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Color Psychology 

thumbnail-e1346119557817Color psychology refers to investigating the effect of color on human behavior and feeling. Interpretations may vary with time, place and culture. They can also be contradictory. For example red is often used to indicate ‘stop’ or danger, yet at the same time, red symbolizes love. While perceptions of color can be subjective, there are some color effects that have universal meaning. Color psychology is powerful psychological tool that can send a positive or negative message, encourage sales, calm a crowd, or increase motivation. The esoteric use of color has an ancient tradition. Colors play an important role in the Indian Chakra system, the Chinese science of Feng Shui and the esoteric ideas based on the Five Elements theories. In each case, color has specific meaning, interpretation and healing properties. Color Therapy (chromotherapy) suggest that every color carries a specific potential that can be beneficial. Therapy applies light and color in the form of tools and visualization and seeks to balance subtle energies within the body and mind.

  • White aids mental clarity. Encourages to clear clutter or remove obstacles. Evokes purification of thoughts or actions. Enables fresh beginnings. In some Asian countries, white symbolizes death and unhappiness. White is also associated with neutrality and peace – hence a white flag for surrender. Doctors and brides wear white. However, too much white can give feelings of separation and can be cold and isolating.
  • Red symbolizes passion, strength, bravery, danger, energy, fire, sex, love, romance, excitement, speed, heat, arrogance, ambition, leadership, courage, masculinity, power, gaudiness, blood, war, anger, revolution and radicalism. Studies show that red can have a physical effect, including increasing the rate of respiration and raising blood pressure. Red increases enthusiasm and can make people hungry.
  • Orange has less intensity or aggression then red being calmed by the cheerfulness of yellow. Orange may increase sexuality and stimulate the digestive system by increasing appetite. It has a soothing effect on stressed emotional states, strengthening courage and relieving feelings of inadequacy. The color is considered an anti-depressant. It brings optimism and inspiration, removes inhibitions and expands interest.
  • Yellow on the one side, yellow symbolizes sunlight, joy, happiness, earth, optimism, intelligence, idealism wealth (gold), summer, hope and freedom and on the other cowardice, illness (quarantine), fear, hazards, dishonesty, avarice, weakness, greed, decay and aging. It stimulates mental processes as well as the nervous system and activates memory and brain activity. Yellow builds self-confidence and optimism.
  • Green is always associated with nature, growth and fertility. This color soothe the eyes and produces a calming effect on the nervous system. It is the color of spring, a time of rebirth and renewal. Green relaxes mentally, as well as physically. It helps alleviate depression, nervousness, and anxiety and offers a sense of renewal, self-control, and harmony. Research indicates that green improves reading ability.
  • Blue is calming. It can be strong and steadfast or light and friendly. Almost everyone likes some shade of the color blue. It is seen as trustworthy, dependable, and committed. It is non-threatening, yet confident and stable. It eases stress, sedates, cools, aids nutrition and helps in getting sleep. Blue is not and appetizing color and may assist with weight loss plans. Blue can also lower the pulse rate and the body temperature.
  • Indigo may be able to send subliminal messages beyond the physical world. In great paintings the robes of prophets, saints and sages are often painted indigo. The color is associated with extreme intelligence and psychic vision. It responds to the deepest feeling and emotions. It opens the possibility of ‘seeing with the Third Eye’. It balances personal motivations, perceptions and expectations.
  • Black makes one feel inconspicuous. It provides restful emptiness and is mysterious by evoking a sense of potential and possibility. In most Western countries black is the color of mourning. It is sometimes seen as a color of rebellion. Black is both positive and negative. It conveys elegance, sophistication and mystery. Black is often used in fashion because of its slimming quality. In language is often used in negative sense.
  • Violet symbolizes magic and esoteric powers. In Chinese painting, the color violet represents the harmony of the universe because it is a combination of red (yang) and blue (yin). Because of its royal association, violet also represents luxury. Violet is a refined shade of the color purple. Both colors are a blend of blue and red.
  • Purple has the ability to suppresses hunger and it helps to balance emotions and transform obsessions and fear. In some cultures purple is the color of mourning. In others it is considered the color of royalty and wisdom. Purple uplifts calms the mind and nerves, offers a sense of spirituality and encourages creativity. As purple does not often occur in nature, it can sometimes appear exotic or artificial.
  • Magenta is a mixture of red and purple. It is considered to represent universal harmony. It can transcend the ordinary and bring an experience of higher cognition. This strong bright color conveys a sense of vivacity and can easily be too strong for some. It evokes highly charged emotions. Too much magenta can be disturbing to sensitive people. Chronically depressed or introverted people perhaps should avoid magenta.
  • Brown is natural, down-to-earth, conventional, sophisticated, brown is the color of the soil. It brings a sense of stability, alleviating insecurity. Shades of brown represent skin tones and produce a comforting feeling. Brown can stimulate the appetite, wholesomeness, steadfastness, simplicity, friendliness, and dependability. Brown can also be associated with withholding emotion and retreating from the world.
  • Silver is the color of the moon, which is ever-changing. It relates to the feminine principle and the emotional, sensitive aspect of the mind. It balances, harmonizes and is mentally cleansing. It represents prestige and a sense of scientific cleanliness (silver, stainless steel appliances). Silver is often used in advertising to emphasize the quality and reliability of a product. Silver is not a true color but a representation of a metal.
  • Gold is associated with the sun and is therefore related to abundance and power, higher ideals, wisdom, and understanding. It is mentally revitalizing, energizing, and inspiring, and helpful for fear, uncertainty, and lack of interest. Pale gold is excellent for depression and sharpens the mind. As with silver, gold (unless metallic) is not a true color but a representation of the metal gold and is therefore always somewhat limited as a pigment.
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