“The green effect” What can the colour green do for you?

I find that people either love or hate green and there is usually no middle ground. In Feng Shui we often connect green with growth, spring and new beginnings. Some practitioners take that to it’s logical conclusion that green is creativity and the motivation to create some new. It is believed that by using green in your space you can trigger positive feelings. I believe that using green (wood element) is a great way support a person when they are taking on a new challenge or initiative in life. And now science is even backing this idea up.

A new study out of German’s Ludwig-Maximilians-University suggests that the colour green tiggers a boost in creativity. Participants were asked to look at the colour green for two seconds before performing a creative task, compared to looking at other colours, it boosted creative results. Dr Stephanie Litchfield, assistant professor involved in the study, believes that there is a connection between physical growth in nature and psychological growth:

“Green may serve as a cue that evokes the motivation to strive for improvement and task mastery, which in turn may facilitate growth,” she tells MSNBC. She goes on to say “Even very subtle stimuli, such as color, can influence our motivation, cognition, and behavior.”

And I would even go further and suggest that people make colour choices on a subconcious level. Using elemental colours like red/fire or white/metal to support themselves 99% time they don’t even know they are doing it. I often see client’s in elemental ruts using the same element over and over again because it is what they are comfortable with but it may not be what they need.

Here is the abstract from the study:

“The present research sought to extend the nascent literature on color and psychological functioning by examining whether perception of the color green facilitates creativity. In four experiments, we demonstrated that a brief glimpse of green prior to a creativity task enhances creative performance.This green effect was observed using both achromatic (white, gray) and chromatic (red, blue) contrast colors that were carefully matched on non hue properties, and using both picture-based and word-based assessments of creativity.Participants were not aware of the purpose of the experiment, and null effects were obtained on participants’ self-reported mood and positive activation. These findings indicate that green has implications beyond aesthetics and suggest the need for sustained empirical work on the functional meaning of green.”

I just love when science supports Feng Shui. Green represents the wood element in Feng Shui. I use green, teal and green-blue to adjust the chi of a space as well as to encourage personal growth for a client.

Two simple ways to introduce growth and creativity into a space by using the wood element: add green healthy green plants and the using the colour green in accent colours or in paint. Some of my fav plants to use are bamboo, jade, pathos, money tree just to name a few. I will post some of my fav green paint colours soon…