The same way the fit and feel of our clothing affects our moods and energy level, colour is also a major player. Psychologists know it and image consultants use it to create the particular image clients want to portray. Some colours make an impact and some calm us down a notch. We are all affected by colour in some way.
A lot of research has gone into the psychology of colour and how it can be used to positively influence others in the workplace, in different cultural settings and at home. Let's explore some ways we can use colour in our daily lives!
White is often associated with purity, cleanliness and peace (like the dove). It symbolizes truth, innocence and simplicity. Wearing white might be effective when you are trying to establish trust with someone important or in a courtroom when your innocence is in question.
Another colour that represents innocence, pink is subtle, conveying love, romance, femininity and empathy. It is used quite effectively for calming people down in conditions of conflict and hostility.
Purple symbolizes royalty, nobility, wealth and ceremony. It is used as a high military honour for people wounded in combat (the Purple Heart). Purple can be used to express creativity, inspiration and sensitivity in oneself.
Different shades of blue represent different things. Darker blues convey honesty, determination (navy) and strength of will. Turquoise creates a sense of energy, vitality and health. It makes one think of the ocean, tranquility, the sky, and harmony. Dark blue is often used to indicate safety and stability, as in the police, security personnel, and the military.
Green is often associated with nature, organics, and spring. It is a generally positive colour due to it's association with the environment. It conveys feelings of reassurance, serenity and calm, particularly the lighter shades. It is a time of rebirth, renewal, and creativity.
Because yellow is associated with the sun, it conveys feelings of energy, happiness, and sociability. It represents idealism, wealth (gold), hope and courage. It creates feelings of warmth and optimism.
Orange is another energetic colour. It represents youthfulness, enthusiasm, and fun. It makes us feel heat, fire, flamboyance and desire. In the Hindu religion, as with Buddhism, it represents happiness and balance.
Red is power. It is fiery, dynamic, energetic, exciting. It is often worn by people who are very self-confident and it can make one feel bold and audacious. Red is effective in captivating an audience because it causes people to stand up and take notice.
Black has an air of intelligence and sophistication. It is classic, formal, elegant and professional. It is used in serious situations such as graduations and funerals because it commands attention, quiet and reflection. It is effective when one wants to be taken seriously.
Grey can also convey elegance, although in an understated way. It is respectful, stable, and reverent. It is subtle like pink; conservative like black; and reliable like blue. It can be a little wishy-washy, indicating boredom and dullness, but it's neutrality can create a sense of calm.
Brown is another colour that can represent nature. One thinks of the earth, soil, sand, etc. Brown is wholesomeness, depth, stability, calm, encouraging a sense of trust, friendliness, and dependability in others.
You may be reluctant when it comes to experimenting with colour. Try to use the representations above to motivate yourself to try a different colour. It may make a difference in the way you feel or the way others treat you. It just might get you the job or the relationship you're after! Colour can actually make you look healthier, thinner, taller, and even younger. I guarantee it will perk you up and make you feel a whole lot better!