If you’ve had a rough few days lately (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?) then this might just be the answer you’ve been looking for, for a way to pick up your mood and brighten your day; and it could be as easy as changing up what you wear!
What are we talking about? Why dopamine dressing of course!
Dopamine dressing is the idea that wearing bright, fun and colourful clothes will lift your mood and spark more confidence. Could it really be this simple? And is there any evidence behind it?
So what is dopamine? In a nutshell dopamine is a neurotransmitter that signals to the brain whether something is desirable or not and pushes you towards or away from something.
What does that have to do with colours and clothing? Let’s dive into a bit of psychology on the four basic colours.
– Red is said to produce a physical response: it increases our heart rate, can activate our fight of flight response and can make time feel as if it is passing quickly.
– Blue calms our minds. It creates an intellectual response; it can help us to reflect and have more clear thoughts as well as increase our concentration. It is a colour of trustworthiness, logic and communication.
– Yellow is the colour which brings forth an emotional response, as is considered to be the strongest colour psychologically. It is considered a colour of confidence, optimism, creativity and friendliness, and can increase our self esteem and help us to appear more approachable.
– Green brings us balance. It is a colour of harmony, rest and peace. Green is refreshing and helps to reassure us that we are safe and cared for, that there is plenty of all we need and that there is hope in the future, and a steadfast and stable environment around us.
– All other colours are combinations of the basic four ie: Orange is both a physical and emotional colour; it brings physical needs to the forefronts of our minds such as food, warmth and intimacy. It also is considered to be a fun and frivolous colour, bringing out joy and happiness. (1)
Having looked at how colours unconsciously affect us, it is quite probable that what we wear has an impact how we feel, and how other perceive and thus treat us. By choosing colours that increase our pulse, or that make us feel more confident, we are communicating these messages subconsciously to our brain. The dopamine will pick up whether of not this concept is appealing and then push us towards a positive outcome or away from a negative outcome. Essentially, by wearing something that makes us feel confident, we convince our brain that we are.
Another aspect of this is how other people perceive you. If you are dressed in bright and colourful clothing, people will receive your message of fun, confidence and joy and reflect it back to you. Not only are you lifting up your own spirits, but you are being a ray of sunshine in other people’s lives.(2)
Now if you do a google image search for dopamine dressing then you will find plenty of wild and bold colour and pattern inspiration. If you’re thinking “um no thanks, I don’t want to wear bright yellow shoes with leopard print pants and a fluoro jumper over a polkadot blouse!” or maybe you can’t wear bold and bright colours because of a work uniform. Well then you are not alone!
The real key to dopamine dressing is wearing pieces you love that make you feel good as well as embracing the coding in colours. To start you can add it into your accessories (or your underwear!), but make certain you are enjoying your clothes and feel great in what you wear. There is no point wearing a bright yellow dress if you hate the colour yellow, or avoiding navy blue if you feel best in that colour and think it makes your eyes stand out.
Why not give it a try and let us know what you think! Pull out those bright colours and bold prints and wear what makes your soul sing! We think we might just start looking through our wardrobe and have a go too. (1)
http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours (2) https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2017/feb/03/dopamine-dressing-can-you-dress-yourself-happy https://www.womenshealth.com.au/can-dopamine-dressing-make-you-happier