How Colours Affect Our Moods and Feelings

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How Colours Affect Our Moods and Feelings

Can colours affect our moods and feelings?how colours affect your mood and feelings

Research shows that it, in fact, can affect a person’s mood.  Many reasons have been proposed as to why and how colours affect our moods.  We react differently to different colours, without even realizing it.  This reaction is known to be innate – built-in within each one of us, and not something that is done wishfully or in complete consciousness.  For instance, looking at anything in the colour red causes your heartbeat to increase.  This is because it is a stimulating colour.

This can also be the case because of classical conditioning.  We have been classically conditioned to react in a certain way to the colour red because fire trucks or ambulances are usually red in colour.  As you age, you become much more aware of these reactions that have been learned than the reactions that are innate.

In addition, many researchers have also found out that colour affects one’s behavior as well.  Leatrice Eiseman, a colour specialist, went around asking people what they thought of certain colours and she was able to conclude some patterns.  She says that the colour blue is mostly associated with blue skies, which as a kid, is seen as something positive as it means going out to play or have fun.  This is also one of the reasons why the colour blue reflects feelings of stability and calmness.

Read How to Improve Productivity in the Workplace with Arts, Plants and Music.

After years and years of research into colours, researchers have also produced colour guides which represents colours for different situations.  Let’s take a look at some of these colours in the guide:

  1. Computer desktop colour – Green:

    The colour green is known to be restful for the eyes and produces the least amount of strain to the eyes. If you are in front of the computer for a very long time, it would be best for you to use a green coloured desktop.

  2. Workout outfit – Orange:

    Orange is a colour known for its stimulation and producing enthusiasm. Research shows that the colour orange increases the supply of oxygen to the brain, making you feel energetic and it also stimulates your brain activity.

  3. Office paint – Blue and Green:

    In the year 1999, researchers at the Creighton University found that colour does affect the mood and productivity of employees at their workplace. Workers in an office painted blue felt more determined to do their work and were calmer.  This is primarily because the colour blue lowers one’s heart rate and the colour green reduces anxiety.  Thus, the two of these colours together would make the perfect paint colour for the office.

  4. Never wear to work – Grey:

    Grey is one colour that promotes lack of involvement, laziness, drained of energy and passiveness. Pairing grey with a brighter colour will help reduce its dull effect.  A bright colour always radiates positive energy and enthusiastic vibes all around.

Talking about a workplace, the colour of the office, the clothes that you wear to the office and even the colour of your desktop – these may sound like petty things but they do help in changing or affecting one’s mood and behavior either positively or negatively.  This is why it is wise to choose the colours thoughtfully to gain the most productivity at work.

Colour has also been used as a form of therapy in the early Egyptian and Chinese cultures.  It was known as the chromotherapy or the usage of colours to heal someone.  In this treatment, certain colours were used to instigate certain kinds of feelings within the person.  This includes the use of red to stimulate the body and increase blood circulation, yellow to stimulate the nerves and purify the soul and the body, orange to increase levels of energy and heal the lungs, blue to feel calm and treat pain and finally shades of indigo to get rid of skin problems.

Modern psychologists believe that colour therapy can be often exaggerated and doesn’t produce results that people claim it does.  Research states the fact that colour that affects our mood is only a temporary feeling and alters our emotions only for a short period of time.  However, some recent researches regarding colour have been shocking and interesting.  One study showed that the colour red causes one to react with force and speed and thus can be used in athletic activities.  Previous evidence shows that setting up blue streetlights greatly reduced the number of crimes in those areas.

It has also been found that certain colours affect one’s performance.  For instance, no one likes to see a test that has been graded covered in red ink.  In fact, one study found that seeing the colour red before taking an examination actually hurt the test scores.  The colour red is often associated with threatening, exciting or arousing feelings.  Thus, exposing students to the colour red prior to an examination can cause them to perform badly in it.  In a study, 71 U.S students were exposed to the colours red, green and black prior to an examination.  Once the exam was over, the ones exposed to the colour red scored 20% less than the ones exposed to green and black.

Although all these findings may lead to interesting conclusions, a lot more research still needs to be done.  There are still many questions that are yet to be answered by psychologists such as how and why do colour associations develop?  When next decorating your person, your office, or your home or building be sure to consider the colours you are choosing and the affect they may have on others.