Have you ever stopped to take a moment and considered how different colors have a strong influence on your mood?
The color we choose to paint our walls with at home, the colors we wear, the colors of the food we eat and the hues of the objects we surround ourselves with can sharpen our focus, increase our happiness, relax us, energize us, make our brain work faster and even have an influence on our appetite.
While you can change your decor or bedding, the easiest way to use color psychology is choosing your outfit based on what you want to influence. Keep in mind, how we experience colors is very subjective and what makes you happy and cheerful might make another person irritated, depending on cultural differences and past experiences.
Let’s take a closer look at how color stirs our emotions and changes the way we feel.
Red is the most dynamic and warmest of the colors that has a physical effect on us and triggers opposing emotions. It actually raises our heartbeat as well as respiration rate and stimulates and energizes us. Because red has the longest wavelength, it is the most powerful of all the colors. In ancient times, red has been associated with danger and anger, but nowadays it is at the same time associated with love and passion. Red can impair our performance on mental tasks, but will enhance our physical performance. When you go for a run or to the gym, wear red, but stay away from red if you have a test or exam coming up. When you use red as an accessory during a meeting, a speech or an important interview, you will boost your confidence and capture the attention of your audience.
As orange is the combination of red and yellow, it has similar effects as both colors. Usually orange is associated with feelings of sensuality, passion, physical comfort, warmth, security, fun and abundance. But be careful, because orange can also cause frustrations, others may perceive you as frivolous or immature. Orange can seem aggressive, but is a lot more balanced than red. It shows movement and draws attention without being overpowering. As an instinctive color, orange is a combination of the physical and emotional and when you wear orange, you are considered to be the life of the party. Orange supports feelings of happiness and vitality and has an energy that is friendly and inviting. So when you need to be more cheerful or want to cheer others up, add some orange to your life.
Red, orange and yellow are the warm colors of the color spectrum and yellow is seen as the most energetic as it is associated with sunshine, hope and laughter. It is the strongest color in a psychological sense and has an emotional effect. Yellow creates confidence, self-esteem, optimism, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity and extraversion. On the negative side of yellow you can find feelings like irrationality, fear, anxiety and emotional fragility. Generally, yellow lifts your spirits and when you need a boost to your mood, surround yourself with yellow. It is also associated with intelligence. When you are doing some creative work, add some yellow to your wardrobe and let the energy of yellow inspire you.
Green, blue and violet are cool colors that are usually soothing and calming, but can also represent sadness. Green is the easiest color on the eyes and symbolizes new beginnings, health and wealth. If you want to create balance and relax, green is the way to go. It is also a great choice if you want to depict security and growth or want to inspire possibility. Green has the power to balance the mind, promote relaxation and reduce fatigue and is associated with equilibrium, harmony, universal love, rest, peace and refreshment. Just think about it, a lot of techniques to reduce stress are best done in nature and one of the reasons is because you are surrounded by the calming green of the trees and grass. Like with all the other colors, too much of it can have a negative effect and green can be associated with blandness, stagnation, boredom and enervation.
If you are in need of a sense of calm, bring some blue into your life. Blue creates a feeling of trust and can actually lower blood pressure. Blue is considered an intellectual color, so if you are working on bringing more mental clarity into your life, it’s a great idea to wear blue. If you wear blue, others will consider you to be dependable and trustworthy and you give them a sense of security. When we see the color blue, it actually causes our body to produce and release chemicals that calm us down. However, if you go overboard with blue, people may perceive you as cold, aloof and unfriendly. Whenever you feel sad and your mood is down, avoid blue, as it will make you feel more blue.
A lot of time, violet is used to soothe or calm and is associated with wealth, royalty and creativity. Violet has mystical qualities and whenever you are meditating, practicing mindfulness or engage in creative visualization exercises, violet evokes reflectiveness and deep thoughts. Throughout history, several shades of purple have been viewed as status symbols of wealth, so if you want to portray a sense of luxury, incorporate purple into your outfit. Purple is regal and rich and associated with confidence. Whenever you wear something purple, take a look at yourself and you will believe that you can conquer the world.
White is associated with simplicity and purity and will project a sense of cleanliness and brightness. Too much of white can make one feel almost sterile and clinical and not approachable. White can be also associated with nothingness and it is important to keep in mind that in some cultures, white represents death and/or mourning.
Black is a mysterious, powerful color that is associated with mystery, death, seriousness and sex. On one hand you may feel secure in black, because you are hiding in the darkness, on the other hand, black can make you feel depressed. Black is the entire color spectrum absorbed and it creates a protective barrier that shields you from whatever energy is coming your way. Black represents glamor, sophistication, substance and efficiency, but it also conveys coldness and menace. If you want to feel more in control of your life, put on a black shirt. It’s also the color to wear when you are in need of security and emotional safety.
Like green, brown is a color that is strongly tied to thoughts about the natural world. This organic, earthy color evokes a sense of safety and comfort. It makes you feel cozy, so whenever you feel like you need to relax after a stressful day calm your nerves with a touch of brown.
If you can’t focus and feel like you need more clarity on ideas and directions as thoughts pop into your mind, gold is the way to go as it is the color of thought and independence. Simply put on a piece of gold jewelry to remind yourself of your independence and release cluttered thoughts that cloud your mind and judgment and disrupt your ability to focus. Whenever you feel like you need an extra boost of the energy of gold, close your eyes and touch the gold and you can fill yourself up with this energy.
We live in a world of colors that can inspire us every single day. Multiple studies show that color stimulates certain hormones that can affect our mood through the central nervous system. Others look at the affect of color on our spirit through the explanation of the chakra system. Keep in mind, all colors have their positives and negatives. The key is to balance the colors you use and don’t overuse any color, as it could have a damaging impact on your mood. Also, don’t force yourself to wear a color just because of the impact it could have on your mood because if you don’t like red, wearing red won’t make you feel confident but rather annoyed and aggressive.
COLOR IS THE UNSPOKEN LANGUAGE THAT COMMUNICATES WITH YOUR CONSCIOUS AND SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
Joschi & Monika