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No one is neutral when it comes to colours. There are always some colours we like more than others, and there are some we just do not like at all. Did you ever wonder what this thing called colour is and why it is so important to understand? does color affect us more than we realize? Can colours be used to alter our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual conditions?


From a scientific point of view, light is electromagnetic energy that is produced by the sun in differing wavelengths.  When these light waves bounce off objects and the hit our eyes, they create the sensation of light.  Everything we see is created by reflected light.  Low frequency light waves register in the brain as the colour red. Violet is the result of high frequency light waves.

The psychology of colour is based on the mental and emotional effects colours have on sighted people in all facets of life. There are some very subjective pieces to colour psychology as well as some more accepted and proven elements. Keep in mind, that there will also be variations in interpretation, meaning, and perception between different cultures


Applying Color Psychology to Everyday Life

Did you know your surroundings may be influencing your emotions and state of mind? Do you ever notice that certain places especially irritate you? Or that certain places are especially relaxing and calming? Well, there’s a good chance that the colours in those spaces are playing a part.

In art therapy, colour is often associated with a person’s emotions. Color may also influence a person’s mental or physical state. For example, studies have shown that some people looking at the colour red resulted in an increased heart rate, which then led to additional adrenaline being pumped into the blood stream. You can learn more about how colour therapy works and how light and colour might affect us.

There are also commonly noted psychological effects of color as it relates to two main categories: warm and cool.


Psychological Effects of Cool Colors

Need to be creative? Want help getting those brain synapses firing? Try utilizing the colour purple. Purple utilizes both red and blue to provide a nice balance between stimulation and serenity that is supposed to encourage creativity. Light purple is said to result in a peaceful surrounding, thus relieving tension. These could be great colours for a home or business office.

Are you looking for a peaceful and calming environment? You might consider using green and/or blue. These cool colors are typically considered restful. There is actually a bit of scientific logic applied to this – because the eye focuses the color green directly on the retina, it is said to be less strainfull on your eye muscles.

The colour blue is suggested for high-traffic rooms or rooms that you or other people will spend significant amounts of time. Another cool colour, blue is typically a calming and serene colour, said to decrease respiration and lower blood pressure. The bedroom is a great place to use these colours as they should help you relax.

Psychological Effects of Warm Colors

Want to create an environment of stimulation or whet people’s appetite? You might consider utilizing the colors yellow or orange. These colors are often associated with food and can cause your tummy to growl a little. Have you ever wondered why so many restaurants use these colors? Now you know why even after people watched the movie SuperSize Me, they said they were hungry.

Common Psychological Effects of Colors

The following are some common psychological effects of colors in the Western Hemisphere.

Keep in mind that certain shades or tones may result in very different meanings. Also, the context around the color, and even surrounding colors, can have an effect. Think of this as more of a beginning guide to color psychology.

Here is a list of color associations and uses. These are meant to be guidelines. They are not carve in stone.


The Color White

White contains the entire light spectrum. It is strengthening. It is very cleansing and purifying to the entire energy system of the individual. 

  • purity

  • innocence

  • cleanliness

  • sense of space

  • neutrality

  • mourning (in some cultures/societies)

The Color Black

Black contains the entire color spectrum. It is a color that is shrouded in confusion. Black is a protective color, and it can be used to ground and calm extremely sensitive individuals. It should be used sparingly, as too much black can cause depression or aggravate such emotional and mental conditions.

  • authority

  • power

  • strength

  • evil

  • intelligence

  • thinning / slimming

  • death or mourning

The Color Gray
  • neutral

  • timeless


The Color Red

Red is a stimulating color. It strengthens the physical energy and the will of the individual. It can be used for colds and mucus ailments or used to raise the body's temperature and to energize the blood, which helps in treating poor circulation.  Too much red can overstimulate and aggravate conditions. High blood pressure is an indication of too much red energy within the system.

