How Colors Affect Your Health

Color is more than eye candy. It contains nutrients just like sunlight does, and its effects on health have been studied for hundreds of years. Ayurvedic doctors, natural healers from India, have long used light to cure illness, and we now have branches of science devoted to color therapy.

It’s sometimes referred to as chromotherapy, colorology and color psychology. The most famous study was done in the 1950s and you probably know of its findings – that the color pink soothes violent people and makes them docile.

That study found that a particular shade of the color pink, called Baker-Miller Pink, made strong men weak, and violent men calm, when painted on the walls of police station holding cells. As a result, that shade is unofficially called Drunk-Tank Pink.

Color Affects Your Mood Significantly

If we know this to be true, why don’t we paint everything Baker-Miller Pink? All our exteriors and interiors, our streets, cars, trucks and busses? And why don’t we dye everything pink that can’t be painted?

The reason is because the effects of Baker-Miller Pink wear off after about 15 minutes: perfect for a temporary holding cell, but not very effective beyond that. And also because it is one U-G-L-Y shade.

However, the initial buzz created by that decades-old study spurred interest and further research into the effect of hue on health.

Color Affects the Blind

Interest in color psychology spiked in 1982, when researchers Harry Wohlfarth and Catherine Sam proved that blind people are affected by color in a profound way, as well. They found that color in an environment caused significant neurological and hormonal changes in both seeing and blind children.

The brighter and busier the color scheme was, they concluded, the more combative and aggressive the children’s behavior became. On the other hand, children placed in a room with cooler earth tones became more relaxed and had lower blood pressure.

The effect of color on blind subjects shows that color emits vibrations and energy that go way beyond what we see with our eyes. Here are more ways color affects your mood and energy:

Red – the color of blood is also the color of passion. It can invoke feelings of caution and fear, or it can raise aggression levels. Darker reds like burgundy suggest sensuality and luxury.

Yellow – the color of sunshine inspires optimism, excitement and good cheer. It is also the color that stimulates hunger, so beware of the Golden Arches.

Blue – this “cool” color gives us a sense of security and well-being. On a hormonal level, the color blue attracts women to men.


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