Health

How to colour your world happy

With the first day of spring arriving with a literally warm welcome this week, it got me thinking about colour. Happily thinking about it I should add. Purple lilacs, red tulips, green leaves and more. And while the season itself is a mood brightener after long, gloomy winters, clearly the colours budding outdoors also influence our moods.

birghtly coloured crayons

Masterfile

With the first day of spring arriving with a literally warm welcome this week, it got me thinking about colour. Happily thinking about it I should add. Purple lilacs, red tulips, green leaves and more. And while the season itself is a mood brightener after long, gloomy winters, clearly the colours budding outdoors also influence our moods.

Take this survey for instance, which concludes that people who live behind red doors are happier than those behind doors of another colour. Or in Chatelaine’s April issue, you may have read editor Jane Francisco’s interview with Kevin Carrigan, Calvin Klein’s creative director, in which he notes that “Colour is the number one trend…It makes women feel happy.”

With that in mind I called on two style experts—Ingrie Williams, a Toronto-based wardrobe stylist and Janette Ewen, also a Toronto-based interior stylist—for their thoughts on how colour can shape our mood. “Anytime you’re around bright colours, it’s a light happy feeling because colours are uplifting,” says Williams. “Colour energizes you and makes you feel a bit lighter which is perfect for this time of year.”

“Colour definitely influences our mood. The colours surrounding you can help set the tone for the day,” adds Ewen.

So how can we incorporate more colour into our lives to boost our moods? Williams and Ewen share their tips.

In our closets…

* One easy way to incorporate colour is through accessories. “Stick with what you know in terms of clothing so there’s no hesitation around ‘Will this flatter me?’ Williams suggests. “But you can try a bright shoe or bag or other bright accessories. It’s an easy way to add to get that little hit of colour.”

* Mood lifting colours to try include citrus shades, neons , pinks, reds and yellows. “These warmer colours put you in a more tropical state of mind and make you feel good about yourself,” she adds.

* Not every shade looks good on everyone. “Whatever shade you’re trying on, you want one that flatters your skin tone. It should have a brightening effect by making your eyes pop and your hair seeming a bit richer,” Williams adds.

In our homes…

* “I love adding a bit of wallpaper with colour,” says Ewen, who just did this herself with two pieces of bright wallpaper on a half wall. “The bright vibrant colour just makes me happy.”

* Storage boxes in colours can add brightness to a room. “So you’re cleaning up the room but adding colour in a controlled way,” she says.

Swap out your pictures. “Change the mattes from white to a colour and do it all in one colour. That can be a fun look,” she says.

What about you? How does colour affect your mood?

Want more happiness news? Follow me on Twitter @AstridVanDenB