Have you ever walked into a room and felt a little unsure or depressed? The color of the room was probably the culprit. Do you feel particularly happy every time you wear a certain outfit? If so, you might want to make a note of the color.
Colors play a major role in our lives. Color influences our behavior and is a significant part of our psychological and visual experience. What kind of world would it be without color? While we might enjoy a good black and white movie or a photo for nostalgia’s sake, the invention of colorized movies, television and film brought about a whole new world of color.
Colors can stimulate your energy or dull your senses. While bright colors tend to be uplifting, muted colors can be relaxing and calming. Who doesn’t get excited at the appearance of a rainbow with its pastel colors?
Research into little understood areas like color theory suggests that colors have a direct impact on your mood, behavior and stress level. Colors have different wavelengths and frequencies that affect different parts of your brain. This explains why colors are used in therapies to treat both physical and mental illnesses. Mood rings were all the rage in the 70’s and were believed to determine your stress level. Those with paranormal abilities are believed to be able to see auras or energy field in human beings which are said to be composed of colors. (1)
Color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, uses color to cultivate energy in your body. It has been a popular therapy for a long time, dating back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, India and China. Color psychology also a little-known field, theorizes that your emotions and health are affected by color and is an emerging area with implications for marketing, art and design.
Whether it’s the color of your home or office, your clothes or computer desktop, the importance of colors should not be taken lightly. They are all around in everything you see throughout your day and play a huge role in affecting your mood and productivity.
Although they are not the only thing that affects your mood, still when given a choice, picking a color that will promote the feeling that you wish to have can be of great help. Most people have a favorite color and are said to look good in certain colors.
Here are few tips to help you brighten up and change your mood with colors:
- 1) Infuse Colors in Your Living Space
- 2) Spice Up Your Room with Bright-Colored Accessories
- 3) Add Extra Lighting to Your Home
- 4) Pep Up Your Everyday Outfits with Vibrant Colors
- 5) Use Fresh Bright Flowers Indoors
- 6) Go for a Mix of Colors in Your Food
- 7) Visualize Colors
- 8) Wear Colorful Shades
- 9) Change Your Computer’s Screen Color
1) Infuse Colors in Your Living Space
The colors you use to decorate your home is not just a matter of aesthetics. It can have a profound effect on your emotional well-being. Colors can make you happy, or on the other hand, may make you feel depressed. Dress up your home or office with a burst of color. Simple colorized accents can make a big difference.
To create an emotionally healthy environment, you should consider the function of each room before deciding on the best color for it. Some shades of colors are better at encouraging certain activities.
Warm tones sometimes called earth tones like reds, yellows, oranges, browns, and beiges work great for living areas and foyers. They stimulate conversation as they encourage people to sit and talk.
Although yellow is a cheery color, it should not be considered for the main color scheme as it has been shown that people lose their tempers in yellow interiors. Babies also tend to cry more in yellow rooms. So use yellow as an accent color.
For the kitchen, blues and whites are good. Go for warmer blues like periwinkle, or bright blues like cerulean or turquoise. Even shades like red and yellow can be great for kitchens.
But for weight-watching individuals, keep red out of your kitchen. Red prompts you to eat more. Precisely the reason why restaurants use red in their décor.
For bedrooms, cool colors like greens, lilacs, lavenders and warmer shades of blues can be great as they stimulate relaxation and let you reconnect with your partner. Refrain from using darker shades of blues as the main color scheme in any room.
Greens are versatile and usually suited for any room. They are ideal for bedrooms, as it helps with fertility and encourages comfort and togetherness.
Red stirs up excitement and has been shown to raise blood pressure and heart rate. It is too stimulating for bedrooms, but if you are typically in the room only after dark, the color may appear muted and elegant.
Blues, greens, whites, turquoises and warm colors are ideal for bathrooms as they exude a sense of freshness and calm. Again, greens are considered ideal for office decor as it is one of the best colors to be surrounded by for longer periods.
Black is best to be used in small doses as an accent. Crimson should be avoided as the primary color in any room as it can make people feel irritable.
2) Spice Up Your Room with Bright-Colored Accessories
If changing your wall color is not possible at the moment, brighten up your space by adding pops of colors with accessories. The typical choice of colors are browns, tans and earthy wall colors, but you can also liven up your room using bright pillows, cushions, drapes and art pieces. A simple brightly colored bowl or vase can do wonders in any space.
