Mood rings first became popular in the 1970s as a way for people to get a sense of their emotional state based on the color the ring turned on their finger. The rings contain thermochromic liquid crystals that respond to changes in skin temperature by changing colors. Each color supposedly corresponds to a different mood or emotional state.
How Mood Rings Work
Mood rings have a clear stone, like glass or quartz, that has thermochromic liquid crystals sealed inside it. The crystals are made of compounds that change structure based on temperature. At different temperatures, the crystal structures refract light differently, causing the ring stone to change colors.
When worn on the finger, the metal band conducts body heat to the thermochromic crystals inside the stone. As the crystals warm up, they change color based on the current skin temperature. Since skin temperature can correlate with mood, the color changes are thought to reflect the wearer’s emotions.
Mood Ring Color Meanings
While mood ring vendors have their own color charts, the following are some generally accepted meanings:
- Black – Tense, stressed
- Blue – Calm, relaxed
- Green – Normal, average mood
- Yellow – Anxious, nervous
- Brown – Bored, sluggish
- Grey – Sad, depressed
- Amber – Loving, warm, romantic
So if anxiety shows up as a yellow color on a mood ring, that aligns with the meaning for yellow as an anxious, nervous emotional state.
Do Mood Rings Accurately Detect Emotions?
While it’s fun to glance at your mood ring and see it reflecting your moods, the color meanings are not firmly scientifically established. Some critics argue that mood rings are nothing more than pseudoscience novelty items.
The main issue is that while skin temperature can provide some insight into emotions, many other factors also influence skin temperature. Room temperature, blood flow, time of day, medications, and underlying medical conditions can all impact finger temperature.
Therefore, the color changes in mood rings may not always align with the wearer’s actual emotional state. The colors serve more as rough guesses rather than definitive gauges of moods.
Studies on Mood Ring Accuracy
A few studies have tried to determine the accuracy of mood rings:
- A 1977 study found mood ring colors matched the reported moods of participants only 25% of the time.
- A 1980 study found a weak correlation between mood ring colors and wearers’ emotions.
- A 2007 study found no correlation between mood ring colors and changes in wearers’ anxiety levels.
Overall, these studies indicate mood rings may not be very reliable at actually detecting specific mood states like anxiety based on the ring color alone.
Other Methods for Measuring Emotions
While mood rings are more of a novelty item, researchers have developed other methods for measuring emotions and anxiety levels in more rigorous ways:
- Self-report questionnaires: Asking people to rate their own anxiety levels using standardized scales.
- Physiological monitoring: Measuring heart rate, skin conductance, breathing rate as indicators of anxiety.
- Neuroimaging: Looking at brain activity patterns correlated with anxious states.
- Behavioral observation: Observing anxious behaviors and body language.
These direct measurements are more reliable than the indirect inference from a mood ring color change. However, mood rings can still be fun even if they aren’t scientifically rigorous!
What Influences Anxiety?
Anxiety arises from a complex interplay of factors, including:
- Genetics – Family history of anxiety disorders.
- Brain chemistry – Imbalances in neurotransmitters like serotonin.
- Environmental stressors – Work, relationships, trauma, finances.
- Thought patterns – Chronic worrying, rumination, negative bias.
- Medical factors – Some conditions like thyroid disease, drug side effects.
Treating anxiety often requires a multi-pronged approach of therapy, lifestyle changes, medications, or alternative treatments to address these various factors.
Healthy Ways to Cope with Anxiety
If you suffer from anxiety, some healthy ways to cope include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy to change negative thought patterns.
- Relaxation techniques like mindfulness meditation, deep breathing.
- Avoiding caffeine, drugs, alcohol which can worsen anxiety.
- Getting regular exercise which releases mood-boosting endorphins.
- Engaging in relaxing hobbies like reading, yoga, listening to music.
- Getting enough sleep, which is essential for emotional regulation.
While medication can be helpful for some, addressing any underlying causes through counseling, lifestyle changes, social support, and self-care strategies is key.
When to Seek Help for Anxiety
It’s normal to feel anxious sometimes. However, see a doctor or mental health professional if anxiety:
- Is excessive, persistent, or uncontrollable
- Interferes significantly with daily activities
- Causes physical symptoms like chest pain, dizziness, digestive issues
- Impacts relationships or work/school performance
- Is accompanied by substance abuse, thoughts of self-harm, or suicidal feelings
Getting professional care is important if anxiety symptoms are severe and interfering with your ability to function.
Mood rings may roughly correlate some colors with anxious emotional states. However, mood ring colors are not scientifically reliable indicators of specific moods like anxiety. Many factors influence skin temperature besides emotions. Anxiety arises from complex interactions of genetics, brain chemistry, stressful triggers, and thought patterns. If you are experiencing excessive anxiety, it’s important to see a mental health professional. With professional support, lifestyle changes, and proven techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy, anxiety is a very treatable condition.
|Mood Ring Color||Associated Mood/Emotion|
|Green||Normal, average mood|
|Amber||Loving, warm, romantic|