Colours are part of cultural symbolism all over the world. It is said that the importance placed on colours by humans could go as far back as pre-historic times, when we were governed by day and night. The yellow of the sun and the deep blue night sky were important references. Most living beings seem to be stimulated in some way by the luminous reds, oranges, and yellows, and calmed by the blues and violets of night. From Chinese tradition to modern-day research done on the electromagnetic transmission of information, the effect of colours fascinates.
Without your knowing it, colours often influence you, or at least have an effect on you. Medicine has long recognized the psychological and physical effects of colours. A rainbow, colourful objects, dyes – all play a bigger role in our lives than we think. Relatively recent disciplines have been devoted specifically to the study of the effects of colour on our moods: chromotherapy, which is based on the energy from the wavelength of colours, and chromatherapy, which is based on the principles of Chinese medicine.
So, what does that say about the effects of colours? Quite a bit…
Blue - Evocative of space, blue calms and soothes. It produces a feeling of confidence and safety. It is also said that it can promote creativity. Pale blue is therefore a good colour for an office or a study.
Pink – Pink fights stress, pessimism, and worry. It is not recommended for a bedroom or other place of relaxation, because it can also excite.
Yellow – Luminous, joyful, stimulating, yellow invigorates and promotes concentration, helps memory, judgement, and decision-making. This might be a good shade to put in a conference room, since yellow also makes people more receptive to new ideas and to understand different points of view. It promotes optimism.
Green – A colour linked to nature, green is synonymous with balance and renewal. It has a positive effect on the nervous system. It’s anti-stress and helps you relax.
Red – The big stimulant, red is the colour that has the biggest impact on the organism. It stimulates the senses, promotes circulation, invigorates, etc. As this colour also excites, it is not recommended for impatient or tense people.
Black – Black should be used sparingly. For most of us, it means drama or sadness. Depressed folks should steer clear of it. When judiciously applied, it can add a rich note symbolizing power and money.
Orange – Another colour associated with happiness, orange frees the emotions, curbs depressing effects, and restores a good mood. Even its paler variants (peach, apricot, etc.) are beneficial. In fact, orange combines the effects of yellow and red. They even say it stimulates the immune system and promotes digestion.
You probably have your own reaction to colours. Just pay attention, and you’ll see. Put colour to good use in your home decoration and your life.