Sunday, April 12, 2020

Do Colors Affect Your Mood?

When I think about how my mood swings are after we have many rainy and gray days in a row, I definitely know that all of the gloom can and does affect my mood. "Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions," as Pablo Picasso once said.
With the pandemic going on in the world now, we all need to be aware of ways that we can improve our outlook for the future. I work on this day by day, sometimes, hour by hour. 

There are times that I start with what I am going to wear for the day. Truly there is a study at universities that delve into color psychology. Not all psychologists find the research to be sufficient, however most do at least understand that certain colors do seem to have common effects on various individuals. 

From my research, which was based on Leatrice Eiseman, the director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, colors symbolize many different feelings. The categories fall into the clothing we wear, how we decorate our homes and where we work. 

Colors fall in either the warm or cool category. Colors actually have temperatures. This is what affects our moods. The cooler tones of blue, blue-green, blue-purples are the more calming while the reds, oranges, yellows are perceived as more energetic and get up and go. There are ways to brighten the cooler tones, for example an electric blue vs a powder blue. 

If I am feeling lethargic, a bit bored, then I search out warmer and brighter tones to get my energy going. On the other hand, sometimes I feel too charged up and therefore I try to move to the cooler tones. It is being aware of how I feel when I wake up. A moment to meditate always gives me the answer. If I wake up knowing that my "to do" list is a mile long, then I need something to calm my jangled self down. If I am feeling just a bit sad or overwhelmed, it is best that I go for more cheerful colors such as yellows and a touch of orange. Sunshiny colors. No...I don't want to look like a banana or a pumpkin, just add a touch with a t shirt under a light jacket or vest. Even a scarf or some jewelry to pull together the outfit. 

For interviews, women and men are given the advice to go with red. A red suit or dress for women and a red power tie for the gents. Red suggests a high energy level. 

It is not to say that the darker tones like brown and black should be avoided. It is the context that they are used in. Hey, Johnny Cash became famous dressed in black. For myself, I love to put on black and then splash some turquoise all around, or even red! 

In thinking about home decor, I like to use these guidelines in helping to choose color. It is not always a bad thing, in my opinion to stick with neutrals and then add pops of color with accents. 

This is more or less my style. We all have our own styles and one is not better than another. There are ones that are better suited to each of our own personalities. I feel almost claustrophobic with too much color going on around me. Just as I could never live in an all white room. It just feels sterile to me, not to mention that I really know that I am too messy for that.

Everyone has their own style and I think that is a good thing. Makes for a livelier world.

The one thing that we don't always have control over is our work environment (unless you are the boss of it all.) Hopefully, you do have some say over certain areas of your space. For example, I worked in a school. Let me add a great school, however, it took a lot of people to come together so that it did not feel like a cold institutional setting. Adding colorful posters, beautiful artwork from the children and teachers decorating with primary colors and pastel work areas...made it all come together. I ask you, which room would you rather be learning in?

I believe that no matter how gray life may seem to get...there is always the promise of color. Marcus Aurelius said it best, "Live in color. The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts."

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