The Colours of Life

 

During Autumn, in between the rainy spells, it’s good to get outside and appreciate the changing foliage around us. Autumnal colours are warm and earthy; the burgundy of a conker, the bright orange of pumpkin flesh and the rich browns and reds of falling leaves.

 

Colours are an important part of our life, whether they are in nature, our clothing, our home decoration or our food.

 

We choose colours for many different reasons, consciously and unconsciously. Darker, sombre colours for when we feel down or tired, a splash of red for confidence in our outfit for a job interview or date or shades of green as a relaxing colour for our living space.

 

The beauty of colours in nature can have a profoundly positive effect on us, lifting our spirits and grounding us in the here and now. As children we experience a rainbow as something very special. The story of Noah and the flood is important to Muslims, Jews and Christians alike and this year like at the end of the flood, we’ve seen the rainbow represent gratitude and hope in the pandemic.

 

Colours have been used to distinguish personality types. In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates categorised people into one of four personality types based on the proportion of their bodily fluids. By the early 20th century the psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Carl Jung had developed Hippocrates’ theory into four personality types based on colour. According to Jung, people’s personalities are, broadly speaking, either red, yellow, blue or green:

 

  • Red personality types are typically bold and ambitious

 

  • Yellow personality types are cheerful and positive

 

  • Blue personality types are typically more relaxed and calm

 

  • Green personality types are caring and hopeful

 

The Myers-Briggs personality test and the Insights Discovery Method are contemporary developments of Jung’s colour types which are used in corporate settings worldwide today. Personally, I think that someone’s personality is more complex than just being defined by one or two categories but such tests are useful places to start thinking more about our internal worlds and how we think, feel and behave.

 

As well as people’s various internal worlds of personality colour types we also have the external palette of our different coloured hair, skin and features. Diversity makes life interesting. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. By embracing all colours, in every aspect of our life, we live a richer and rewarding one.