Color us surprised! The next time you’re stuck on a work problem, or you’re feeling seriously uninspired about what to make for dinner, take a peek at something green. A quick glimpse of the color is enough to get your creative juices flowing, finds a new study from Germany.The Healing Power of Plants
Researchers from the University of Munich asked a group of 65 study participants to complete a short creativity test online. During the test, each person was asked to write down different uses for a common object, such as a tin can. Here’s the catch: Before the test, each participant was shown a login screen that featured either the color green or the color white.
Those who saw the green screens scored about 20 percent higher on the creativity test. The researchers repeated the experiment three times, pitting green against the colors red, gray, and blue. Each time, green proved to be way more effective at boosting creativity.
So what gives? Turns out that visual cues are tied to your thoughts and behaviors, says study author Stephanie Lichtenfeld, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Munich. Our brains associate the color green—which is so prevalent in nature—with growth and development. And simply thinking about growth has been shown to spur our desire for self-improvement and mastering tasks, says Dr. Lichtenfeld.
Getting in on these creativity-boosting benefits couldn’t be easier: Just look at something green, says Dr. Lichtenfeld. And it doesn’t take long—two seconds of gazing at something green is all it takes to improve your creativity, she says. Bring a green-leafed plant to your office, paint the walls of your favorite room green, or take a page from the study by changing your screen saver to green—and get ready to nail any creativity challenge that comes your way!