Colors, Emotions, Behavior, Consciousness, and Learning – Part 1
Posted on: May 19, 2017.

Author: Mrs. Radhika Mohan, Educational Consultant

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We generally believe that colors often have different meanings in various cultures but the truth is universal.

“Color is a universal, non-verbal language and we all intuitively know how to speak it”, says Leslie Harrington, a color consultant. He says, “What color you paint your walls is not just a matter of aesthetics. It is a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior.”

Dr. Mark Sircus says, “Color greatly influences human emotions and behavior. Artists and interior designers have long understood how colors can dramatically affect moods, feeling and emotions. It is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood and cause psychological reactions. Certain colors have been associated with increased blood pressure, increased metabolic rate and eyestrain.

We have often heard people using colors in their statements to express certain feelings or emotions.

“We often say…
…“Oh! She turned green with envy”
…“He turned red in anger”
…“She went pale/white in fear”
…“He felt blue after the stressful incident”, and so on.

Color has long since been found to be used as therapy in the medical field. Several ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and the Chinese, practiced chromo-therapy, or the use of colors, to heal patients.

Chromo-therapy is sometimes also referred as light therapy and is used today as an alternative treatment.

Red is used to stimulate the body and the mind and increase circulation. Being the longest wavelength, red is a powerful color. Although not technically the most visible, it has the property of appearing to be nearer than it actually is, and therefore is the first color to grab our attention. No wonder its effectiveness in being used as traffic lights, the world over. It relates to the masculine principle and can activate the “fight or flight” instinct. Red is a basic color and very strong, yet pure red is the simplest color with no subtlety. Red spells of cheer, liveliness, friendliness and thus seems stimulating. But at the same time, red is also perceived as being demanding, persuasive and aggressive.

Green is the color of harmony and balance. From a color psychology perspective, it is the great balance of the heart and the emotions, creating equilibrium between the head and the heart. Green has a strong sense of right and wrong, thus inviting good judgment. It sees both sides of the equation, weighs them up and then usually takes the moral stand in making appropriate decisions. “The green emotional energy centre is the doorway to the heart. The heart is the place of pure feelings (not emotions). Hence, Green is the color of truth. The heart can be only standing open to truth; open in the face of truth. When we are not with truth, the heart closes”, says Dr. Mark Sircus.

From the meaning of color perspectives, green is also the color indicating growth, the color belonging to the spring season, indicative of renewal and rebirth. Green renews and restores depleted energy.

Blue is the color of comfort. It signifies calmness, feels soothing, and treats pain. Blue is the color of the mind, which is why it is essentially soothing. It affects us mentally rather than the physical reactions we have to red. Strong, deep blue will stimulate clear thoughts, and lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid in concentration. Blue objects do not appear to be as close as red ones.

…continued in next part

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