How Colors Affect Your Mood

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Basics

  • Though it is mostly subconscious, colors affect your moods in a variety of ways. Colors also affect different people in different ways. Whether it's the color of a room, the shade of a blouse or the hues of a painting, the mood changes are noticeable when closely observed. Subtleties will affect people of various ages, gender and ethnic backgrounds in different manners, while there are general color schemes that affect most everyone. Colors have a psychological effect on moods ranging from tranquility to rage and from clarity to disorientation.

Excitement

  • Red is an energetic color that can cause people to feel excited and stirred to the point of raising blood pressure and heart rate. Red in rooms where people congregate, such as the living room or dining room, can stimulate conversation, while red in the bedroom can cause difficulty with sleeping. Bright reds that border on crimson can be very agitating. Yellow is considered to be a "happy" color, and rooms painted yellow can evoke a feeling of joy or intensity. Yellow also can be unnerving, which is why most decorators discourage people from painting a baby's room yellow. Orange is another exciting color, not well suited for a bedroom but great for a workout room.

Calming

  • Blue is a very calming color and can bring down the blood pressure and heart rate. Warmer shades of blue can be relaxing, while dark blues can bring on or intensify feelings of sadness. Green is one of the most comforting colors, which is why it's so popular for kitchens and sitting rooms. Green is an amorous color and can raise the libido. While bold purple signals sophistication and feelings of worth, light purples and lavender and evoke restful feelings.

Effects

  • Instructors at the Bloomsburg University Graphic Design Center say that color has profound effects on the mental and physical well being of humans. Researchers in graphic design report that black, being the absence of color, can bring on powerful feelings as well as mental references to sadness and grief, evil, fear, mystery and anger. Therapists have begun to include color therapy in their work, using color changes and images to bring patients into calmer or more animated states in which they can provide therapeutic assistance. They also help people understand how they react to various colors and offer advice accordingly. For example, on days when people are feeling down, they should wear yellow or red to help raise their moods.

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  • Photo Credit Tomasz Piskorski
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