How to Use Colors to Boost Your Mood

This is a guest article by Michelle Laurey:

Spring has finally arrived! For many people, it means spring-cleaning your wardrobe, so you can get to your “cheerful” clothes. I put away the gray, black, and brown of winter and take out the pastels of spring.

The colors we choose reflect how we feel. More importantly, the colors we choose can change the way we feel.

Angela Wright, a researcher in color psychology, found that each hue of color influences a psychological mode. Colors can be used to make your brain work faster, improve your mood, relax, energize yourself, and stimulate appetite.

Although you can change your bedding and interior decor, the easiest way to utilize color psychology is choosing your outfit for the day based on what you want to influence. Here are specific ways you can use colors to change how you feel:

Paint the Town Red

Red has a physical effect on people. It raises our pulse rate and stimulates us. Time may seem to pass faster than it actually does. Having the longest wavelength, red is the most powerful of all colors. From ancient times, red has been associated with danger and, as such, it should be used carefully.

Danger evokes negative feelings. And it has a two-fold impact: it impairs our performance on mental tasks, but it also enhances our physical reactions, making us faster and stronger.

You can use red to your advantage by wearing red accessories when you have an important interview, meeting, or speech. It will definitely boost your confidence and capture the attention of your audience.

Wear it to the gym or when you have a marathon to run, but steer clear of red during any exams or tests.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Yellow has an emotional effect and is the strongest color in a psychological sense. It can create optimism, friendliness, self-esteem, confidence, emotional strength, extraversion, and creativity. Possible negative effects of yellow are anxiety, fear, irrationality, and emotional fragility.

The right yellow lifts your spirits and improves self-esteem. Wear yellow accessories, shoes, or a shirt when you need an uplift in mood. It is associated with intelligence, so it might be a good idea to have a yellow lucky charm on your next test. If you’re doing some creative work, paint your nails yellow and get inspired. Guys, you can wear a yellow tie or another piece of clothing.

Orange You Glad You Wore It

A combination of red and yellow, orange has similar effects as those two colors. Orange is associated with positive feelings of security, warmth, physical comfort, fun, sensuality, abundance, and passion. However, it can also cause frustration and make others see you as immature and frivolous.

Orange is an instinctive color, which is a combination of physical and emotional. Wear an orange bracelet or belt when you think your life could use some fun or when you’re going out. People who wear orange are often considered to be the life of the party. Cheer others up and you’ll be more cheerful as well.

Go Green

This cold color doesn’t require ocular adjustment—meaning that it’s the easiest on the eyes. Green reduces fatigue, promotes relaxation, and balances the mind. It is associated with harmony, peace, universal love, refreshment, rest, and equilibrium.

Wear green when you need a mental refresh or reassurance. Many stress relief methods work best in nature, and one of the reasons is the fact that you are surrounded by the calming green of the grass and trees.

Again, too much of a good thing can be bad: negative effects of green consist of stagnation, enervation, blandness, and boredom.

Don’t Be Blue

Even though green is great for stress reduction, blue is actually the color used most to bring about the sense of calm. It also lowers blood pressure and creates feelings of trust. Now you know why a lot of banks use blue in branding.

Blue is an intellectual color, so it’s a good idea to wear it for enhancing mental clarity. Wearing blue during interviews will help you come off as trustworthy and dependable.

Wearing too much blue may make us seem unfriendly, cold, and aloof. On days you feel sad, avoid blue, it will just make you more blue.

Back to Black

Black is the entire color spectrum absorbed. It creates protective barriers, shielding you from all energy coming your way. Black is a good color to wear when you’re in need of emotional safety and security.

Sophistication, efficiency, substance, and glamor are black. But it also conveys menace and coldness–no wonder all villains wear black.

Put on a black shirt when you need to negotiate or want to feel more in control of your life. It will make you look more serious when you ask for a promotion at work or go to an interview.

A Splash of Color

All colors have their positives and negatives. The key is to use them in moderation; too much of any color can have a damaging impact on your mood. You also shouldn’t force yourself to wear a color if you don’t like it. Wearing red if you hate it won’t make you feel more confident, just more aggressive and annoyed.

You shouldn’t worry about wearing out-of-season colors either as long as you like the color and want to benefit from its effects on mood. Be that fun, bold person who wears yellow or light green in the winter.



Michelle Laurey is an aspiring writer who enjoys cycling, fitness, mixing-up smoothies, researching healthy life choices and trying to implement them.

Connect with Michelle via Twitter and Facebook.

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