It’s easy to think of emotions as being positive or negative, but it can be helpful to see them merely as information - whether they be good, bad or indifferent. An emotional feeling is just your body’s way of telling you that something around you needs your attention. For example, when you hear a sudden loud noise, you feel scared.
You then become more alert so you can investigate what’s happening and take appropriate action if necessary. It can be intriguing to think about emotions this way.
Instead of getting overwhelmed or wrapped up in what you are feeling, see if you can ask yourself the following question:
What information is my body sending me?
What needs my attention right now?
Then its time to listen to your body
You usually view emotions as being in your head, but almost all of them can be felt somewhere in your body.
Just think about the expression, ‘having a heavy heart’, for when someone is sad, or ‘butterflies in the stomach,” for when a person is nervous.
Practise tuning into your body to see if you can work out where you feel different emotions. You may have attempted something like this previously in a mindfulness or stress reduction secession.
For example, you can see if you notice sensations like tightness, heaviness, lightness, tingling or movement.
See if you do things like clenching your jaw, sighing or fidgeting a lot when you have certain feelings.
This can be tricky at first, because you may not be used to thinking about emotions in this way. But you might start to realise, for example, that when your shoulders become tight or hunched, it’s a sign that you’re worried. That means, you are becoming more aware of your emotions.
Give your emotion a name
Neuroscientists or behavioural scientist whose area of study includes the brain and emotions, say that when you can label a feeling - be it happy, sad or angry.
- it loses some of its charges, and you don’t feel so overwhelmed by it.
The next time you notice you’re reacting to something, try to name your emotion. Don’t worry about getting the perfect word for what you’re feeling - see if you can label what’s happening.
Watch your emotions
Did you know those emotions only last about 90 seconds? Just like thoughts, they will eventually fade and go away. If you can, try watching the emotion - noticing what it feels like, what thoughts pop up in your mind, if there are any impulses to do something, how fast or slow the emotion is, and how it fades away.
Identify any triggers or buttons that send you into a frenzy without any further provocation. When you start to become more aware of your feelings, you create space for yourself to process them.
You can then respond to situations in better ways (instead of overreacting or doing something you might regret later). It’s an essential skill that helps in all walks of life.
Body language is a basic form of non-verbal communication, consider the following emotions, how does it affect your posture. For example, if they make you frown – consider how you might react to the following emotions.
Did you notice how your posture changes with each emotion?
Go on, give it another try.
Compare Excitement with Sadness
The psychology of colour has on mood
The psychology of colour is based on the mental and emotional effects colours can have. Keep in mind that there will also be variations in interpretation, meaning, and perception between different cultures.
Did you know your surroundings may be influencing your emotions and state of mind?
Do you ever notice that certain places especially irritate you?
Or that certain areas are incredibly relaxing and calming?
Well, there’s a good chance that the colours in those spaces are playing a part.
In art therapy, colour is often associated with a person’s emotions. Colour may also influence a person’s mental or physical state. For example, studies have shown that some people looking at the colour red resulted in an increased heart rate, which then led to additional adrenaline being pumped into the bloodstream.
Marketing and advertising are well-known for utilising colour psychology.
A good rule of thumb for many Westerners is this: wear black to a funeral. Black, in this context, signifies solemnity; it’s how we show that we’re grieving and respecting that of those around us.
Weddings, on the other hand, are known for white – but only for the bride! While the bride wears white to symbolise purity and uphold tradition.
Art therapy looks at the emotional aspects of colour:
Colour Psychology: The Colour White
- sense of space
- mourning (in some cultures/societies)
The Psychology of Colours and Their Meanings White is highly creative, and it invites reflection, openness, and awakening.
It is a great colour for those who want to declutter their minds and spaces, hence why it is often associated with cleanliness and order. The bridal dress and the doctor’s uniforms are also white because they represent purity, order, and offer comfort and hope.
Colour Psychology: The Colour Black
- death or mourning
Black is highly versatile and, depending on which angle you approach it from, you can see it as elegant, mysterious, or downright depressing.
Colour Psychology: The Colour Gray
Colour Psychology: The Colour Red
From the start of the rainbow to the ubiquitous advertising for Valentine’s Day, red remains one of the most evocative colours on the visible spectrum. As a primary colour, red is entirely its own.
Colour Psychology: The Colour Orange
- wealth prosperity
Bright and persuasive, orange results from the combination of yellow and red. Orange sits in the middle of those extremities: it promotes rejuvenation, communication, and positivism. This colour also enhances extraversion, allowing people to let go of their inhibitions and express themselves more freely.
Colour Psychology: The Colour Yellow
“He is so bright” – Have you ever wondered where the association of increased mental capability and this particular visual adjective comes from?
Yellow has been scientifically proven by studies to enhance mental activity and heighten awareness and energy levels.
The brightness of this colour unclogs mental blocks. Studies have linked yellow with increased activity of the left side of the brain, which is considered the powerhouse of rational thinking.
Colour Psychology: The Colour Green
Green is the primary colour that hints to our primitive relationship with the first creation of the world – nature.
Considered the key colour that represents purity, health, and freshness, green has been traditionally associated with brands that encourage growth, vitality, and productivity (think Starbucks and EverNote!).
Green means the return to the primal roots, to the pristine kingdom of inner peace and tranquillity.
Colour Psychology: The Colour Blue
In contrast to its sister primary colour, red, blue is associated with a calm serenity over intensity or passion. Blue represents a sense of inner reflection.
A great deal of research has indicated that this impact on the body is indeed inverse to red’s, resulting in lower heart rates and even slower metabolisms. Calmness – usually in the form of a still body of water.
Colour Psychology: The Colour Purple
A secondary colour. A beautiful mixture of red and purple, purple sits precisely halfway between the two on the colour wheel, though varying each amount can result in new shades. True to its red parent colour, purple is often associated with luxury and power and errs towards royalty and nobility. Alongside the energy of red synthesises to create a feeling of wisdom and good sense.
Colour Psychology: The Colour Brown
- mourning (in some cultures/societies)
Moving on to a more serious and imposing colour, we arrive at brown, which no longer sends us thinking of youthfulness and excitement. Traditionally associated with seriousness, stability, and wisdom, brown is mostly worn by people who impose respect and appreciation through their status.
When you think of this colour, you might envision a paternal figure or a grandfather in the middle of the family. Because families are centered on the stability and resourcefulness of the main male figure, most people feel secure and stable when thinking about brown.
Colour Psychology: The Colour Pink
One of the gentlest and yet most contradictory colours out there, pink is a colour that varies greatly depending on its context. Making it, however, remains simple.
Next time you decorate the bedroom, perhaps you may consider this information, do you want to bring excitement or calmness. However, you could take it a step further by applying Feng Shui.