Have you ever noticed a shift in your mood or attitude when subjected to a particular color? Does a specific shade make you feel calmer or have you noticed yourself becoming more vibrant surrounded by a bright colour scheme? We are surrounded by colors, but how often do we notice the numerous subtleties in the myriad shades.
Colour is simply energy…… energy made visible. Every colour has a different wavelength and individual properties, both positive and negative.
My current curiosity with colour was sparked by my recent awareness that certain colour combinations seemed to drive my decor choice, but my wardrobe prioritized different colours and my meditation focused on different ones too. Specifically, I was curious to know if my choices were a result of environmental conditioning or if they were influenced by emotional associations.
I was surprised at the colour psychology behind human behaviour. Colours influence our thinking, inspire our decision-making, and impact our moods. As my designer friends will tell me, the use of colour may be subjective but it carries a lot more importance than just personal preference.
Marketing and branding specialists have been particularly interested in the psychology of colours and conducted many studies and customer surveys to understand how colour can influence human behaviour. These experts know for example, that colour will influence 85% of a shopper’s purchase decisions. They also know that:
- Women’s top three favourite colours are blue (35%), purple (23%), and green (14%.)
- Men prefer blue (57%), green (14%), and black (9%.)
- Light brown, gray, black, white and blue are gender-neutral colors, thus are adequate for males and females alike.
Colors hold significance for people around the world. Not only do colors influence emotion, but they also hold meaning in religion and various cultures. One colour can evoke different reactions in people based on culture or prior experience with that colour.
Take the colour red for example. Outside the western world, red has different associations. For example, in China, red is the color of prosperity and happiness and is used to attract good luck. In other eastern cultures, red is worn by brides on their wedding days. In South Africa, however, red is the color of mourning. Red is also associated with communism.
- The psychology effect of the red color is associated with passion and aggression. Red evokes a sense of urgency. That’s why promotions and clearance sales often use this color. It also stimulates appetite, which makes it perfect for fast-food restaurants.
- Blue is one of the most powerful colors when it comes to promoting reliability and tranquility. People associate blue with the sky and water. It creates a sense of peace and security. Companies choose blue among all other colors in marketing to promote trust in their products.
- People associate yellow with the sun, and it evokes positive emotions – happiness, creativity, and optimism. According to colour psychology, it’s the most eye-catching color. That’s why it also symbolizes warning and creates anxiety. Companies use the latter to draw in impulsive buyers.
Spiritually, color can impart both information (aura colours) and energy (as in healing) and it is believed that colors can stimulate or inhibit the functioning of different parts of our body. Treatment with the appropriate color can restore balance and normal functioning
Both in Buddhism and Hinduism, chakras (energy distribution centres of your body) are believed to be the parts of the body where both the spiritual, emotional, and physical meet, exuding a high amount of energy, influencing your physical as well as mental well being.
The blockage or malfunction of this flow of energy, may lead to spiritual, emotional, and physical disorders. Therefore, seeking the balance of these chakras centers is believed to lead to good health and overall well-being, and the use of colour can help balance the chakras or energies in the human body.
Today’s Journal Prompt: My favourite colour is…., because….
Intention for today’s meditation: I ask that white light completely surround me and fill me, cleansing and purifying my mind, body, and spirit.