The Psychology of Colour

There is a whole language to colour, and colour exerts a subtle yet powerful influence over us. Becoming aware of the influences of different colours means we can harness their beneficial effects.

These effects can be measured physiologically in our bodies. For example, red, orange and yellow have an invigorating effect on our body, measurably increasing blood pressure, pulse and breathing rate whilst the ‘cold’ colours of blue, indigo and violet have a calming and soothing effect. Green sits in the centre of the spectrum, having a balancing effect.

At the psychological level many studies have been done showing the link between colour and emotions and personality type. For instance, a particular shade of pink has been proven to reduce violent and aggressive behaviour in prisons. The more extroverted you are the more likely you are to be drawn to bright, vibrant colours, whilst the more introverted naturally incline towards the quieter, more restful colours.

Let’s look at the major colours of the spectrum and some of the things they say – both their positive manifestations and their negative (over exposure to any colour can lead to imbalance).