Mindfulness: February

At the beginning of 2015 I wrote a post on practicing a mentally healthy approach to life. I mentioned a pocket-sized book – 365 Days of Mindfulness by Yvette Jane – that provides a mindfulness tip for every day of the year. Each month I am sharing my favourite practical tip. In January I wrote about multi-tasking whilst watching TV, and this month I had a lot to choose from.

February covered everything from doing yoga and slowing down in between meetings, to letting go of stress and watching ice melt on your car windscreen. The tip that I enjoyed the most was:

Make today a ‘colour’ day. Notice which colours you are drawn to.
Become aware of colours in your workplace that you may not have noticed before.

If you’ve read my article on Art Therapy, you’ll know that I’m quite intrigued by colour and the way it can influence our mood. In February I went to my hairdressers, and immediately I noticed that they had redecorated. The walls are now bright orange – a colour I don’t appreciate anywhere, ever – and above the sinks is a light installation that changes colour repeatedly whilst your hair is being washed. You have no choice but to stare up at the flashing red to orange to yellow to green to blue to purple, and back to red. At its best it’s distracting, at its worse it headache-inducing. My hairdresser is so good though, that I feel I have no choice but to endure these painful colours and just close my eyes from entry to exit.

Image: Ko-te
Image: Ko-te

I also have a similar problem at work. Our logo is white and lime green (don’t ask me why) and therefore most of our offices are white with lime green feature walls, or white with lime green chairs, or white with lime green writing on the walls. Quite vile. This mindfulness tip made me look at the walls and the soft furnishings, and wonder what had been going through the minds of the people who chose this. I wonder, would I be more productive if the colours were different? Would I be more motivated, or happier?

After the hairdressers and the office, I started thinking about my clothes. I have no consistency when it comes to style – or at least I don’t think I do – so I flutter between classic black outfits and fun brightly coloured looks. This mindfulness tip made me think about the days when I choose to wear bright colours and the impact this has on my mood. Do I feel more work-ready? Do I feel more professional or more focused? Not really. But, I do feel like I’m making a statement. I feel like I walk into a meeting room saying, “Hey! Listen to what I have to say!” My bright red shirt, red shift dress and pink floral tulip dress do more for my confidence than the traditional office-chic pencil skirt and heels.

Image: Burda Style
Image: ASOS

Do colours effect your mood? Which colours do you lean on for confidence and happiness?