© Carole Kanchier, PhD
How Colors Affect Mood and Performance
When I wore black to business meetings
in San Francisco I was perceived as sophisticated. However, when I wore black
to meetings in certain small school districts, I was considered aloof. A change
of wardrobe color altered perceptions.
What do the colors you wear say about
you? Colors you wear may affect your mood as well as how others perceive you. Work
environment colors also matter.
At a subconscious level colors affect
people in different ways. Colors can send positive or negative messages. Using colors
effectively to dress, decorate your office or design your web site can put you
ahead of the competition.
What Colors Convey
Research on the psychology of color consistently
demonstrates that colors evoke emotional, behavioral and physical responses. Advertising
executives know that a product can have a completely different impact if the packaging
color is changed. Psychologists have found that certain colors in our environment
help or hinder performance of certain tasks. Mental concentration is best in cool
environments while exercise is best performed in warm environments.
Generally, warm colors such as red
and its neighboring hues on the color spectrum are active, exciting. Cool
colors such as light green, blue and violet are passive, calming. Reds tend to stimulate the central nervous
system, increase bodily tension, while cool colors release tension. Meanings
change with lighter or darker shades of colors, and different cultures have
Research suggests that blue is the
most favored color, followed by pink, green, red, purple and black. Brown is
the least popular, followed by white, yellow and orange.
Personality traits are reflected by
your preferred color. Extroverts like red, introverts blue. Yellow is the
choice of intellectuals, and well-balanced individuals tend to wear green.
Use Color Positively
Use color to trigger desired emotions. Surround yourself with favorite colors to lift your
spirit. In addition to selecting
colors that suit you, attend to how you feel, and the message you want to
dressing for important meetings, plan your wardrobe to achieve impact. If you wear more than one color, combine the
meanings to create your desired effect.
Remember to dress with authority. The dark suit, navy or medium
to dark gray, with a crisp shirt and contrasting tie is appropriate for men. A
conservative navy, gray or tan business suit is suitable for women.
Create Desired Effect With Color
– Red exudes power, energy, excitement and passion. It makes
peoples’ hearts beat faster.
Wear red when you want to be assertive,
need an energy boost or exude sexuality. Red is effective as an accessory to project
energy. Avoid red when you feel nervous, want to elude attention.
– Orange represents creativity, confidence, joy, sensuality and ambition. It suggests vibrant health and has
positive effects on emotional states.
Wear orange when you want to have fun,
heighten creativity or heal emotions. Avoid it when you feel restless,
dependent, fearful, want to relax.
– Yellow is associated with happiness, freedom,
optimism and mental concentration. Yellow speeds metabolism. Some shades
suggest cowardice; golden shades promise good times.
Wear yellow when you need to attend
to details, maintain mental alertness, feel happy. Use sparingly because it can
be overpowering. Avoid yellow when you’re fearful, want to evade attention, relax.
– Green suggests security, abundance, love, growth, luck and balance. It’s also associated with envy. Forest
green projects conservatism, wealth, but olive green may represent illness.
Wear green when you want to see
things from a different perspective, need to feel grounded, calm, generous. Don’t
wear it when you’re confused, feel stagnant, want to be alone.
– Blue represents authority, structure, communication, dependability, trust
Some shades or too much blue can project
Wear blue when you want to exude power,
have mental control, be conservative, respected or communicate an important
message. Don’t wear blue when you feel isolated, depressed, critical.
– Gray is practical, timeless, cautious, successful and solid. Some shades are associated with age, depression,
lack of direction. Excessive use of gray leads to feelings of being invisible,
but a touch adds feelings of stability.
gray when you want to feel self-sufficient, isolate yourself. Avoid it when you feel lonely, stressed.
– Brown is associated with stability, honesty, practicality and commitment.
Wear brown when you
need to work hard, be a team member or organized. Avoid it when you want to
expend energy, play, feel insecure.
– Pink represents love, affection and serenity. Wear it when you want to feel
feminine, lovable, need to concentrate and listen. Avoid pink when you feel
vulnerable, insecure, fragmented, are giving more than receiving.
– Purple is associated with prosperity, spirituality and sophistication. When overused it communicates ostentatiousness. Wear purple to project wisdom, trust, release
– Black represents power, elegance, discipline and
mystery. Sometimes, it’s associated with evil and grieving.
Wear black to communicate an
authoritative image or protect emotions. Since too much black can overwhelm
some, don’t wear it when you want to establish rapport.
– White symbolizes purity, cleanliness, safety, completion, strength and
white to feel peaceful, convey a well-balanced, optimistic personality. White is
most effective as part of an ensemble. Too much can project coldness, isolation.
a great impression. You’re that first flash of
color others see!
Author Bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is
an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered
psychologist, coach, speaker, and author of Questers
Dare to Change Your Job and Life. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963. Kanchier has taught at University
of California, Berkeley
and Santa Cruz, and other institutions of higher learning. Carole Kanchier is known for
her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential
Dr. Kanchier is available for consultations and interviews.
Contact; email@example.com; www,questersdaretochange.com