  • love

  • romance

  • gentle

  • warmth

  • comfort

  • energy

  • excitement

  • intensity

  • life

  • blood

The Color Orange

Orange is the color of joy and wisdom. It stimulates feelings of sociability. It is tied to our emotional health and to the muscular system of the body. Orange can assist in healing conditions of the spleen, pancreas, stomach, intestines, and adrenals. It can be used to revitalize the physical body and assist with food assimilation. It makes a good tonic after a bout of illness, for it is good in eliminating negativity in the body.  To much orange affects the nerves and should be balanced with shades of green-blues.

  • happy

  • energetic

  • excitement

  • enthusiasm

  • warmth

  • wealth prosperity

  • sophistication

  • change

  • stimulation


The Color Yellow

Yellow is stimulating to the mental faculties. It helps reawaken an enthusiasm for life, providing greater confidence and optimism. Therefore, it can be useful for treating depression. It also helps balance the entire gastrointestinal tract - including the stomach, intestines, and bladder - and the entire eliminative system of the body. Too much yellow may create nervousness and excessive thinking.

  • happiness

  • laughter

  • cheery

  • warmth

  • optimism

  • hunger

  • intensity

  • frustration

  • anger

  • attention-getting


The Color Green

Green is the most predominant color on the planet. It balances our energies, and it can be used to increase our sensitivity and compassion. It has a calming effect, especially for inflamed conditions of the body. It is soothing to the nervous system. The brighter greens, leaning toward the blue spectrum, are powerful in healing most conditions. It should never be used in cancerous or tumorous conditions or anything of malignant nature, as green aslo stimulates growth.

  • natural

  • cool

  • growth

  • money

  • health

  • envy

  • tranquility

  • harmony

  • calmness

  • fertility

The Color Blue

Blue is cooling to our system and it is relaxing. It is quieting to our energies and it has an antiseptic effect as well. It is strengthening and balancing to the respiratory system of the body and all conditions of the throat. It is effective in easing childhood diseases, especially asthma, chickenpox, jaundice, and rheumatism. In fact, it is one of the most healing colors for children. It is an excellent treatment for high blood pressure.

  • calmness

  • serenity

  • cold

  • uncaring

  • wisdom

  • loyalty

  • truth

  • focused

  • un-appetizing

The Color Indigo

Indigo and the deeper shades of blue are dynamic healing colors on both spiritual and physical levels.  It is strengthening to the lymph system, glands, and immune systems.  It is an excellent blood purifier and can assist in detoxifying the body.  It is a color that is balancing to the hemispheres of the brain and the nerve synapses between them. It is effective in treating all conditions of the face, including eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and sinuses. Too much indigo can cause depression and a sense of separateness from others.

The Color Violet

Violet is a color that affects the skeletal system of the body. It is very antiseptic, cleansing, and purifying on physical and spiritual levels. Violet is good to use for cancerous conditions of the ''body''. Arthritis can be eased by violet light. Too much violet may lead to depression, and it can bring old issues to the surface at inappropriate times.

  • royalty

  • wealth

  • sophistication

  • wisdom

  • exotic

  • spiritual

  • prosperity

  • respect

  • mystery

The Color Brown

Brown is also a color that can be used in healing. It is especially effective for emotional and mental conditions. Brown can help awaken common sense and discrimination. It can help bring an individual ''back down to earth''. It is effective for eliminating that spacey feeling.

  • reliability

  • stability

  • friendship

  • sadness

  • warmth

  • comfort

  • security

  • natural

  • organic

  • mourning (in some cultures/societies)


The Color Pink

Pink can be used to awaken compassion, love, and purity. It eases conditions of anger and feeling of neglect. It helps stimulate the thymus gland and the immune system of the body. Pink is comforting to the emotional energies of the individual.  Too much pink may make you hypersensitive and emotional.

  • romance

  • love

  • gentle

  • calming

  • agitation

The Color Purple

Purple is purifying to the system. It can be used to stimulate venous activity in the body. It can also be used for headaches. The red-purple range is beneficial for balancing polarities of the body; the blue-purple range can often be used effectively to shrink things (as in the case of tumors) and to cool the skin, easing inflammation. Too much purple can create or aggravate depression.

The Color Silver

Silver and some grays can be used to amplify the effects of other colors, much in the manner of white.