Research reveals blue and green can help ease anxiety and yellow makes us happier – intu Victoria Centre brings together artists, psychologists and designers to create ‘light houses’ to boost the moods of its shoppers –
New research has revealed that people can help beat the blues with yellow, green…and blue. A study by intu, owner of some of the country’s most popular shopping centres including intu Victoria Centre, looking at the happiness and wellbeing effects of colour found yellow makes us happiest, with blue and green helping to ease anxiety and combinations of soft blue, pink and green found to make us up to twice as happy than normal.
The country’s biggest shopping centre group has brought together colour psychologists, light artists and designers to help boost the mood and wellbeing of the nation by creating three glowing ‘light houses’ featuring colour combinations proven to make visitors feel happier, calmer or more energised.
The Light House Experience launches at intu Victoria Centre on 23 March and is touring 12 different intu shopping centres across the country throughout 2020 including intu Trafford Centre, intu Metrocentre and intu Braehead. Each light house is free to experience and aims to use the psychological benefits of colour to help improve the wellbeing of visitors as part of intu’s pledge to make its visitors happier.
The Happy, Calm and Energise houses feature different colour effects to evoke three different emotions including happiness when walking into a rainbow, calmness when sitting in a silent soft blue-lit room and an energy boost when walking through a glowing, neon-orange charged room.
As part of the research, yellow was found to make us happiest with 55 per cent of those who wake up in pink rooms saying it helps them to start their day feeling happier. Wearing blue was shown to produce the greatest feelings of goodwill. People in Nottingham voted blue their favourite colour, with brown being the least favourite. It follows the release of Classic Blue as Pantone’s 2020 Colour of the Year.
Those involved in The Light House Experience include light artist Liz West, whose work is focused on using colour to positively influence moods, psychologist and colour expert June McLeod and eight designers who spent three months turning conceptual colour designs into colour-changing houses. It will tour 12 intu shopping centres throughout the year as part of intu’s effort to make its visitors feel happier.
Nigel Wheatley, centre director at intu Victoria Centre, comments: “We have thousands of visitors at intu Victoria Centre each day, which gives us the opportunity to brighten a lot of people’s days. We are committed to the wellbeing of our people and those coming to visit and have spent a long time working with colour psychologists, artists and designers to create colourful experiences to enjoy that are scientifically shown to positively influence our moods.
“intu Victoria Centre is a place where families can enjoy spending their time and leave happier than when they first arrived, and we’re hoping our Light House Experience will put big smiles on faces young and old.”
Colour psychologist June McLeod, who led the colour selection, comments: “In my world, colour is the most powerful form of communication. Its psychological impact can make us feel happy or sad, cold or warm, energised or lethargic. intu’s Light House Experience is an opportunity for millions of people to feel the powerful influence of colour, and discover how it could hold the key to reducing stress, calming the mind and boosting our mental health.”
Artist Liz West, who designed the houses, comments: “My work has always been grounded in the power of colour and the physical and psychological effects of human colour perception. Each Light House has been created to enhance and influence the mood of visitors in a different way to feel calmer, more energised or happier. The cylinder shape of the Calm House is designed to create a feeling of being cocooned in a soft seamless space, the Energise House uses infinity mirrors to surround visitors with warm, energy-provoking colour and the Happy House mixes vivid colours and luminous light to create a spectral environment known to increase positive thoughts. I hope anyone who visits the Light House Experience at intu shopping centres up and down the country feels the positive effects we strived to create.”
The Light House Experience launches at intu Victoria Centre on Monday 23 March and is visiting 12 other intu centres around the country including intu Trafford Centre, intu Metrocentre and intu Braehead. Follow #ColourMyMood for updates or go to intu.co.uk/light-house to check when it is coming to an intu shopping centre near you.
TOP TEN HAPPIEST COLOURS
NATION’S 10 FAVOURITE COLOURS AND WHAT THEY MEAN BY COLOUR PSYCHOLOGIST JUNE MCLEOD
Blue makes you feel peaceful as its cool and healing energy soothes your emotions and reduces levels of stress. Soft blue provokes feelings of quietness and comfort which help aid rest and relaxation.
Dark purples encourage you to slow down and help in times of self-reflection and meditation. Bright purples help you look ahead to the future and can assist in connecting your spiritual self with your ideas and creative channels.
Red makes you feel confident and determined. It injects purpose and strength while encouraging you to let go of anything that may be holding you back.
Black can make you feel like anything is possible. There are times when you can turn to black for protection or use it to feel more confident and outgoing.
Green provides balance and harmony, helping you feel calmer. Its affinity with nature supports you in slowing your breathing in times of anxiety and strengthens your inner core, bringing you back to your natural self.
Pink releases a soft, nurturing energy that helps you give and receive love unconditionally. It inspires you to let go of tension in your body and accept yourself along with others.
Yellow makes you happier because it encourages you to stay focused and think clearly. The typical sunshine colour helps dispel feelings of depression and self-doubt and is an excellent aid for study or learning as it helps strengthen your intellect.
White makes you feel cleansed and energised as it symbolises purity, clarity and innocence.
Silver helps you feel protected because it is cool and calming.
Orange creates a feeling of warmth and gives you the energy to express your creative potential. It also works to clear and strengthen your emotions, helping you to laugh and see the funny side of every situation.