Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pick a colour, any colour... and deal with the consequences

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WHAT'S your favourite colour?

Bad pickup line?

Perhaps. However, it is also a really interesting way of discovering how the colours we choose affect our moods.

Skeptical? I was; that is until I started reading about it and it all started to make sense. Psychologists have theorized that people's preferences for certain colours have deep psychological affect on their mood or feelings.

An example of this is that healthy people will prefer colours and colour mixtures that reflect their health, both physically and mentally.

Ever noticed how a baby reaches out to a brightly coloured object? Be forewarned though. They say that yellow is a stimulating, pick-me-up colour, and so it should not be used to paint an infant's room because it will keep them awake. Think how many more hours of sleep some parents would have gotten if they knew that little tidbit of knowledge.

Want to know how colours can affect you? Here is a brief overview:

Black: Authority and power. Black is well known to the fashion industry because it makes people appear thinner (Exactly how much black should I be wearing?)

White: Innocence and purity. Can symbolize sterility (think of a doctor's white lab coat).

Red: Passion and emotion. Red can even stimulate a faster heartbeat and breathing. It is a particularly good colour to wear for negotiations or confrontations.

Pink: Romance and tranquillity. Although, here is an interesting bit of trivia, sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms of opposing teams bright pink so that they will lose energy. How's that for sports psychology?

Blue: Serenity and calm. Blue can trigger the body into producing calming chemicals, so it is a popular choice for bedrooms. It is a great colour for interviews because it gives off the impression of loyalty. Now you know where the phrase "true blue" comes from.

Green: Nature. Green is the most popular decorating colour, as it is both calming and refreshing. Ever notice how those waiting to appear on TV relax in "green rooms" prior to their appearance?

Yellow: Optimism and stimulation. It enhances concentration, which is why it is a popular colour for legal note pads. People will often lose their temper more in a yellow room, so decorators beware!

Now that you are armed with colour savvy, feel free to go out and change your mood.

Still skeptical? Why not try it out and then decide?

Make a good impression and sport blue to that next interview, or spice things up and wear red for your date tonight.

I think that I am going to slip into something a little more pink-like and see what the day brings.

Jodi Hargreaves is in the pink and living in Winnipeg.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 28, 2005 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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