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Self-regulation resources and training to support children’s mental health

3 Ways to use colour to change your moods

Did you know that colour can have a huge influence on your moods?

Although we might have different perceptions about certain colours (maybe associated with a childhood experience of that colour), the effects of colour are universal. Warm colours such as red, orange and yellow can stimulate feelings from warmth and comfort to irritation and anger, while cool greens and blues can bring calm and serenity to the mind. Colour is processed in multiple areas of the brain. We see colour when light wavelengths interact with an object.

Our brain interprets the various wavelengths reflected from the objects and the photoreceptor cells capture the light and send the information to the brain’s visual cortex. The hypothalamus (controls bodily functions including body temperature and heart rate and sleep) also gets involved as it is responsible for moods and wellbeing.

If you are looking to change your mood and improve your wellbeing, a quick way to do it is by using colour. Here is a quick guide to show how colours can affect our moods.

Excitement Strength Love Energy

Confidence Courage Success Community

Fun Creativity Happiness Joy

Healing Calm Luck

Peace Hopeful Serenity

Compassion Softness Calm

Quiet Reflective Creative

Earthy Grounded

Fresh Alive Light

Here are some ideas how you and your family can use colour to change your mood.

1. Wear it – We all feel happier on a bright sunny day as yellow fills us with happiness, warmth and cheer. Putting on a yellow jumper on a grey day can lift our spirits no end. Those who know me, know I have a pile of cardigans in all the colours of the rainbow and I love choosing a colour to set the mood of the day. Having socks in various colours is a great way to encourage children to set their mood as they put on their socks.

2. Paint it – Seeing blocks of colours on the wall on a regular basis can really affect our mood on an ongoing basis. Prisons have noticed a profound change in inmates when the walls were painted pink which promotes relaxation and reduces aggression. Blues and greens are perfect for bedrooms to induce a calming affect whilst oranges and reds are great in communal activity areas such as kitchens and playrooms but could be too much for a bedroom.

3. Breathe it – If you need a quick pick me up try some colour therapy by looking at a colour (or closing your eyes and imagining the colour) and breathing it in. As you breathe in, imagine the colour filling every cell.