The idea of sparking joy has been made famous in Marie Kondo's runaway bestseller, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up". The basic concept is that if an item 'sparks joy' when you hold it, then you should keep it and if it doesn't spark joy, discard it.
Sparking joy seems to be a great way to analyse almost any situation. Imagine if we asked, ‘Will this spark joy?' before every action and took corrective action if the answer is 'No'. Would our lives change significantly as a result?
The question is intended to elicit an emotional response. Science likes to be less emotional and more objective while feeling joy is purely subjective. This can be confronting for the more analytical among us. Those looking for facts that can be universally applied may struggle with the uniquely personal nature of what sparks joy in me, compared with what sparks joy in you. What sparks joy for each of us will almost certainly be different.
The emotions around colour are similar … colours that spark ‘joy’ in me you might not like and visa-versa …. But this isn’t because of the colour itself, it’s due to our emotional reaction to that particular colour, as there are no wrong colours, it’s our liking or disliking of them that colours our response.
Colour and Behaviour
According to Wikipedia “Colour Psychology is the study of colour as it determines human behaviour”. When you apply the principle of sparking joy to Colour Psychology, you start to see that there is no 'one size fits all' answer. Joy has personality, layers, nuances. It is both the source and the result of intense happiness. One spark of joy can light up a whole city, and at the same moment continue to multiply. Every colour is unique and bestows its own magic. The fact that each of us responds in a uniquely personal way can make us nervous, but this is not colour’s fault if, indeed, fault is to be assigned. We each have an emotional reaction to all colours; we embrace the colours we like and avoid the colours we don’t.
But wouldn’t it be great if all colours sparked joy within us?
With the help of Colour Psychology, you can achieve this. With a deeper understanding of how you personally react to colour you can create reactions of joy with all colours depending on how you are feeling each day. This then allows colour to support and assist with your day running more smoothly and joyously.
The Science Behind Our Emotional Response To Colour
Light is made up of wavelengths, and each wavelength is a particular colour. The Science Learning Hub explains, "The retina of our eyes contains two types of photoreceptors – rods and cones. The cones detect colour. The rods only let us see things in black, white and grey. Our cones only work when the light is bright enough, but not when light is very dim. This is why things look grey and we cannot see colours at night when the light is dim." Each colour we see is a result of which wavelengths are reflected back to our eyes.
According to Colour Psychology, we don't just see colour, we feel it too. The colours and colour meanings don't change. It is our response to each wavelength of light that affects our emotions. According to one large paint company, over 70% of Australians choose to paint the walls of their homes white for fear of 'getting it wrong'. But white walls are not a 'one size fits all' solution.
This statistic points to a devastating reality. Our fear of colour, as it applies to painting our homes, stops many of us from creating a colour palette that truly sparks joy. Instead, it sees us settling for colour schemes that feel safe, rather than joyous.
Would you rather be right or happy?
It's interesting that our white-walled homeowners did not cite 'getting it right', as their motivation for choosing white paint. More often than not, we will choose to avoid pain over gain. This black and white thinking gives us the illusion of control. The seventy per cent of homeowners who are staying in the 'rod' zone of the retina - the black, white and grey zone - are stopping short of a fulfilling experience. The full spectrum of colour can only be experienced using both the rod and the cone photoreceptors of our eyes. When applying Colour Psychology to our understanding of colour, we bring the full spectrum of our minds to the colour selection process, not just our eyes.
Using Colour Psychology means that you don't have to choose between being right or being happy. Bringing Colour Psychology into the home helps to break down the white walls in our minds. By understanding and experiencing colour in this way, you can have it all - you can be both right and happy!
This is the power of having an in-depth understanding of the deeper meanings of each colour. You choose your preferred colours and learn their colour meanings. You know straight away if the colour meaning applies to you. Using Colour Psychology in your home gives you the opportunity to be right and happy with your choices - as well as the security of making informed colour choices in the future.