Add some variety and a subtle splash of color using removable wall decals, colorful lamps, a bright vase filled with vibrant looking flowers or decorative candles.
Flooring also contributes to the overall brightness of the room. Add area rugs to bring color to your space.
3) Add Extra Lighting to Your Home
Lighting plays an important role in determining your mood. Haven’t you noticed your energy plummet on dark days?
Lighting can alter your brain chemistry, leading to mood shifts. This explains why some people feel extremely sensitive and their mood plummets during winters when there is less sunlight. On dark days, the soothing brain chemical serotonin is at its lowest. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is common in some people and areas during the winter months. Light therapy is often the treatment of choice.
Light bulbs with full-spectrum lighting mimic natural sunlight and can help in reducing depression.
Turn on new lights to boost your mood and productivity. Add extra lighting using overhead lamps or skylights to bring a sufficient amount of light into your home, giving a feeling of natural sunlight. Don’t forget to open your curtains and blinds on sunny days and let the sun into your house or room. Observe how your mood will change.
4) Pep Up Your Everyday Outfits with Vibrant Colors
Colorful clothing will not only make you happier, it’s also good for the people around you.
When you wear bright and light colors, it exudes warmth and happiness and also makes people around you feel merry as they visually absorb your brightness.
The more dull colors you wear, the duller your mood becomes. Try wearing rich, vibrant shades of orange, yellow, red or violet instead of dark colors. Both Spring and Summer offer opportunities to wear the brightest of colors.
A red outfit will raise your self-confidence and make you stand out in the crowd. It is associated with romance and passion and is perfect for your date-night. Wear your red with white or beige for a mellow effect. Those who celebrate Christmas often adorn reds and greens for a festive flair. Who doesn’t remember the 1979 movie, Lady in Red and several songs and videos produced talking about the famous lady?
Color your hair red or go for red nail polish for that instant boost in your personality.
Blue reduces blood pressure and is ideal for relaxation. Wear a blue outfit to unwind after a long day at work or to create a positive first impression. When wearing a darker shade of blue, try combining it with neutral- or light-colored clothes.
Orange makes you happy and is also a little soothing. While orange is a bit difficult for some skin tones to pull off, if paired with the right choice of colors, orange can make you feel positive and energetic.
Yellow is perfect to cheer you up on a bad day. Wearing a yellow outfit or perhaps yellow nail polish can instantly perk you up.
Shades of green are calming and soothing. Add something green to your outfit for a refreshing look or combine your greens with bright-colored jewelry or accessories.
Purple is associated with creativity and luxury. Purple can boost your energy level. On a dull day, don a purple scarf. Even purple hair streaks can do wonders.
Pink is associated with romance and happiness. It is calming and is a good choice for a date. If you are not up for a pink outfit, pink nail polish or a pink clutch can add that zing to your mood.
White reflects light and is associated with peace, innocence, and cleanliness. Team up your white outfit when you want to draw attention to any other color that you are pairing it up with.
When wearing dark colors like black or grey, try playing around with single bright-colored detail or ornament. Black signifies power, authority, and responsibility. Black will give you the rocker-chick feel. Black ankle boots look great with most outfits.
5) Use Fresh Bright Flowers Indoors
Brighten up your living space with brightly colored fresh flowers. Indoor flowers are linked with well-being. Even smelling floral scents can make you feel good and less anxious. Decorate your home inside and out with flowers. Plant a flower garden and cut fresh flowers for your home.
Red has a positive effect on your immune system. Red flowers also motivate you. The color red also has a positive effect on exhausted persons or those suffering from fatigue.
Avoid giving red roses, gladiolas, carnations, dahlias or other red flowers to people who are suffering from hypertension, as red is said to raise blood pressure.
Purple or violet flowers will have a calming effect. If your daily job involves mentally exhausting work, place a vase of violet or purple flowers on your desk for a relaxing effect.
Bright yellow is a happy color that improves your mood. Place bright yellow sunflowers, roses, tulips, daffodils or crocuses in your home to lift your mood. A single sunflower in a vase on your table can be equally effective.
Green is associated with nature and gives you a feeling of calmness and tranquility. Place some miniature trees with green foliage in corners of your living room. Decorate for the Christmas holidays with brightly colored poinsettias.
