How to Benefit From Color Psychology: Influence Your Emotions & Behavior

By Krista


Last Updated: March 11, 2022

Consider this article your introductory lesson into color psychology.

In this color psychology guide, we’re going to explore the link between colors and emotions and what colors elicit what emotions.

Can you use colors to improve your everyday mental health and mood? What should you know?

We’re diving into a world of color. So, sit back and continue reading to find out more!


Why Do We Associate Colors with Specific Emotions?

It’s no secret that we see the world in all kinds of colors. In reality, it’s a gift. Colors can add vibrancy, beauty, and yes, even emotion to our surroundings and art. 

So, how have colors come to be linked to certain emotions? Well, this is all rooted in how our brains develop (hence the term “color psychology”).

Basically, as you move throughout your life and encounter different situations, your brain makes specific associations. This is part of how we recall and remember events from our pasts or why some individuals who have experienced past trauma struggle with PTSD. It all comes down to the associations your brain makes.

Since color is part of our visual sensory information, the brain automatically associates familiar colors with certain emotions. For instance, you probably associate red with love. This is because there’s probably been various instances where you’ve been exposed to this exact association (hello Valentine’s Day!). 

And interestingly, colors don’t just impact our emotions. They also play a role in how we behave.

Related Article: Do We Cause Our Emotions? An Interesting Connection Between Our Organs & How We Feel


Psychological Effects of Color on Human Behavior

While this is a bit of a tangent, stick with us for a quick second here. There’s a bit of research out there based on how color can impact human behavior and performance. 

One study showed how showing students the color red before an exam had a negative impact on their test performance.

While this color is associated with love, it also has a bit of a demonic side to it where people often feel threatened, aroused, or excited by it (perhaps this is also why it’s associated with love. These passionate emotions are very similar.).

But then, there’s the fact that if colors are impacting our moods and our moods drive our behaviors, then, inevitably, colors can impact our actions. So, let’s take a closer look at what color triggers what emotions.


What Color Represents What Emotions?

Whether you want to determine how colors for emotions can help you change your mental state or you simply are curious what colors and emotions go hand-in-hand, below, we take a look at all of this in more detail.


Colors That Make You Happy and Energetic

For happy and energetic colors, yellow is a color that might come to mind. Yellow is considered warm and energetic. However, too much also has a bit of a negative connotation, such as being too attention-grabbing or causing feelings of frustration.

But yellow isn’t the only happy-inducting color! Orange is further associated with energy-boosting effects. White also comes with a feeling of freshness, which may give way to enhanced energy.

Additionally, other “warm” colors, like red and pink, are also linked to happy feelings and thoughts.


Colors That Promote Relaxation and Calm

Now, when it comes to relaxing and calming colors, there are many! And a lot of these are actually found in nature (which probably comes as no surprise). 

Some of these relaxing and calming colors include:

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Pink
  • White
  • Lavender
  • And gray

These colors can even help calm anxiety and stress, helping you chill out and truly relax.


Colors That Help Soothe and Heal

If you’re all about those healing vibes right now, some colors you might want to look into (or at!) include hues of blues and greens. In fact, blue is considered one of the most healing of colors, helping to lower blood pressure and slow down one’s heart rate.

Related Article: 4 Easy Tips To Reduce Anxiety & Relax Your Nervous System


Colors That Help You Feel Sleepy

Similarly to the colors that relax and soothe, similar colors are optimal for sleep, which means if you’re debating painting your bedroom, these might be the main hues to consider. Colors that promote sleep include blue, green, silver, and even yellow.

While yellow can energize, it can also help create feelings of contentment, helping you get to sleep.


Colors That Promote Deep Feelings of Love

While there is no love potion, red has become the dominant color of love. It’s associated with a sensuous mood, creating romantic and passionate vibes. Deep purples have similar feels, indicating devotion and bonding (which means this is an excellent choice for most date nights!).


Colors That Cause Negative Emotions

Some colors also tend to cross-over with emotions. For example, reds can also cause some negative emotions. Yet, black tends to be the clear leader here, darkening a room and allowing less light to shine. However, we have to say that it does have its place in interior design and for that all-black classic outfit.


How to Incorporate More Color Into Your Life

If you’re wondering how you can include color more to help promote certain feelings and emotions, here are a few tips:

  • Use colors to contrast furniture or walls in your home, such as an accent pillow or decor piece.
  • When painting rooms, consider how you want to feel in them and try to find a color that matches those vibes.
  • When feeling blue and wanting to feel happier, dressing the part could help. Throw on some bright yellow or even a calming color and you might just feel a bit happier.
  • Bring pops of color into your office (Blue, orange, and green are great for this!).


Paint Your World How You Want to Feel!

Oscar Wilde once said, “Mere color can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.”

And it’s true. One color might mean something different to two different people. Colors and emotions aren't a set science by any means. So, choose colors that promote positive emotions into your life. Include more of them! Maybe you’ll be happier because of color psychology.

Read Next: 4 Excellent Reasons You Should Start Coloring Like a Kid Right Now

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels


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