Color your world!


Are you having a basic beige day? A blue day? A red explosion day? Color is surprisingly important behind the scenes to our mood and can affect how you feel.

Some studies have shown that color can have dramatic consequences on behavior:

  • One study found that warm-colored placebo pills were reported as more effective than cool-colored placebo pills.

  • Anecdotal evidence has suggested that installing blue-colored streetlights can lead to reduced crime in those areas.

  • The temperature of the environment might play a role in color preference. People who are warm tend to list cool colors as their favorites, while people who are cold prefer warmer colors.

  • More recently, researchers discovered that the color red causes people to react with greater speed and force, something that might prove useful during athletic activities.

  • One study that looked at historical data found that sports teams dressed in mostly black uniforms are more likely to receive penalties and that students were more likely to associate negative qualities with a player wearing a black uniform.

One study suggests that placing misbehaving children in a pink room can calm them down better than anything else! And that calming effect has been employed in visiting team’s locker room to mellow them out and make them less likely to win a game.  Many things have been written about the use of color in decorating in creating a home that reflects the mood you are after.

So what to make of these interesting tidbits? First, there is so much more going on in our brains with respect to our moods and behaviors than we realize. But, second, why not try a bit of a color experiment on yourself? If you are feeling blue, dress in yellow. If you want some comfort, how about a nurturing tan? If nothing else, it will feel a lot like playing dress up, and we all know how good play is for even the most serious among us.

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