We’d like to provide you with some ideas on ways to use LEGO® to relax, find balance, and be happier.
Personally, I cannot walk past a LEGO store without going in and, of course, spending money. Why? Because I love LEGO. At least that’s the answer I’d give if you asked me.
But have you ever wondered why you feel happy as soon as you see LEGO bricks? They tend to have this instant effect on people, making them smile. Maybe it’s because as soon as they see the bricks they remember the fun they had when they were a child playing, or maybe even when they were creating something just last week. Perhaps it’s simply because the colors of the bricks make us feel good, playful, creative, open, and ready to explore.
As an art student and then an art therapist, I studied color and the use of color for many years. Although we might think the colors we pick are simply preference, there are reasons we might not be fully aware of regarding why we select the colors we do. In fact, there is a lot more behind color psychology than we might first consider.
While color is all around us in nature, trees, sky, flowers, and trees, it has only been in recent history that man has been able to manipulate the use of color by creating it. Only within the last 150 years or so have we had access to manufactured color, which we created with the synthesis of aniline dyes or coal-tar derivatives and metallic oxides.
Our interaction with color in the natural world has given us the ability to assign meaning to colors. That in turn helps us to make connections with the world around us. We might assign color and meaning to things, such as: green is healthy; yellow is happy; blue is calm; red means danger; pink means soft; orange means energy; purple means expensive, etc. Everyone has their own color code they use, and most of us have a favorite color.
As soon as we interact with colorful LEGO bricks, we are activating both our conscious and our subconscious mind. Research indicates color can be used to helps us to focus on details or to think bigger and activate our imagination. It can even be used to evoke memories. Color activates our minds. For many years, marketing companies have been using color to help drive consumer behaviors.
I have been lucky enough to tour the LEGO factory where they make these beautifully colored bricks and the factory where they package them. Even if you are not into production or manufacturing, it’s hard not to be totally impressed with the amazing explosion of color. They do not allow photographs because their processing systems are their intellectual property. They did, however, give me a fun keep-sake brick to indicate I had been there.
The colors LEGO uses to create their bricks are carefully selected and limited to their in-house color guide. This uniformity of color is what attracts us to the bricks and makes our creations look so pleasing when we build. Imagine if every red brick was a different shade of red? Or if they used different colors on each brick? What if they used different colors for every brick or created a random variety of parts and pieces that you would never be able to find in your collection because they were never the same color? The very thought of this makes me cringe.
Next time you break open your bricks, spend some time and think about the colors and what each color means to you. Consider which colors you are attracted or connected to or which combination of colors you find most pleasing. Are there any colors you really don’t like? Or are there ones you love and consider your favorite? Are there any colors you look for more often because they just make you feel happy? True confession: I love the LEGO brick in what I call Kelly Green—they make me smile!
What’s your favorite color LEGO Brick?