WORK-LIFE BALANCE / DEC. 09, 2014
version 3, draft 3

 Modify your Mood with Color

Color is an important aspect of our lives. Without it the world would be considerably drabber; almost black and white. That is my sad attempt at a joke about color. Although color psychology hasn’t been heavily researched, there are some observable correlations between color and human behavior.

Stress in shades of blue

If you are feeling stressed, anxious or even violent, blue has been found to have a momentary calming effect. Streets in high crime areas that have been illuminated with blue street lamp are said to have a noticeable fall in crime rates. Similar pacifying effects have been observed with a slightly darker bubble gum pink. It is being used in correctional facilities, “drunk tanks” and even inmates’ clothes. The calming effect has been found to pacify violent inmates in a fraction of the normal time. Is your boss riding you extra hard today? Put up a little pink in your cubicle and calm down.

Super Green

Strangely, green is the color that the human eye can see the most shades of. This is not the only feat green manages though. It can save lives too. London’s Blackfriar Bridge was painted green and a 34% decrease in suicides was seen. This effect is also observed with blue lighting as I mentioned above. So again, if you feel anxiety, feel free to be green. Or just look at it, it would be weird to walk into the office in green body paint.

Red Good or Bad

Red has been seen to increase awareness and blood-flow. On the other side of the crimson coin it is known to stimulate impulsive behavior and encourages speeding. Do you think it’s by random occurrence that red was thought (incorrectly) to aggravate bulls and that a certain historical Italian sports car company is famous for its red cars? So if you are really burning the midnight oil and have a deadline breathing down your neck, take a glance at a red card to get energized and try not to punch anyone. Also, have another espresso as that report isn’t going to type itself.  

Smiley Face Yellow

It’s the color most associated with sunny warm days and happiness. Yellow has been shown to increase positive feelings and mood. Yellow also excites the nervous system, working like red by energizing, without the negative effects. It will help you be happy and energized, but won’t make you want to run fast and punch someone. That a point for yellow in my book.  

Jolly Roger Black

Black is a color associated with aggression and dishonesty. Athletic teams that have primarily black uniforms actually commit more fouls and display less sportsmanship than other teams. Black is color that intimidates and instills fear. Don’t be tempted to wear black for your next business meeting though, remember what I said about the sports team and dishonesty? Yup, why do think mobsters are always portrayed with black suits and black shirt underneath. Fo’get about it.

Finally, color attraction is dependent on temperature and color can influence what the temperature feels like. If you’re in a warm colored (red, yellow, orange) room you’ll think the temperature is higher and in a cool colored (blue, green, turquoise) room you’ll feel that the temperature is lower.

What’s your favorite color? Well then let us know in the comment section below and get a lolly-pop! You won’t actually because you should be looking for career stuff in kindergarten anyway.

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