Friday,20 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1220, (6 - 12 November 2014)
Friday,20 July, 2018
Issue 1220, (6 - 12 November 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Moody hues

Let’s talk about better living! Our new interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

Colours have different meanings in different cultures. They are an essential part of how we experience the world, both biologically and culturally. We have an innate reaction to colour and this makes us react on multiple levels of association to particular colours. Yes, dears, different colours can have a profound effect on one’s mood, appetite and how well the brain works in rather surprising ways.

Here’s how different shades affect your body:

Black is the colour of authority and power. It is popular in fashion because it makes people appear thinner. It is also stylish and timeless. Black also implies obedience. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men. Black outfits can also be interpreted as aggressive. Researchers have found that hockey teams are penalised more for aggression while wearing black jerseys than when wearing white.

White symbolises innocence and purity; it reflects light and is considered a summer colour. Wearing white has also been found to make people act in a more altruistic way, and therefore doctors and nurses wear this colour. Although white is associated with simplicity, tests by US space agency NASA have found that workers in white rooms work less well than in pastel rooms, possibly because they find the stark contrasts around them distracting. White is also a calming colour. Researchers have found that people with hand tremors shake less in white rooms.

The most romantic colour, pink is also tranquilising. This girly hue dampens down anger and anxiety. It has a calming effect on the body and reduces muscle strength. Therefore, sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy.

Looking for love? Being a scarlet woman could do the trick. Red is the hot colour that evokes powerful emotions. It also stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. Researchers at the University of Rochester, New York, found that red makes men more attracted to the opposite sex. It also works the other way around: women rated men in red as more attractive. And since it is an extreme colour, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations.

Cheerful, sunny yellow is an attention-getter. Studies show that the colour improves concentration and speeds up metabolism. It literally “wakes up” the brain and nervous system. Therefore, post-it notes are yellow, and smiley faces are also this colour because looking at yellow has been found to trigger the release of feel-good brain chemical serotonin.

Green symbolises nature. It has a calming and refreshing effect, and therefore TV studios have “green rooms” to relax guests’ nerves before they appear. And because green puts consumers in a more relaxed state, they stay longer and spend more cash in shops painted this shade. Blackboards were also once painted green because it was easier for students to look at them. Even office workers who can see green out of their windows have proved to be happier, healthier and like their jobs more.

The colour of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colours. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolises loyalty. Studies have found that people are more productive in blue rooms and weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms.

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