Here’s How Colours Can Influence Your Behaviour
It goes without saying that colours play an important rote in influencing our moods and behaviour. It should be noted, however, that the effects of a colour are not the same for everyone. It varies according to gender, age of a person and the cultural background.
Right from childhood, the most important choices you make are regarding the choice of colours, As children, most girls prefer pink or red dresses, and boys like blue. It is difficult to imagine a boy in pink! Then, there are choices regarding colours of cycles, shoes, toys, school bags and so on. As adults too, you see men and women spending hours to decide which colour outfit they should buy/wear. Similarly, colours for painting the walls in the houses are chosen after a lot of discussion.
Red Has A Stimulating/Exciting Effect
Red is a powerful colour. It is the colour of love and hate, and of the devil and cupid too. A red heart is a symbol of love. Women in red are definitely more attractive. In China, red is considered a lucky colour and red coloured bridal dresses are preferred. There is some biological basis too. An angry face becomes red, so does the face after embarrassment or a flirtatious blush.
In some species, red coloration signals testosterone-driven dominance. In an experiment of combat sports (boxing, wrestling and taekwondo) athletes wearing red outfits! protective gears were compared to those wearing blue outfits4rotective gears. It was found that the athletes wearing red had a higher chance of winning because they were perceived Invincible and strong.
Red stimulates the heart rate and breathing and may be helpful in the ‘flight or fight’ response. The colour red energizes the mood and also stimulates appetite. Too much exposure to this colour can cause stress and provoke frustration and anger. Red clothing may also not help in confrontations or negotiations, as it is an extreme colour.
Green Is Soothing And Promotes Mental Relaxation
Green Is the colour of nature, the forests, crops and vegetation. Green Is relaxing to the eyes and mind. It may improve vision too. Presence of green around us reassures our subconscious mind that there is little chance of famine and calms us. Green also promotes memory and better brain development in children. Children exposed to greenery (nature) have better attention and better working memory.
Blue Has A Calming Effect
Who does not like to look at the blue sky or a blue lake or blue ocean? These blue skies/seas have a calming effect on the brain. Thus, the colour blue is believed to reduce aggression and have a calming effect. In the year 2000, Glasgow Installed blue street lighting in certain neighbourhoods and subsequently these areas reported a lower crime rate. In England, London’s Blackfriars Bridge was repainted blue in an attempt to reduce the number of people who commit suicide by jumping off it.
Blue can be cold and depressing too and this resonates with the phrase, ‘Monday morning blues’ which refers to the feeling of lethargy and lack of enthusiasm. Blue is also a non-food colour, as it is perceived to be toxic. Thus, a blue kitchen and blue room, reduces the appetite. For weight-watchers, it could be a good idea to eat in a blue painted room, as it has been found that people eating in blue room consume three times lesser calories, as compared to those eating in red or yellow painted rooms.
Yellow Elevates The Mood
Yellow colour helps the am to release a chemical called serotonin, which is important for causing a happy mood. Yellow colour improves concentration and it is also the colour of confidence and optimism. However since it is difficult for the eyes to focus on yellow. prolonged exposure to yellow can cause irritation. Yellow activates anxiety centres of the brain and babies tend to cry more when exposed to yellow.
Black Signifies Power And Authority
Black also represents knowledge and intelligence. This colour signifies style and it is a popular colour in the fashion industry. In some cultures, black is a sign of displeasure or sorrow (black badges, arm bands, etc.) Black is also supposed to be an aggressive colour and sportspersons wearing black are more likely to get penalized for fouls. Black colour means an absence of light or colour and it may provoke a sense of fear in some.
White Is Considered To Be Pure
White is the most neutral colour and considered to be pure. Most often, doctors and nurses prefer white dresses/coats to signify sterility and cleanliness. Also, baby products are often white, to signify innocence. White reflects all the colours and may be a strain to look at. White sarees used to be worn by widows in some cultures, because it has the opposite effect of red and reduces attractiveness.
Decoding Your Colour Preferences
Colours bring together the body, the mind and the emotions associated with it. They also act as balance between the two. They also bring out positive and negative moods – the former being more prominent. Your preferred colours are known to lift your mood and bring out an acceptable behavioural response from you. Thus, new age psychotherapeutic intervention is looking at art therapy and colour therapy for monitoring emotions to make it more situation-oriented and in turn, making behaviour more suitable for a peaceful and happy existence.
Are Colours True?
Colours are Integral to our existence. They are also known to accumulate and integrate thought processes and the effect of colour- bound thinking becomes evident in behaviour. A colour or colours has it’s presence felt in the way one conducts himself/herself.
Colours in a person’s life are as true as his/her personality type as they conduct and command a person, In both negative and positive situations. Thought processes many a times, overlap with colours, possessing various mood types of a person. It also runs parallel to behaviour, especially when a person is trying to respond to an external stimulus.
Decoding The Different Colours
Colours can be primary or secondary. The latter being an amalgamation of the primary ones – red, blue and yellow.
- The colour red is an indicator of a sensitive mind with strong thinking and a deep-rooted capacity to feel. People with such preferences are good to others, but may need personal space.
- Similarly, green indicates life as in reproduction and moving ahead. Green can make people happy and it’s been observed that individuals with this colour preference are very active and goal oriented.
- Yellow may indicate vibrancy in the mood and an overwhelming capacity of a person to multitask. It is also an indicator of one being a person oriented individual.
- Blue dubbed as the royal colour, can lift up the mood and indicates a bigger life picture, taking lead is one of the main behavioural aspects of choosing blue as a preference.
Any combination of colour is indicative of moods, good or bad. Research suggests that individuals undergoing mental trauma having colour preferences and the result of the same is an Inappropriate behavioural output. Colours many a times are associated with negativity and thinking or seeing those colours may act as an instigator for a socially inappropriate behaviour.