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Color Psychology: How Emotions Are Associated With Colors


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Did you know the colors in your home can transform your energy and emotions?


That's right! Colors can have a profound effect on us psychologically, often transforming our own feelings and emotions when in a space. Those emotions can range from feeling energetic and enthusiastic to calm and collected.


Colors can also affect our bodies. Some colors can increase our heart rates, while others can slow it down. Certain colors can even encourage brain activity and increase creativity and thoughtfulness.


Given that color has such extensive capabilities to transform us, selecting the right color for your home can really make all the difference in your well-being and health.

 

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And maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “But have you seen how many options are out there? Paint swatches alone are endless!” Yes, trust me, I have seen the endless amount of possibilities, but I’m here to help you narrow it down to colors that speak to you, and find the ones that evoke the emotions you want in your home.


In order to help you on your journey to find peace within your home and feel a greater sense of balance, I’m laying out what emotions are typically tied to each of the seven main colors found on the color spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (or Roy G Biv if you remember that fun acronym from school days!).


I’ll be covering these topics:


A brief history of color therapy

The individual and color association

Colors and their psychological and physiological effects:

Red

Orange

Yellow

Green

Blue

Indigo

Violet



COLOR THERAPY HISTORY


Color therapy is a practice that was originally found being used in ancient Egypt, Greece, China and India. It’s also referred to as chromotherapy, where stained glass (or now tinted lenses on glasses) had the person “bathe” in a specific light that was meant for healing a specific disease or illness they had. Back in ancient times, it often included only the primary colors (red, blue and yellow), and the mixing of the colors wasn’t really utilized.


Now, color’s effects on the brain and its ability to heal has been studied by scientists. Those discoveries are being implemented in many designs in the color selection process in the built environment.


Primarily we see these scientific findings present themselves in the corporate world before it branches into the residential field. Hospitals are now implementing color therapy into the design process because certain colors can increase a patient’s ability to heal and decrease recovery times.


But what if you could have this healing power exist within your own home right now? Great news is that you can! By knowing the psychological and physiological effects of color, you can make a color palette selection that’s right for you.



THE INDIVIDUAL AND COLOR


Before I go into detail about each specific color and the emotions associated with it, there is one point that’s important to mention. Color and individual emotions, feelings, associations are going to vary person to person. What you feel on an individual level can be different than what others feel, and that’s okay!


Color associations can be influenced by a person’s upbringing, beliefs, experiences and culture. For instance, in some cultures, white can be associated with purity and cleanliness, but for others, it can mean death. While that is an extreme, know that everyone has personal associations with color, so finding the right color can be a personal process. But, in order to help you on your way to finding what colors would be best for you, I’ve written the main associations and emotions we as humans tend to have with each.

You will even find some psychological effects of color contradict. This is because with every color, in higher amounts, the response to it becomes intensified. The more we surround ourselves in one color, the more intense those emotions we feel can become.


Keep this in mind when you are selecting a color palette for your home so you don’t overdo it and end up causing yourself to feel the opposite of what you intended!



COLORS AND THEIR PSYCHOLOGICAL & PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS


Red


Often when we think of red, we think of warmth, fire, passion, love, and emotion itself. Red is often a color associated with power and strength, so it is often used in small amounts or in lighter shades.


You might find that you have more energy and alertness in a red room. It can increase physical performance, stimulate the adrenal gland, increase your blood pressure, and even be an appetite stimulant!


But, a whole room of bright red, might have unintended consequences, such as feeling panicked, manic, stressed out or overwhelmed.



Orange


Orange is the color of optimism, enthusiasm, and fresh creativity. It also has a similar association to pleasure, like red, but in a more balanced way.


It is often emotionally balancing because it is a blend of red and yellow. It can encourage enthusiasm for life, and provide you with a lift in motivational support. It stimulates your cognitive ability and mental activity by increasing oxygen supply to the brain. You might even find yourself more extroverted, open to sharing and wanting to socialize around the color orange as well.


In large amounts, orange can have you feeling stressed, unbalanced, nervous or on-edge.



Yellow


Yellow is the color of cheerfulness, happiness, and lightness. It is a color most associated with the mind as you may feel uplifted and have more inspiration with yellow. It promotes new ideas and new thinking behaviors in a relaxed and calm way. It also has a bit of fun, humor and youthfulness associated with it.


Physiological effects can include boosting serotonin levels, increases in metabolism, and increases in cognitive and creative function.


In large amounts, yellow can lead to feeling exhausted, mentally maxed-out, anxious or angry.



Green


Green is the color of harmony, balance, life, and growth. Interestingly, humans can see the most shades of green than any other color. Because of this, it can actually be very soothing to the eye itself (think less eye strain), and it can relax the body.


While some may know the association of envy because of the phrase, “green with envy,” I think it’s far more common for us, as humans, to associate it with nature and earth.


Green has a restorative quality to it, and you may find yourself feeling a sense of relief or reprieve with it. Because of its correlation to organic matter, it represents renewal and rebirth, and you may find yourself being able to nurture others and pets in your home with more ease.


Too much green I think is difficult to do, however, too much of that renewal feeling may have you not feeling like yourself, and have you striving to be or balance more than you can handle.