Written by Julianne Sack, 2023 Let Go & Grow Summer Intern
Edited by The LG&G Team
What is life without color? Sounds pretty dull in my opinion. Rainbows are formed after the darkness of rain to allow us to appreciate mother nature’s darkness and the variety of the rainbow shows how every color has a purpose. Colors have an incredible ability to influence our perceptions, evoke emotions, and shape our daily experiences. From the vibrant hues of nature to the carefully chosen palettes of our built environments, colors play a significant role in the way we perceive and interact with the world. Incorporating color into your life, not only in your outfits but also around your home or car can be empowering and a mood-lifter.
Colors can have a profound influence on our emotions and behavior. For this reason, there is a field known as Color Psychology which dives into the importance of color on human behavior, how this varies among different cultures, and suggests that different colors can elicit specific psychological responses. For example, according to colorpsychology.org, author and cognitive psychologist Haily Van Braam breaks down each color to help suggest what color might be missing in your life…
- Red: Often associated with energy and passion, red can evoke strong emotions, increase heart rate, stimulate appetite, and is more often than not, a symbol for danger.
- Blue: The way blue is perceived is highly relevant to its relationship with the ocean. So, it is known for its calming effect- blue is often associated with tranquility and trust. It can promote feelings of relaxation and reduce stress as well as enhance authenticity.
- Yellow: A color that symbolizes happiness and optimism, yellow can uplift moods and stimulate mental activity.
- Green: Associated with nature and balance, green is often perceived as refreshing and grounding, promoting a sense of harmony and renewal. Green is also a symbol of spirituality and peace within.
- Purple: Usually associated with royalty and wealth in older times. Purple is now more of a symbol for wisdom, mystery, and creativity.
- Black: Since black is so dark it is usually tied to things like death, mystery, and fear of the unknown. But, black can also denote a lot of strength, cunningness, and elegance as well as protectiveness.
Colors can be interpreted by everyone in different manners simply based on their own memories with such colors. They can bring out the beauty in people’s eyes, skin and even their hair!
Symbolism and Communication
Since colors can serve as powerful tools for the human eye, many businesses like to use it in their forms of communication and propaganda- conveying meaning and messages in various contexts. For example, taxis are yellow to bring attention and are very recognizable. The same goes for wet floor signs, it being the color yellow prevents people from missing it and is like a sign to read it as well (most of the time).
I have noticed many companies meticulously select colors to represent their brand identities. According to an article by Carleton University titled The Importance of Brand Colors and How to Pick them, it states, “Colour plays an important role in marketing. When designing the branding and logo of your company, colors play a crucial role. This is because they are the first things your target market thinks of when thinking of your brand. Colour is one of the first things your target market sees and can play a significant role in consumer behavior.”
For example, the use of red in logos often signifies excitement and energy, like in many food and retail store chains such as, Chick-fil-a, McDonald’s, Target, or Coca-Cola. Blue is used more in bank logos or insurance companies to convey trust and reliability. Eco-friendly companies tend to use the color green such as Whole Foods, Seventh Generation and, The Original Green toys. Visual Arts are also taken into much appreciation by artists and designers who use colors to evoke emotions and convey narratives. Art can live through decades and still seem to find its place in the present time. By manipulating color schemes, they can create visual impact, set the tone, and guide the viewer’s interpretation, no matter when or where.
Color in Healing and Well-Being
Colors are also believed to impact our well-being and even promote healing. Once we are able to see the beauty in color, we can see beauty in everything- and that means the black and white aspects too. In Dr. Brooke’s article titled, On Appreciation and Upping the Value of Our Experiences, she states, “In the expansive, coherent state of appreciation, systems work better, become more functional, and can operate from an enhanced state of order, harmony, and resilience. When you appreciate what you have, what you have, appreciates.”
Even in the way that we feed ourselves, colors begin to become very important. As many nutritionists say it is important to “eat the rainbow” and incorporate all colors in different fruits and vegetables. In Dr. Brooke’s article about Diet Philosophy, she has a section on “How to Eat,” which she mentions is very important even before knowing what to eat. In this article she states: “To engage the senses, remember to be mindful, eat in good company, notice the vivid colors, the smell, the taste, and anything else that helps you to savor the flavors and soak in the experience.”
Recognizing the colors in our foods can be really motivating to not only take time to enjoy our meal, but also appreciate the elements from the Earth. Seasons can also be interpreted by colors and this can help us in a transformative way. In another article written by Dr. Brooke titled, Health, Elements, and Transforming with the Seasons, she states that, “Water represents winter, and it is all about intuition, depth and introspection… think relaxation, rest, family, dreams, meditation, will power, and courage… Wood represents the spring, and it is all about creation, growth and development. Think green, blooms, enthusiasm, strength, vision, new beginnings and life…Fire represents the summer, and it is all about expansion, bright light and vibrant expression. Think upbeat, radiance, joy, laughter, flirtation, sweat, dancing and sunshine!”
At the end of the day, choosing what colors you have in your life can be a creative way to appreciate and focus on what feels expansive to you versus contractive. Using colors to heal is something that we can realistically do each and every single day- from the food we eat, to what we wear, to the intentional cultivation of our environment. Colors are an elemental part of our lives and because we are able to see it and experience it, we should enjoy it!
For more information on building a solid foundation, check out the Let Go & Grow Mind Body Reset Program!
Julianne Sack comes from a small town in southwest Florida known as Naples where she lived most her life and decided to come to Orlando to study Biomedicine. Julianne’s parents are both immigrants from South America who came to the states for not only a better life for themselves but a better life for their future children. Julianne has always enjoyed challenges and believed a medical career would suit her ethic, but as she grew up, she discovered a lot of corruption and dishonesty in the medical field and decided this may not be the right path for her. During the quarantine of Covid-19, she spent a lot of time with herself and started to learn a lot about the power of the mind and healing the body through more natural remedies and activities. In turn, Julianne’s path for her future now consists of functional medicine and holistic counseling.