Use orange marigolds for inspiration and optimism. Place them in functional pots to bring some positivity to your home.
Blue is the color of relaxation and peace. Place a blue hydrangea in your home for relaxation.
Add calmness, relaxation and peace to your home and mood with white flowers. White calla lilies can have a great calming effect when you see them early in the morning. Placing white flowers around you can make you feel energetic and happy.
6) Go for a Mix of Colors in Your Food
Eating colorful fruits and vegetables is not only healthy but is also healing. Bright colors can be instant mood-boosters.
The sunny, bright yellow color makes you feel happy and lifts your mood. When you see yellow, your brain releases the happy hormone, serotonin. Feeling low? Go grab some lemons, yellow bell peppers, pineapple, yellow squash, bananas, corn or quince.
Purple or blue-colored foods are very calming and relaxing.
Foods like eggplant, grapes, purple cabbage, plums, figs, raisins, prunes, purple peppers, purple potatoes, blueberries, blackberries, onions, lavender, and purple basil are not only mood-enhancing but also help reduce the risk of cancer, improve memory and assist with healthy aging.
A lively orange color is stimulating and soothing. When down and out, snack on some orange-colored food like a pumpkin, sweet potatoes, winter squash, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges, guava, papaya, persimmons, kumquat and mangoes for a quick energy boost.
Red triggers the appetite and is stimulating. Red stimulates emotions and brings back good memories. Some of the red-colored foods include tomatoes, cherries, red bell peppers, strawberries, apples, beets, kidney beans, cranberries, raspberries, and red or pink grapefruit.
Green is calming and refreshing. Leafy greens like kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kiwis, green bell peppers, broccoli, and cabbage lets you relax and gives you the feeling of tranquility.
Spices or oils that are yellow, orange, red or green in color can give you joy and passion.
By eating fruits and vegetables from each color group, you will not only benefit from the unique array of phytochemicals, but also from the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that each color group has to offer.
Make sure to consume bright-colored foods during winters that can enhance your mood and productivity.
7) Visualize Colors
If you cannot wear bright outfits or paint your home in vibrant hues, go ahead and imagine colors. Imagining each color of the rainbow allows you to change your mood and relax. Whenever you feel stressed out, practice this technique to calm your senses.Imagine seeing the colored chakras in your body that run from the top your head to your feet.
Make yourself comfortable and focus on your breathing. Create a picture using the color red in your mind. Imagine shades of red – red landscape, red roses, red objects, red apples, etc. Enjoy the red color. Now gradually change the red to orange.
Imagine oranges, orange flowers, an orange sunset, pumpkins, carrots and so on. Follow it up with yellow, then green, blue and violet. Now return your focus to your breathing. This is a kind of meditation that can help you consciously change your mood.
You can even imagine yourself on a beach, looking at a clear sky, surrounded by colorful plants and bright trees. You will notice that simply doing this will make you feel cheerful and peaceful.
8) Wear Colorful Shades
Nowadays, wearing glasses not only enhance your vision, it can also be therapeutic. Tinted glasses could help change your mood. Color-tinted glasses block certain wavelengths, while letting other light wavelengths come through. Colored overlays have even been used in the treatment of various reading disorders in children. The overlays block out the white spaces on a page which are believed to be distracting to the reader.
Light can have an impact on your brain. Your brain regulates the melatonin levels based on the light coming in through your eyes, thereby controlling your body’s internal clock.
Different colored lenses have different effects:
- A red tinge in your lenses can increase your alertness and give you an energy boost.
- Yellow lenses are associated with positivity and optimism.
- Blue will make you feel calm and peaceful.
- Green reduces your stress level and makes you feel rested.
- Orange makes you feel happy and social.
- Violet raises your positivity and serenity.
Not all people tolerate all colors equally well. When choosing shaded lenses, opt for a shade with which you are truly comfortable.
9) Change Your Computer’s Screen Color
The color green is restful for the eyes and produces the least amount of eyestrain. This explains why green is one of the popular choices when it comes to computer desktops.
Green is a great option for those who work long hours in front of a screen. Remember to take frequent breaks to avoid eyestrain.
1. Kurt S, Ousueke KK. The Effects of Color on the Moods of College Students. SAGE Journal. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244014525423. Published February 28, 2014.