Psychology: How to use colour to find more joy

Psychologist Karen Haller, author of ‘The Little Book Of Colour’, tells us how to use colour therapy to daub a vivid splash of pleasure onto our life’s canvas


Psychology: How to use colour to find more joy

3 minute read

Colour me joyful

People believe bright colours evoke joy and muted ones bring calm and tranquillity but that is not entirely true, says Haller, because it’s subjective. To identify which colours are joyful for you, start by asking yourself the following questions: What makes me feel blissful? What fills me with unadulterated joy? Then, think of the colours that are conjured up by your answers.

Think about which colours truly light you up and bring a smile to your face. My favourite colour is orange, for example – but there are so many variations of orange, so I need to be specific, says Haller. Do I love a bright marigold, pastel and sunny or more of an autumnal, rusty orange? If you struggle to identify the colours that thrill you, think back to the colours you loved as a child. Do you remember when one of the first questions you asked a new buddy was: What’s your favourite colour? Children know the importance of colour!

People express joy in different ways. Some express themselves externally and may gravitate towards bright spring colours. For others, the expression of joy is more inward-focused. Their energy is quieter and so is their palette, but it is their version of joy. Using colour to create joy is about showing up authentically and being the real you. There’s nothing more joyful than that.

The Little Book Of Colour: How To Use The Psychology Of Colour To Transform Your Life’ by Karen Haller (Penguin, £10.99);

Image: Getty


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