Colors make up our world. The human eye is said to be able to detect approximately 10 million colors. Undeniably, we are influenced by colors every day. Sometimes we have strong feelings toward colors; like when it comes to picking the color of our car. Bright colors, dark colors, they all have a significance to each one of us. Color is a very important part of our world.
Most people are familiar with some of the basic qualities of colors. Pastels are considered cool colors while bright colors are considered to be more warm. Dark colors tend to be earthy, and white gives the feeling of cleanliness.
The color of a room can affect the mood of individuals in the room. A lot of businesses choose white for the color of the walls to give the feeling of a company that is professional, highly motivated and efficient. Occasionally, businesses will opt for light grey or even light blue to help the employees to focus better. In offices where creativity is the heart of the business, bright colors (except red) helps keep the mind engaged.
Each color has a personal effect on different individuals, but some generalizations have been made. Blue tends to have a calming effect, bright green is motivational, yellow brightens the mood, and brown is comforting.
Colors have been used as a method of communication for a long time. We know from ancient records that white symbolized purity, green symbolized new life, red symbolized victory, and purple symbolized royalty.
In more modern times, specifically in the last several hundred years, color was used in a very personal way to indicate a person’s ethical and moral standpoint. For instance, the color of clothing said much about the person’s character. A woman in bright colored clothing indicated a more outgoing, less inhibited personality, and a woman in red was considered to have very low morals.
In the last 75 years, there has been less emphasis on this kind of stereotyping of the general public. This seemed to have changed at the same time color in business became more prominent. A form of subliminal messaging was being used to attract consumers and to compete for the loyalty of those consumers.
Particularly, diners were decorating the inside of the restaurant with brightly colored booths. It was discovered that orange and red caused people to eat more and spend more money. Yellow also became a popular color, but only on signs or in small quantities inside the restaurant. Think of popular fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, Dairy Queen, Whataburger, and Pizza Hut, to name a few; these restaurants all are known by the bright colors that became iconic symbols of the company.
Today, there is no lack of choice for colors when it comes to clothing, cars, shoes, nail polish, wall paint, etc. Our world is bombarded with colors everywhere. With so many choices of colors, does it mean that the colors that we choose to surround ourselves in our personal world no longer matter? Absolutely not!
The study of Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese way to define the laws that govern the flow of energy, tells us that the colors that we use in our world do matter. In fact, color can have a profound impact on mood, motivation, concentration, and energy level. To understand this concept, let’s talk a little bit more about how color really does affect us.
As stated earlier, particular colors have a general effect on most people. There are a couple of things to keep in mind though. First, colors all have a duality to their affect. What that means is while blue is considered calming to someone who is agitated, it may make the mood worse for someone who is sad, worried, or depressed. This type of duality exists for all colors.
Secondly, personality of the individual will also determine how a color affects them. For instance, a highly energetic and outgoing person may love the color red, and hate the color pink. That is because, red supports/enhances the high level of energy that a highly energetic, outgoing person operates comfortably at, while pink is a calming and sedating color. Therefore, the color pink, especially a soft pink, may be unappealing to them because it effectively lowers their energy level.
Interestingly, according to the principles of Feng Shui both red and pink are appropriate colors for the bedroom. While red creates feelings of excitement and passion, pink generates feelings of intimacy and romance.
I think, subconsciously, we feel the effects of colors whether we are tuned in to how they make us feel, or not. For the areas of our life that are most important or prominent to us, we tend to have stronger feelings about colors. Some people identify with the car that they drive, so the color of their car is very important. For others, their home is part of their identity and the color of the furniture and walls is very important to them.
By paying attention the effect that colors have on you, you can use colors in your everyday life to create the atmosphere, attitude, and energy level that you wish to achieve. Choosing the appropriate colors of your clothes, shoes, nail polish, lipstick, tie, and even your ink pen will not only have an effect on you, but will also have a secondary effect on those people around you. A red tie is, in itself, bold; it conveys not only that you are unafraid of being seen, but others also feel a higher level of energy both from the red color of the tie and from you.
Here are some more colors and their dual properties.
Red- Excitement, passion, triumph, energy, fire, intensity, anger, rebellion, murder, revolution, sacrifice, aggression.
Green- Adventure, fertility, growth, harmony, health, wisdom, laziness, mucous, neutrality, frankness, quietness.
Orange- Ambition, creativity, generosity, friendship, warmth, excitement, warning, disorder, change, appetite, temptation.
Yellow- Happiness, inspiration, playfulness, innovation, spontaneity, laughter, fear, caution, uncertainty, warning, extroversion.
Blue- Peace, stability, honesty, acceptance, reliability, serenity, isolation, sadness, ice, despair, solitude, coolness.
Purple- Ambition, richness, justice, truth, quietness, royalty, anxiety, sadness, suffering, vanity, drama, conflict.
Since we know that color can have a profound impact on a person’s mood, focus, and energy level we can use colors to our advantage. By purposefully placing certain colors in our work space we can create an environment that fosters productivity. By recognizing the atmosphere that focuses your mind towards your goals, you can create a space that minimizes distractions and keeps you in the flow of ideas.
You can tweak your environment on a daily basis by choosing colors of clothing that help you to be your best. It all starts with your intention. To use intention properly, it must start with a conscious decision, then it becomes the unconscious wave that your energy rides on. If you do not start with a conscious decision, you won’t really know the direction in which your energy is flowing. It is always a good practice to start your day off with a positive intention that sets the tone for the day; no matter how you really feel, tap into the positive.
When you need to produce a report that has a high impact on those reading it but you wake up feeling jittery and anxious, for your wardrobe choose soothing colors such as light blue and grey. These colors have a calming effect without lowering your energy to ineffective levels. Placing a yellow highlighter on your desk can provide inspiration without too much distraction. Set your intention to have a quiet and focused mind.
If you have a task which requires lots of high energy and creativity, orange, bright green, and red are stimulating colors that help spark creativity. Yellow is also energizing but it can have a draining effect if in large quantities. Red is not a good choice for tasks requiring a lot of analytical thinking since it can actually block reasoning. Red is also not a good choice for someone feeling aggressive or hostile.
Green that resembles the color of grass or leaves can help you feel more connected with nature and promote harmony with others. It is a good color for collaborating.
When giving a presentation, deep blue creates feelings of trust. It is not a good choice if you are feeling sad or isolated from a group. A red accent will raise the energy of your presentation, but too much red is distracting and will take the focus off of what you are presenting.
By recognizing how certain colors make you feel, you can pair colors with your intention to create an advantage for yourself. You wouldn’t go out and buy a brown or grey running shirt to wear in a race you intend to win; you would buy a red shirt if you really wanted to give your best effort.
When you set your intention, are mentally alert, focused, and feeling ambitious, surrounding yourself with the right colors will maximize all these things which will make you smarter!
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