The psychology of colour
We naturally associate colours with emotions: we feel blue when we’re sad, we see red when we’re angry and we can even be green with envy. We’re used to using colours to express our feelings, so it’s perhaps unsurprising to learn that colours can influence our mood.
Evoking emotions and feelings both consciously and subconsciously, colour has the power to make us feel motivated and energised or fill us with a sense of calm and relaxation. Blue, for example, is the colour of the mind, with its darker shades stimulating clear thought and lighter hues helping to calm us. Red, on the other hand, is a powerful colour that instils confidence and purpose, encouraging drive and determination.
Colour psychology aims to determine how colour impacts our day to day behaviour and explores how the same shade can have different meanings depending on our upbringing, values and location.
As a general rule, bright and warm shades such as yellow, orange and red evoke feelings of happiness and energy, while pastel hues such as lilac, light pink and soft yellow have an uplifting and optimistic effect. Colours commonly found in nature, such as green and blue, are gentle, soothing and comforting, helping us stay calm and refreshed.
Colour theories can be applied to a number of settings, including the physical activity of colouring. Providing a creative outlet and break to the rigidity of our daily routines, colouring is proven to reduce stress levels and anxiety. Mindfulness is all about disconnecting from an always switched-on world, therefore spending a few minutes each day solely focused on using colour to create something beautiful, is hugely beneficial. Just like meditation, colouring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus solely on the moment.
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