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The Psychology of Color

Posted by Eileen Yelovich

Color is all around us; it influences our thoughts, actions, and moods. The colors in the clothes we wear, the food we eat and our perceptions of the colors in everything around us influence the health and wellness of our mind, body and spirit. You can influence your emotions through thoughtful application of colors when choosing: 

  • Paint colors
  • Furniture colors 
  • Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Foods
  • Eyeglass lenses 

Red: Essential for physical and emotional transformation, restores depleted energy. 

Orange: Warm and encouraging, relieves nervous tension and fear. 

Yellow: Warm and positive with a purifying effect. 

Green: Cooling and balancing, effective in calming the body. 

Sky blue: Cool and calming, facilitates breaking down emotional barriers, aids relaxation and sleep. 

Indigo blue: Peaceful and calming used for restlessness. 

Violet: Effective in relieving anxiety and nervousness. 

Magenta: Helps balance the emotions.

Turquoise: Relaxing color, supports the restoration and rejuvenation of the body at a deep level. 

Pink: Soothing and sedating. 

Color influences us in all areas: business, social and personal life. 

In the office: neutral gray work surfaces are less fatiguing on the eyes. In addition, relaxing softer tones of blue, green or turquoise are balancing in a work or study environment where concentration is necessary. 

Socially: when dining out, appetizers of bright warm reds, orange and yellows encourage customers to linger while foods made with cooler shades of blues and greens subconsciously encourage a fast turnover in restaurants. 

In the home: Pale tones offer a soothing environment while bold colors are stimulating. It would be best to not overdo the use of bold colors as red can be irritating and too much green, depressing. 

Color changes the rules: In 1991, it was discovered the visitor locker rooms at Iowa and Colorado State were painted pink in the belief that pink made the players passive. This discovery changed the Western Athletic Conference rules, consequently; visitor locker rooms must be painted the same color as the home team locker room.