Google search ‘colour psychology’ (other search engines are available) and you can take your pick of opinion pieces, blog posts and article links on the topic of how colour affects both our mood and behaviour.
I am not going to attempt to literature review the research in this field, I am just taking the general position that colour and phrases can cause us to perpetuate a state of mind.
For example, the annual phrase, ‘January blues’ classically reinforces our sense of gloom about the short day light hours and the fact that the festive break with no work alarm and an unending supply of brie, crackers and chocs has come to a premature end.
It made me wonder, amid all the new year’s resolutions (which most people believe they will break before February) and everyone wondering when Winter is actually going to arrive (we’d had much snow by this time last year!) would there be value in re-framing some of the old traditions?
Is it time to say, “I’ve got the January blues” with a smile and sense of pride?
One site I found (colour-affects) suggests that blue relates to the intellectual, “blue is the colour of the mind and is essentially soothing; it affects us mentally, rather than the physical reaction we have to red. Strong blues will stimulate clear thought and lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. Consequently it is serene and mentally calming. It is the colour of clear communication.”
I don’t know about you but I will quite happily face the new year with an increased sense of clarity, concentration and a line for clear communication.
I think this can be done! We could either go full on and wear only blue for the next month (a new year’s resolution?) or find something blue to glance at to remind us that this can be the month of clarity, concentration and communication.
If you like, you could print out this picture of the ‘Sunrise over the Western Ghats’, sent to me this very morning – there’s always a blue sky somewhere!
Is it easier said than done? Probably but sometimes achieving tricky things gives an increased sense of reward. In short, don’t be afraid of the January blues, welcome them with open arms!
P.s. According to the same website, green means balance, so please feel free to absorb the equilibrium-inducing green of these festive elf slippers and take it with you in to 2016.