Colors affect feelings and moods


Painting by Claude Monet Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Zoierae Hill, Reporter

Phrases, such as “I’m feeling blue” or “She saw red,” describe people’s feelings through colors.

While colors are just colors and not a definition of feelings, the phrases reflect how many people feel.

McDonald’s has a yellow and red logo, instantly recognizable, but McDonald’s is not the only restaurant that sports this pair of colors.

There’s In-n-Out, Carl’s Jr., Dairy Queen and Denny’s, to name a few.

Many restaurants use the color red, including Jack in the Box, Outback Steakhouse and Arby’s.

Red and yellow have been shown to make people hungry. That’s why restaurants use them to complement their exteriors and interiors. Some people call this the “Ketchup and Mustard Theory.”

Beyond the hunger factor, red is a color of passion and energy. It is a bright color and often associated with anger. An example would be the phrase “seeing red.”

Red is an energetic color because of the often urgent items associated with it. There are “EXIT” signs, emergency vehicle lights, traffic lights and stop signs. Many of these items call for immediate action, calling one to be alert and energetic to pull off a sometimes life-threatening task.

Blue, on the other hand, is a calming color.

“The color blue makes me feel calm,” said eighth grader Arynn Acdan. “It’s a very soothing color. It reminds me of the ocean, the beautiful sky above and my pencils and pens that I have. Blue is my favorite color.”

Unlike red, however, blue is considered an unappetizing color.

This may be because they are few blue foods except for blueberries and occasionally plums.

Blue is frequently a sign of poison in the wilderness.

Still, it is one of the most popular among favorite colors. Because of this, it is seen by many as a non-threatening color.

The phrase “feeling blue” reflects how blue can reflect feelings of sadness. An example is Picasso’s paintings during his Blue Period which can appear rather lonely and forlorn.

Green is another calming color. Blue and green are considered “cool colors,” which may be why they are calming.

Lighter shades of green are also easy on the eyes and can make a good background for computers when one uses the computer for an extended amount of time.

Green is also a color to describe jealousy or feelings of envy.

Yellow is the color of the sun. Like the phrase “a sunny day,” yellow invokes feelings of cheerfulness and warmth.

“It reminds me of a yellow rose and friendship,” said sophomore Ashley Zhang. ” It’s always been one of my favorite colors as a kid. I can’t really remember why I like it though.”

Unlike green, yellow does not make a good computer background. Because of the high amount of light being reflected, yellow can hurt one’s eyes and cause vision loss in extreme cases.

With food, yellow is said to speed up one’s metabolism.

Because of yellow’s extreme brightness, it creates energy. Sometimes this results in too much energy and can be seen as frustration or aggressiveness.

Purple is a color often associated with royalty. In ancient times, since this color cost a lot to make, seeing one wear it was basically a symbol of wealth.

Purple is also seen as a color of wisdom and spirituality. Perhaps linked with its rare occurrence in nature, it is also often seen as exotic or “otherworldly.”

“Light purple makes me feel like Easter, like a holiday. It makes me feel light inside,” said junior Hailey Mopas.

Colors can make people feel a number of different ways, but these feelings are not always universal. The way a color influences a person’s feelings can be related to a past experience involving that color.

A day spent running through sunflowers with the family may cause yellow to invoke feelings of security and happiness while an accident involving blood may make red an uneasy color. Feelings associated with colors vary from person to person.