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Fine-Tune Your Mood With Color

Here's how you can harness color as a powerful mood enhancer.

Heal
Colorful abstract

Photo Credit: Thinkstock/BravissimoS

Here's how you can harness color as a powerful mood enhancer.

Is this room chilly, or is it just the paint? Studies have shown that cooler paint colors on walls—think a pale lavender or blue—will give people the impression a room is literally colder than it actually is. In “chromology,” or the psychology of color, researchers have determined how some colors can make us feel charged up and raring to go, while other hues relax us. Marketers use this information all the time. So how can we harness color as a powerful mood enhancer? For this week’s Healthy Habit, let’s play with color to impact our feelings.

To boost creativity: Surround yourself with green to make your feel balanced and ready to innovate. Think plants and green paint for your office, home office or studio. According to graphic design firm The Design Love, green is popular for logos because it also is associated with trust, growth and nature.

To feel calmer: Choose pink. Consider pale pink sheets and a duvet for your bedroom, for example, to boost both intimacy and to create a soothing space for rest. There are even certain hues of pink, called Schauss Pink or Baker-Miller Pink, that supposedly reduces hostile behavior and is used in places like jails.

To feel outgoing: Manufacturers use orange to promote things, so why not promote yourself? Try a punchy orange blouse or an orange couch to boost your enthusiasm and seem outgoing. Orange may literally increase circulation. This determined color plays well with blue and purple, by the way.

To boost spirituality: Shades of purple are associated with mindfulness, magic and wise leadership.

For power: Red is the ideal color for workouts and for people who need to negotiate, so if you’re in sales or in training, think crimson. Otherwise, beware of this hopped-up color, as it can boost appetite and raise the heart rate.

For intellect: Blue is good for those seeking a sense of calm and order. It’s good for kitchens, family and living rooms. Keep it light, though, as darker blues can make some people feel sad, or literally, “blue.”

For friendship: Yellow creates openness and optimism. It’s a great color to paint a dining room or living room, to create a good vibe for convivial get-togethers.

You might also be interested in what your favorite color can tell you about your personality. There’s a fun quiz here that I found that answers this question.

Tell us in the comments section: What color choices have you made in your spaces and wardrobe lately, and what was your inspiration?


Kathryn Drury Wagner

Kathryn Drury Wagner is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. She is the author of Hawaii’s Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!, a science and natural history “gross out” for young readers.  


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