Colour Me Calm.........Or Not!!!

Colour Me Calm.........Or Not!!!

Did you know that colour has been associated with impacting on our behaviour, mood and physiology?
In my previous blog, The Culture of Colour, I mentioned that I when I started writing about colour I very quickly realised how much information there was and that led me to want to write more than one blog focussed on colour!!!  I have written this blog from my own cultural perspective (Caucasian) regarding the impact of colour on mood, behaviour and physiology. 
I have long felt that colour impacts on and is expressive of our moods. A good friend/colleague was extremely expressive with her choice of clothing, when she was in a good frame of mind she would wear colour, lots of colour, when she was in a not so great frame of mind she would wear all black.  I often wondered if her choice of colour was reflective of her mood or whether her mood was reflective of her choice of colour!  I do think that in some way it was both, her mood impacted on her choice of colour for the day but as a consequence of wearing that colour her mood was continually impacted for the remainder of the day.
I once asked her this question and she agreed that it was probably a bit of both.  Definitely a chicken before the egg sort of scenario!!! 
I hope you enjoy reading about the way colour can impact on you and those around you.  


Red is a bold, dramatic colour which can evoke strong emotions.   Red represents danger, warning, or error, but also warmth, love, passion, and intense emotion. Red can also symbolise bravery, war, or blood.  
Some studies have shown it to stimulate appetite, pulse rate, circulation and improves accuracy on certain tasks. Red can also deepen breathing and cause headaches. Wearing Red can potentially amplify any emotions that you are already feeling.  
When I attended tense, bureaucratic meetings I would often wear Red as it was my power colour and would give me a feeling of control and confidence!   



Blue is seen as having a calming effect. Darker shades of blue (as in police uniforms and business suits) may suggest reliability and security. The colour is also often associated with sadness.
Some studies suggest that the colour blue can increase productivity, concentration, introspection and creativity, and may actually lower body temperature, respiratory rhythm and pulse rate.  



Yellow is a bright, attention getting colour.  It is often seen as happy and sunny however there have been some studies that indicate it can create feelings of anger and frustration.
Yellow can also help activate memory, encourage communication, build confidence and increase mental activity and muscle energy.
Studies have shown that babies cry more in rooms painted yellow. Too much yellow causes loss of focus and makes it hard to complete a task.   



Orange is a warm, stimulating and attention getting colour.  Orange is considered to be an energetic colour which builds excitement and enthusiasm and is the colour of joy and creativity.
Orange can promote compassion, passion, and warmth.
Studies show that Orange can increase hunger,  socialisation, stimulate mental activity, increase oxygen supply to the brain and enhance assurance. Orange also helps aid decision making, and enhances happiness, confidence, and understanding.  


Green is said to create balance and help settle nerves and anxiety. Green is also thought to represent good luck and health.
Green is calming, soothing and great for stress.    


Purple is the colour of royalty and is also the colour of wisdom, spirituality and creativity. 
Purple can have various effects on the mind and body, it can uplift the spirit, calm the mind and nerves, increase nurturing and encourage imagination.
Dark purple however can contribute to feelings of gloom, sadness, and frustration.   


Pink is most commonly associated with love and romance and it's thought to have a calming effect. Researchers found that painting prison cells in pink initially had a calming effect on inmates; but once the initial effect wore off, it actually made them more agitated.
While the colour red is know to impact on action and aggression, and action there has been some studies that indicate pink can actually create physical weakness.    




Brown is often associated with wholesomeness, stability and reliability.  
Brown is the colour of the Earth and is comforting and nurturing.  
Brown is a warm colour that stimulates the appetite.   Brown provides feelings of connection, relaxation and warmth and can contribute to a sense of belonging.  



Black affects the mind and body by helping to create an inconspicuous feeling, boosting confidence in appearance, increasing the sense of potential and possibility.  
However it can also produce feelings of emptiness, gloom, or sadness.  



Grey is a moody colour that is typically associated with meanings of dull, dirty, and dingy.
Grey affects the mind and body by causing unsettling feelings.   


White is brilliant and bright and can cause headaches it can also, in  severely bright circumstances be blinding.
White aids in mental clarity, promoting feelings of fresh beginnings and renewal and encouraging the purification of thoughts and actions.    


So colours on the red side of the spectrum evoke feelings of warmth and comfort through to anger and hostility and colours on the blue side of the spectrum can be calming but also sad and indifferent.
More often than not we don't realise the emotional or physiological impact of our colour choices and I wonder if we were more aware we would possibly choose differently?  
Do you find that you are impacted physically and/or emotionally by certain colours more than others?  
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1 comment

What an interesting article about colour and the affect they have on us.
Thanks Andrea – it was very insightful.
Linda @kal20m

Linda Morris

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