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How colors affect mood

Updated on January 4, 2014

Colors have feelings too!

Alright, they don't really have feelings, but they do play a large part in the feelings you have. Different colors evoke different emotional states. They are very powerful and effective, which is why advertisers take full advantage of this fact.

Being aware of what emotions are evoked by each color can help you:

  • Create a positive work space
  • Enhance your living space
  • Avoid colors that may "bring you down"
  • Project a specific attitude or effect with what you wear
  • Seek out specific colors or areas with those colors to help "lift you up"

By taking charge of the color spectrum you can truly ~ Color yourself happy!


Colors to avoid:

Red: This one is a little tricky because it can evoke both some positive & negative emotions, depending on its application. The feelings red is associated with are:

  • Sex & lust
  • Hunger
  • Anger, rage, frustration

It has also been used as a color of strength & pride.

Black: This is a "power" color. It is solid & full of strength. As an accent it adds a nice clean touch; using it in excess is a sign of over-powering & intimidation. Other feelings associated with black are:

  • Evil, depressing, or scary
  • death or solitude
  • Finality


Positive Hues:

White: It's fresh, clean, pure... good. When dressing or decorating in white, try not to go overboard. Just as by the end of a long winter you are searching for any other color on the landscape, too much white is just too much. Use it as a backdrop or canvas for some of the other bright & cheery colors to create just the right mood.

Purple: The color of royalty. It gives the sense of mystery, fun, magic, enjoyment, and luxury. If you're looking "feel" richer than you are, consider adding a splash of purple to your wardrobe & living areas.

Blue: Serene and calming. It promotes creativity and intelligence. Perfect for your working space. Be careful not to use too much, as it is a cool color and has the potential to either cause you to feel chilly during cold months or "down" if it is the only color in the area.

Green: Now here's a color that has it all! Nature, money, growth, and health. This is a fantastic color for any area of the home or office. The more natural, the better. Plants or pictures of plants help you feel "grounded" and secure and "at one" with yourself and with nature.

Yellow: Bright yellows are associated with joy, light, warmth, and intelligence. People who wear bright yellow tend to do better when taking tests! It's a cheery, welcoming color with a slight "after-flavor". If you paint your guest room walls with a bright or lemon yellow, your guests will feel welcomed but feel a desire to leave more quickly than any other colored guest room. (pretty cool, huh) Darker shades of yellow have a less than desirable connotation. They are dirty, scared, or cowardly.

Orange: Another warm color. Orange actually stimulates the increase of oxygen to your brain! Causing more mental activity. Another great color for the work or home office. It is a fun, youthful, carefree color. While it doesn't have as strong of a pull as red, it does work to stimulate your appetite. Darker shades are associated with Autumn/Fall time.


Mood Rooms:

Restaurants tend to decorate their eating areas with red and orange to stimulate the feelings of hunger, while staying away from blue. Blue is an appetite suppressant. (Since blue food is extremely rare in nature)

Waiting rooms are decorated in soothing, calming colors to help clients remain calm during their sometimes long waits. Blues, greens, whites, and other soft colors are used to create this feeling. Plants (real or false) typically are scattered about to help visitors keep their "grounded" feeling and prevent anxiety during their wait.


Uniform Dress

Lawyers, businessmen, or Politicization use color in their outfit to reach into your mind and provoke the emotions from you that they are after: Black suits for power and authority, light blue shirts to calm you and get you to trust them, purple shirts or ties to cause you to feel that they are superior or like royalty and worthy of your respect. Red ties to show that they mean business and should not be crossed.

Look around at the colors and see if you find any connections. Receptionists at the doctor or dentist who where a lot of white. They are letting you know that this is a clean, pure environment. Perhaps they are dressed in a shade of green or blue, to give the allure of calm, peace, and natural welcome.

Firemen wear red and drive in a big red truck; WARNING - DANGER, get out of the way!

Set The Mood

Colors are used every day to encourage the desired results from those who know how to use them correctly. Lawyers wear "power suits", focusing on which colors give the image they wish to convey. Restaurants decorate in colors that cause people to feel hungry. Hospitals, dentists, and optometrists decorate in colors that calm and sooth. The list is endless.

Decide how you would like other people to see you and wear colors to match! What message are you wanting to send for a job interview, a court date, a school conference? How do you want those around you to respond?

Will you say that you are a force to be feared and respected by wearing black with red?

Do you want people to find you calm,safe and inviting by wearing calming blues or lavenders?

Loud, soft, silly, serious, or any other emotion under the sun can be expressed through the color choices we make each day. They accompany our holidays, celebrations, dating rituals, as well as our every day lives.


Try it yourself!

The next time you are feeling sad or "blue", intentionally find something yellow or orange to look at. These are bright, happy colors. They will trigger a new emotion within you and you will find yourself being pulled up out of that darkness. (unless you are seriously trying to stay there on purpose)

When you feel that you are getting angry or frustrated; seek out blue or green. These colors will calm you down and help you find your natural center faster.

Review the colors and what feelings the produce. Decorate an area of your home or office using this guide. Take mental note of how you and others behave over the course of even just a few days. Was there a change? Did you remove negative colors or just add positive ones to it? Was it a little adjustment or a large one?

You'll be amazed at the difference colors make in your life. Now that you know what meanings they hold, you have the power to control them and color yourself happy!


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    • profile image

      Rachel 3 years ago

      much what you can do with Market Samurai, aside from many other useful thngis you can ready on my Market Samurai Review.I know you can get overwhelmed by the quantity of functions and buttons you have on MS, but after

    • Mom Kat profile image

      Mom Kat 5 years ago from USA

      I look forward to reading it! Thanks Lipnancy :)

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I love colors and their meanings and association, Did you also know that you can heal with colors? Someday I will write an article about that for you.

    • Mom Kat profile image

      Mom Kat 5 years ago from USA

      So would I! :)

      Thanks for stopping by, it's always a pleasure Liz-reviews!

    • Liz-reviews profile image

      Eunice Elizabeth 5 years ago from Vancouver, BC

      Well done Mom Kat

      Love the info...and would love to have the office in your last picture.

      As always...great Hub