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LGLWSM Newsletter 070 - How Colors Affect Emotions
July 04, 2013
So, I was talking to a friend recently about how I’ve been attracted to various colors over the years, which led me to thinking about how these color choices have affected me over time. Years ago, I was attracted to hunter green, then it was orange for a long time, then I moved into the pink for a while. Now, I am wondering when the next color change will come, as pink has lost it’s luster for me.
Do colors really affect your emotions and mood? Yes, they most certainly do!
We’ve all heard the expressions, ‘green with envy’, ‘in the pink’, ‘seeing red’, and ‘feeling blue’… and we’ve all felt those emotions! Turns out that colors have cultural and social associations, but they also have a personal relationship with most all of us.
I know when my son was very young, he used to color everything black! It worried me for a while because black is associated with death and morbidity. However, slip on a LBD (for women) or a black tuxedo (for men) and you feel sexy and alluring! (Lars eventually got off of black and started using other colors! Whew!)
So here are the various colors that can evoke your emotions. Next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, try channeling your mood using different colors.
Most everyone associates red with ‘alarm’ because most fire trucks are red and most ambulances have red on them or use red lights on top of their vehicles. Red also makes your heart race because it’s a stimulating color. In fact, it’s a hot color that draws attention quickly. The restaurant industry also uses red to invoke appetite. How can you use it?
If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t paint your kitchen red! You’ll be hungry all the time! But you can use red in other ways.
Red is a passionate color. Women can instantly brighten a smile by wearing a red lipstick that suitable to their skin tone. It can also be used in combination with many other colors. For example, add a bright red purse to your outfit or put on a red tie to compliment your suit. You just can’t go wrong adding short spurts of red colors.
Because our skin turns red when we’re sexually interested in someone, (like blushing red or s flushed face), red also has underlying sexual connotations. We’ve all heard about being in the 'red light district'.
However, vary the color and you’ve got burgundy, which is associated with regality, or pink which is associated with innocence or youth.
Had a stressful day? Try throwing on some blue jeans and a blue shirt. It can help lower your blood pressure and help you chill out! It’s the color most seen in nature that’s associated with peace and tranquility, like the sky or the ocean. It’s also associated with trustworthiness, strength and dependability.
Got a big interview? Wear a turquoise blue dress or a dark blue suit. Not only will it help you relax, it will also help keep your ‘potential boss’, calm and cool. For that reason, it’s a great color for a first date or anytime you’re feeling anxious or nervous.
However, blue is also associated with depression so if you’re feeling blue, it’s best to wear colors that elevate your mood, like red or green.
Different shades of green can have different implications for your emotions. Since green is the color seen most in the environment, (leaves, grass, and other vegetation), green symbolizes growth or renewal.
Need to lower your anxiety levels? Instead of wearing blue, try sporting a soothing hunter green T-shirt. Feeling tired? Try an energizing neon green or yellow green.
While dark yellow can brighten your day or cheer you up, soft yellow is associated with sickliness or jaundice. It really depends on the shades of yellow you choose.
According to Feng Shui, yellow in the kitchen is likely to initiate arguments or ill feelings, although it may also be reminiscent of your grandma’s house. If you’d like to use yellow in the kitchen to brighten things up, try color blocks.
In our home, there is only one window in the kitchen and I wanted that wall to help brighten up the whole room. So I blocked that wall in yellow but then added blocks of sandstone and teal green to compliment it on the other walls. That way, I get the best of both worlds!
Yellow can also be a warm and inviting color so it’s a color that helps put people at ease when you wear it. Be careful though. If your skin has yellow or blue undertones, you’ll only look pale or sickly. You have to choose yellow colors wisely if you want to look healthy and glowing.
Orange is an action color that helps stimulate enthusiasm and creativity. It also symbolizes vitality and endurance. It may be the best color to use when you’re studying for an exam, exercising at the gym, or working on a project at your job.
It’s also the color to choose when you want to stand out without taking a big risk. That’s because orange is considered a little edgy without being overbearing. In fact, I painted our living room tangerine orange to help keep me energized. It’s a great color to surround yourself with when you have a constant list of projects to get done!
Feeling bloated? Slipping into black attire can help you lose five pounds instantly! It can also dress up your look because it’s a formal color. (think black tie affairs or black limousines.) However, it can also bring you down because of its associations with funerals.
That said, black is clearly a go-to color when you want to look more regal and elegant. Everyone should use black when there’s something worth getting dressed up about!
So next time you need some uplifting, change how you feel by using colors that make you feel good! Help influence your emotions by selecting the best colors that best boost your mood!
(*Note - If you're confused about which colors look best on you, it also helps to know your color season.
Happy 4th of July!
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