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  • Writer's pictureThe WMF

Have You Ever Considered Colours to De-stress?

It has certainly been a stressful year for everybody! At the William Mills Foundation, we are working hard to support as many schools, students and families as possible.

There are many suggested ways to reduce stress levels, such as exercise, meditation and socialising with family and friends. But have you ever thought about using colours to decrease stress levels?

Recent research has revealed that colours significantly impact mood, motivation, well-being, and influence stress perception.

A survey conducted in Lancashire discovered that 8 out of 10 people were struggling to sleep partially due to the colour of their bedrooms. When asked, 32% of the people who slept in yellow painted bedrooms said that they felt exhausted in the morning. The research does not stop there: another survey assessed 1,500 British homeowners, and how they viewed colours in their home. Surprisingly, 49% of the participants stated that colours were important and influenced their mood while at home, with 21% arguing that certain wall colours can make them feel depressed. So there is no arguing with the science: colours do impact us in many ways.

To give you some background, colour psychology addresses how colours influence behaviour and emotional well-being. Dating back to the Egyptians, one of the most commonly known pioneers in colour therapy is Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung, who stated that “colours are the mother tongue of the subconscious".

In recent years scientists have applied their research on colours to the education sector, assessing how colours can impact and influence students’ productivity, both in a classroom setting, as well as when revising at home.

Teresa Kutchma, a faculty mentor at Minnesota State University, conducted a study on “The effects of room colour on stress perception: red versus green environments”. In this study, she looks at red, green and white painted rooms, and investigates how the different colours affect people’s stress levels. The study consisted of placing 30 college freshman (15 men and 15 women) inside three different coloured booths for a duration of five minutes each. Once they came out of the booths, they were asked to complete a copy of the stress inventory from the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale. The results conclusively proved that students felt more relaxed and less stressed after spending time in the green and white rooms, rather than in the red, with the stress scores from the red room averaging out to 11.9, while the green room’s results were of 11.1.

On the WMF programmes, we are determined to make the working environment as welcoming, productive and engaging for our students as possible. We achieve this by providing friendly and encouraging mentors to motivate students, as well as by using scientific studies when designing our programmes.

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