
  • Wear your favourite colour for a confidence boost, or head out with your girlfriends and try on colours you haven’t worn before - you never know what might suit you!

What are your favourite colours? Do they lift your mood?