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Why Does Green Make Us Feel So Serene?

March 13, 2019

Why Does Green Make Us Feel So Serene?

Do you ever think about how color affects your mood? Why you are drawn toward some colors and away from others?

Ask us to pick a favorite color, and you may as well be asking us to pick a favorite child! It depends on the setting, how we’re feeling in the moment. Ask a designer what paint colors you should use in your home, and they will likely ask what mood you want to evoke.

For someone wanting to create a relaxing and restful retreat, the color green is almost always a top recommendation for paint, fabric, and accessories. That’s why, when we were developing colors for Serve Kindness, we knew green needed to be part of our collection.

We also knew it needed to be the “right” shade of green and were sure we’d know it when we saw it (even though we rarely agree on what the “right” color is!). That led us to dig more deeply into why we’re drawn to certain colors.

Green has often been associated with serenity and tranquility, with peacefulness and security. But we wanted to know WHY it makes us feel this way?

The Science of Green

In kindergarten, we learned the difference between primary (red, blue, yellow) and secondary colors. However, more and more often, green is considered an “unofficial primary color.”

Because green falls near the middle of the visible spectrum, it’s the easiest, and most restful, color for the human eye to view. It’s simply more attractive to our eyes!

Though most often classified as a cool color, green is seen as a bridge between cool and warm. It’s a balanced color, and perhaps this is why, when we see it, we are given to feelings of peace, serenity, stability, health, and safety.

Some suggest we have an evolutionary adaptation to thank for our sensitivity to the color green.

Long before cities and suburbs, early man inhabited forested environments full of greenery. Their survival depended on scavenging for food, which in turn depended on their ability to locate colored berries against a sweeping scene of green foliage.

The Serenity of the Great Outdoors

In addition to an evolutionary advantage, perhaps our ancestors also gave us an appreciation for the beauty and inspiration of the great outdoors.

No color is better represented in nature than green. From the lushness of the grass under our feet, to the secrets and history hidden in majestic trees reaching skyward.

Maybe that’s why we so closely associate the color with serenity and peace. There’s evidence to suggest that nature can make us kinder, happier, and more creative and keep our brains and bodies healthy.

A hike through a forested area was found to be more relaxing and less stressful than a walk in an urban setting. Emotional states are more positive, anxiety is decreased, and cognitive performance is improved. In another study, those who were exposed to beautiful nature scenes demonstrated more generosity and a willingness to help.

Additionally, being in nature allows us to step away from our tendency to multitask. We put down our gadgets and devices and are able to focus on our surroundings. It becomes an almost meditative experience, and it can unleash creativity, restoration, and inspiration.

Since the early days of Serve Kindness and continuing today, many of our best ideas have blossomed during shared nature walks in the woods around our homes or in public parks and gardens. Inspiration was all around us—in every blade of grass, every leaf.

We were inspired by these walks to not only create a business that would spread kindness, but also bring the serenity of the outdoors into every home.

Image of handblown glass bowls from Serve Kindness on a tree stump






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