The Power of Color
Science has confirmed what many of us sense intuitively. Our nervous system and psychology are impacted through color selection in both conscious and unconscious ways. The idea of chromotherapy has existed in different capacities over hundreds of years. Several ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and the Chinese have a long and celebrated tradition of using colors as part of healing. (Kendra, 2018)
Our preferences vary based on mood, personality, and sense of style. Different people associate different feelings with certain shades but color is a consideration in conveying how we feel and behave and what we attract. (Breyer, 2015)
“Colors are a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood, and even influence physiological reactions”. (Kendra, 2018)
Product packaging often plays off these ideas. Fast food businesses typically use red, orange and yellow to benefit from their known associated appetite-stimulating energy and happiness. (Breyer, 2015)
How we associate and perceive colors:
- Our minds unconsciously associate colors to past emotions or situations. We describe certain emotions as “seeing red” or “feeling blue”.
- We have an ingrained association to colors based on where colors can be found in nature.
- We all have an innate reaction to colors. In fact, we all see and feel colors differently. However, while perceptions of color are somewhat subjective, there are some color effects that have universal meaning. (Kendra, 2018)(Grumman, 2013 & Satenstein, 2014)
Using colors to influence mood:
Blue- calls to mind stability, tranquility and calmness. Associated with blue skies, the ocean and smooth sailing. Further, “Blue is associated with trustworthiness, strength and dependability”. (Harrington, 2015)
Going on a first date or for an interview? Slip on something blue to keep calm and create the feeling of relaxation.
Red - Hot, powerful….evokes strong emotions such as fear, anger and passion, definitely an attention grabber. “We link red to passion because red is the color we exhibit on our skin when sexually interested — a red flush or blush.” “It can also increase your heart rate. It is also a stimulating color, this goes back to caveman days of fire and danger and alarm.”
Want to feel passionate? Add some red to your outfit! ;) (Grumman, 2013)
Green - This color is closely linked to nature and the environment, it can relax or refresh your mood. (Grumman, 2013)
Need to chill out after a stressful day? Try green to feel relaxed and as you unwind.
Yellow- Related to sunshine, typically conveys a joyous, happy mood “Wearing yellow creates a very open atmosphere with people” as it is an inviting color. (Kendra, 2018)
Add some yellow to brighten up your wardrobe, help people feel at ease and lift your mood!
Orange- Evokes action. “Orange is much more of a casual, active color and it is said to stimulate enthusiasm and creativity”. (Harrington, 2015)
Put up some orange on when you want to rev yourself up so you can hit the gym or channel creativity for a work project!
Purple- is associated with royalty and luxury.
To feel confident and regal, say for a job interview, try purple! (Harrington, 2015)
Black- Black is the go-to color when you want to look more regal and formal”. (Harrington, 2015) “Black can be very elegant; it plays everything else down so you stand out; it lets you shine”. However, be careful not to wear too much black as it can be a downer and you miss out on the benefits of the other colors. (Kendra, 2018)
When you choose your next outfit consider what kind of energy you want to attract to your day. Once a week, mindfully choose to wear more colors than your regular 2-3 choices. If you aren’t feeling brave enough for large bright pieces, try colourful accessories. We have some lovely choices that can be a great addition and easy alternative to add up some color to your outfit.
Color and mood are inextricably linked. We hope our quick guide to colors helps you look and feel great!
Edited by: Kat Gracie.
Breyer, Melissa. (2015). How Color Affects Your Appetite Retrieved from: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-color-affects-your-appetite.html
Grumman, Rachel. (2013). Retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/27/how-color-affects-our-moo_n_1114790.html
Satenstein, Liana. (2014). Can Wearing Bright Colors Improve Your Mood? Retrieved from: https://www.vogue.com/article/can-wearing-bright-colors-improve-mood
Kendra, Cherry. (2018) Color Psychology: Does it Affect How You Feel? Retrieved from: https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-2795824
How does the color of your clothes affect your mood? Retrieved from: https://brightside.me/inspiration-psychology/how-does-the-color-of-your-clothes-affect-your-mood-134155/