• Marthena Smith

How Do You Colour The World?

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Ever notice how you feel around certain colours?

For me, it’s purple and orange. I’m not sure why; I just feel better around these colours. So, it’s no surprise you’ll find them sprinkled throughout my closet, home and office.

There have actually been a number of studies that evaluate the effect colours have on us. Take a look at these descriptions, as portrayed on ivillage.com, and see if you know which colour does the trick:

Need more energy? Want to feel grounded? Want to feel refreshed? Need to cheer up? Want a rosier outlook? Need an infusion of warmth and luxury? Craving creativity or passion? Want to flirt with danger? Need a dose of calm and clarity? Want to feel sophisticated and powerful?

Orange Green White Yellow Pink Brown Purple Red Blue Black

How did you do? I’ll bet you knew some right off — and others were a bit tricky.

We know hospital rooms are often a calming green or blue. Red high heels signal excitement. And no wonder those smiley faces are yellow!

Brown signifies warmth and luxury in this quiz. I’ve also heard from a litigation attorney that brown comes across in the courtroom as more trustworthy.

Let’s dig a little deeper. Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Eiseman Center for Color Education and Training and the Pantone Color Institute, as well as the author of “More Alive with Color,” has done extensive research in the field. Several universities have also published studies on the effects of colour in our lives.

Orange represents radiant energy, according to Eiseman.

Want to get energized for the day? Wear an orange bathrobe to breakfast, and drink a tall glass of orange juice. Focusing on orange produces an adrenaline-releasing effect.


Though it’s linked with envy, green actually has more positive associations. Think trees, grass and relaxation. It’s also the colour of money, which may partly explain why an experiment at Gettysburg College found green was linked with success-oriented words. Want more calmness at work? Put a green plant on your desk. Or take a walk in the park at lunch.


Purity. Simplicity. Cleanliness. Research at the University of Leeds in the U.K. found patients have the most confidence in doctors who wear white coats. White has a pristine effect — linked with innocence and freshness. Wearing a crisp white blouse or T-shirt can give you this feeling. White roses or tulips on your countertop also have purifying effects.

Yellow — the colour of sunshine and happiness. It’s a huge mood enhancer. That may explain why yellow is the colour people are most drawn to (even though blue is the most common favourite colour), according to research from the University of Manchester in the U.K.

Want to get happy in a hurry? Tie a yellow scarf around your neck so you can see it. If you live in a climate of low light in winter, consider painting your walls yellow. It just might give that mood lift you crave.


Hot pink is an adrenaline-spiker. Bright pink jolts the eye and gets you out of the doldrums. Researchers at the University of Waikato in New Zealand found that kids in a pink-coloured room displayed greater physical strength and more positive moods than kids in five other colour-themed rooms.


Brown used to be a mere earth tone, but not anymore. “While it’s still perceived as ‘unpretentious and non-threatening,’” Eiseman said, “now it’s about rich coffee or chocolate.” Deep brown can have a quietly stimulating effect or provide a sense of warmth and luxury.

Picture yourself surrounded by rich mahogany furniture, with a warm walnut picture frame on your desk — or slipping into a cosy brown leather jacket.


The colour purple is mysterious — combining the calmness of blue with the excitement of red. The result: creativity.

Try a purple vase on your desk or countertop. A reddish-purple has an energizing effect, while a bluish-purple induces a more serene, spiritual influence.


Danger. Excitement. Passion. Red has it all. Sometimes it can be too intense, though. University of Rochester researchers found when people looked at a red cover on an IQ test, for example, they moved their bodies away from it more than those who were given a green or grey cover. When women wear red, however, it can have the opposite effect of attracting positive attention.


Peace and tranquility. Blue can help reduce stress. After all, blue is the colour of clear skies and clean water — things that are dependable. It may also enhance performance on creative tasks, according to research at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Try a blue screensaver for your computer — or a blue mug on your desk.


Though it began as the colour of villains, funerals and grief, black has gradually become the quintessential colour of elegance and power. Think about the popularity of the little black dress. Or the judge’s robe.

To feel sophisticated, powerful or elegant, wear a black dress or power suit, but break it up with another colour to create contrast. For a sophisticated touch at work or home, try a sleek black vase or an onyx picture frame.

So, now you know what to do if you want to rev up, calm down, feel sophisticated or get grounded.

©2019 Linda Arnold Live Life Fully, all rights reserved. Linda Arnold, M.A., M.B.A., is a syndicated columnist, psychological counsellor and founder of a multistate marketing company. Reader comments are welcome at linda@lindaarnold.org


#colour #pickyourcolour #happycolour

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