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  • Writer's pictureGaye Daniels

Mental Health and Influence of Colour

With Mental Health Awareness Week starting today, have you ever thought about the effects of colour and how it affects your mood.


Artists have long believed that colour does in fact play a big part on how we feel. But did you realise that since the early 19th century, scientists have explored how colour is perceived and experienced.  


In fact, Picasso once remarked, ‘Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions’.

Positive colours in art play a crucial role in evoking emotions, conveying messages and creating visually appealing compositions. When individuals are surrounded by these colours, they may experience a boost in mood and overall sense of well-being.


Colours and emotions are closely linked. Warm colours can evoke different emotions than cool colours and bright colours can create different feelings than muted colours.


Positive colours are often used symbolically to represent specific emotions, concepts, or themes. For example, yellow symbolizes happiness, warmth and optimism. Artists use these colours strategically to enhance the meaning and impact of their artwork.


We are all drawn to certain colours and these influence many things in our lives. The colours that make us happy are actually healing.


Research suggests that exposure to certain colours can have physiological effects on the body, such as reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation. They also provide visual stimulation that enhances mood and mental clarity.


Positive colours can influence the mood of a piece of art, creating a sense of joy, tranquillity, or excitement. Bright colours like pink and turquoise can uplift the spirits and create a lively atmosphere within the artwork.


Vibrant colours like reds and oranges are often used to convey passion, energy, love and intensity and cool colours like blues and greens evoke calmness and serenity.


Exposure to positive colours can stimulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with feelings of happiness and well-being. Research has shown that certain colours, particularly those in the blue and green spectrum, can increase serotonin levels, promoting a sense of calmness and contentment.


When we see colours, our brains process the visual information and trigger emotional responses based on our past experiences and cultural associations.


Positive colours can enhance the narrative or storytelling aspect of the artwork by creating visual cues and establishing mood. For example, a painting with a joyful theme may feature a bright and colourful palette to reinforce the sense of happiness and celebration.


Positive colours can also be influenced by cultural preferences and traditions. Different cultures may have varying associations with certain colours, leading artists to use positive colours that resonate with their intended audience or convey specific cultural meanings


Overall, positive colours in art contribute to the aesthetic appeal, emotional impact and communicative power of the artwork, allowing artists to express themselves creatively and connect with their audience on a deeper level. Additionally, these positive colours play a vital role in enhancing mental well-being by evoking positive emotions, reducing stress, and creating a supportive environment for individuals to thrive in.



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