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Green Color Psychology

Updated on September 1, 2017
theclevercat profile image

I love color! What's life without some good colors to brighten it up?

Green symbolizes freshness, growth, and coolness.
Green symbolizes freshness, growth, and coolness. | Source

How do you feel about green? It's the color of...

See results

Green is Healthy

Green is the color of youth, growth, fertility, inexperience, hope, and new life. And with good reason -- look out the window, and what do you see? Probably foliage in different forms, even in an urban setting. What could represent growth and life better than living plants? In fact, when studied it was found that food displayed in a green light was perceived as far more appealing than food drenched in other hues of light.

Pop culture has also introduced us to the color green within the confines of living organically and in a sustainable way. Besides the prettiness of leaves, hope for the future is what continues to drive this cooling color forward.

But green is also known as the color of envy and superstition, probably because envy and superstition can also grow like weeds if left unchecked as well!

So harness the goodness of green for yourself by surrounding yourself with the positive vibes it can provide. In fact, paint producers Sherwin-Williams picked the bright green "Argyle" as its favorite hue for 2012. Since green also symbolizes self-respect, there's really no way you can lose with this one.

How many greens are there? This book knows...
General Appearance
Mental Associations
Direct Associations
Objective Impressions
Subjective Impressions
Clear, moist
Cool, nature, sky
Clear, St. Patrick's Day
Quieting, refreshing, peaceful, nascent
Ghastliness, disease, terror, guilt

Table data from "Color Psychology and Color Therapy" by Faber Birren, color specialist.

As the green tree grows, so do the possibilities.
As the green tree grows, so do the possibilities. | Source
Pennies into dollars grow
Pennies into dollars grow | Source

The Color of Growth

If foliage can represent growth, it stands to reason that if money is green, perhaps that could grow, too!

Therefore, in marketing the color green is popular because it does inspire these thoughts of possibilities. Green is also a cool color and symbolizes stability (again, think of long-standing trees), meaning it can balance a brighter, warmer color like orange, the color of movement.

Darker shades of green bring to mind the dollar and viewers (however abstractly) envision affluence and wealth spread before them.

Treating Disease with Green

Practitioners of the Ayurvedic chromatherapy (healing with color), believe green has the following properties:

  • It is neither alkaline nor acid and is therefore a neutral color.
  • It is cooling, soothing, and calming both physically and mentally.
  • Green dilutes the capillaries and produces a feeling of warmth.
  • The color green acts as a sedative and is helpful for insomniacs, exhaustion, and those suffering from irritability.
  • The psychological effects of green include loosening and equalizing the etheric body (aura, or human energy field).

This homeowner used a bright, happy green for the walls of her children's playroom.
This homeowner used a bright, happy green for the walls of her children's playroom. | Source

Decorating with Green

Realistically, the easiest way to decorate with green is to use plants, either natural or artificial. However, if you dislike plants in general or have a brown thumb, consider carpeting the living areas of your home in a deep green. It will remind you of a cool forest floor.

Alternatively, choose botanical prints or employ paint creatively. Go with your gut and choose your favorite shade, even if it's bold. Or, use multiple tones of green with a single type of wood to create a soothing space reminiscent of nature. Try:

  • A deep green sofa with interesting throw pillows and a medium green area rug
  • Soft green paint on your bedroom walls. It will relax you and make you feel safe.
  • Fun graphical prints in various greens

Fluval EDGE Aquarium Kit, Aquarium with LED Lighting and 3-Stage Filtration System, 6 Gallons, Black, 15385A1
Fluval EDGE Aquarium Kit, Aquarium with LED Lighting and 3-Stage Filtration System, 6 Gallons, Black, 15385A1
Consider decorating with an aquarium. It can be a real conversation-starter for lovers of color! (See fact #1.)

Facts About Green

  • The color vision of fish has been researched extensively and it has been found that the lightest color fish can see is green.
  • Biologically, green light can slightly weaken the human metabolism.
  • Green is among the best "smelling" colors (people are more likely to assign a scent to green than for example, gray).
  • A baker tried to market pale green bread to its regular customers, but none were interested.
  • Green, with its soft focus and lack of angles, suggests the form of the hexagon or icosahedron.
  • Green Roman Catholic vestments signify the hope of eternal life.
  • In ancient heraldry, green stands for growth and hope.


Amber, Reuben, Color Therapy. Aurora Press, New York, 1983.

Birren, Faber,Color Psychology and Color Therapy. Citadel Publishing, New York, 1950


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    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Nadine May and thanks for stopping by... and for the compliment! I'm happy to see you found the purple hub too! :)

      I love that you included the chakra info... it's always great to learn more about a topic. Thanks again!

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, IndigoXylia and I am so sorry for not noticing your comment!!! :(

      Green truly speaks to me, especially moving into the warmer months... I find it rejuvenating and refreshing. Thanks so much for commenting! :)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      7 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      What a great topic on the energy of the colors of our rainbow. Green is my second favorite color. I love the color purple as my number one color. I'm now see if you have written a hub on Purple. Green for me means the heart chakra - the color of love.

    • IndigoXylia profile image

      Matthew David Ser Piero Carnivale DaVinci Motel Newman 

      8 years ago from Hollywood, Florida

      As an environmental activist and environmental writer, I do relate with the color green as well.

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you, ishwaryaa! Lately I've been finding myself drawn to green more and more. I'm glad I'm not alone in that!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      8 years ago from Chennai, India

      A well-written hub on my second favorite color, with blue being the first. Emeralds, green-colored gemstones are my lucky stones and whenever I wear them, they do bring luck and happiness. Also, I like being surrounded by greenery. Once again, a detailed & engaging hub. Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, mcleodgi! thank you so much for the thoughtful comment, and the info about Raphael's aura. I had no idea!

      I also chose Growth for the poll, although Health is right up there. Personally, I still wonder a bit about how such a clean color can signify something as dingy as jealousy.

      Thanks again! :-) I look forward to checking out your hubs too.

    • mcleodgi profile image

      Ginny McLeod 

      9 years ago from Overland Park

      Great job with the various definitions. Color is not easy to define. Did you also know that in metaphysics, green is also considered the color of healing (also Archangel Raphael's-archangel of healing-aura)? I voted for Growth because of the grass trees and of course, our dollar bills though I think it's really a tie between Growth and Health.

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hiya, CC! I feel strongly toward green, too. :^) Thanks for commenting!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      9 years ago from Western NC

      Green is one of my favorite colors, besides purple! Thank you for this informative hub. :)

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Doc, you are quite welcome! I had a great time with this one. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!! :^)

    • Doc Sonic profile image

      Glen Nunes 

      9 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

      Nice hub! I've always wondered why a color that so strongly signifies life and health and serenity came to be associated with envy. Thanks for the info on my favorite color.


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