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rainbow

Conversation Starters: Colors

How do you feel when you see a rainbow in the sky?

Rainbows and colors have charmed the world for generations. Whenever you’re feeling stressed and need a breather from your schedule, nature always has the power to help you slow down and take in your surroundings with all of your senses. Colors have a deep psychological influence on us as well.

Ready to learn some fascinating facts on the science behind colors?

1. The Colors in the Rainbow

A rainbow is formed when sun rays contact the atmosphere’s water droplets. A rainbow appears in seven distinct colors because the droplets of water break up the sunlight into the seven spectrum colors. You’ll be able to get a similar result with a prism.

To help you remember the colors in a rainbow, you can use the ROYGBIV or Roy G acronym. That’s R-O-Y-G-B-I-V, which stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, with red forming the top of a rainbow. The acronym is sometimes referred to in reverse order, as VIBGYOR, which has a certain rhythm to it once you’ve learned it: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red. Try saying it out loud!

And did you know that the chakra system is related to the rainbow’s seven colors? Chakra is a Sanskrit term and refers to the concentrated energy centers of the body. A balanced chakra system helps you to function at optimal levels.

2. Color Psychology

Humans have strong visual senses. Your brain processes color on a level that goes beyond the surface.

You’ll find the influence of colors in the world of advertising and marketing. Certain shades of color have been found to increase appetite, and there are many reasons certain brands select specific colors for their branding and logos. McDonald’s uses yellow for their logo, Amazon uses orange, and luxury brands like Chanel tend to use black. Yellow represents fun and happiness, orange represents warmth and a certain level of affordability, while black is associated with sophistication and authority. As for Starbucks and their green logo? Green is a relaxing color that’s often associated with health and friendliness.

HubSpot has several color charts if you’d like to have a more thorough look at brands, logos, and their color selections. You’ll directly see how each color influences purchasing decisions and the emotions of customers.

3. Color Therapy

Chromotherapy is the scientific term for “color therapy.” It has been in existence since ancient Egyptian times and continues to be of great importance in certain cultures. It’s often used to help people correct psychological or emotional imbalances.

The correlation between color and mood can be subjective and highly individual.

According to Steve Palmer, professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, a very saturated blue is the most well-liked color across all cultures. This is because it’s universally associated with good things like a clear sky, clean ocean, wisdom, or a magnificent sapphire gemstone.

4. Calming Colors

Reducing stress is likely to be a big part of your self-care routine and approach to personal development.

So, what are some of the most soothing colors for your heart and mind?

Shades of blue or green are always a safe choice. They are calming because they immediately remind us of the beauty of nature. Imagine looking out over the ocean on a beautiful day, where both the sky and water will be saturated with blue. You may also have been told to look at something green in the distance when you need to relax your eyes and avoid strained vision. That’s because blue and green aren’t tiring to your eyes.

Violet is another calming color. It’s a color associated with creativity, royalty, and wisdom. From a technical perspective, purple comes from the combination of red and blue, representing a balance between energy and relaxation. A feminine energy is reflected in light purple, while a more saturated shade of purple is often seen in wealth and royalty.

5. Colors in Your Home and Wardrobe

The same approach applies to your home and wardrobe.

Color experts recommend shades of blue, green, and neutral tones to create a calming environment in your home. They also recommend that you avoid shades of red and orange if you’re creating a tranquil sanctuary, as these shades typically evoke feelings of high energy, intensity, or stress.

That being said, red is a favored color if you’re power dressing. You needn’t dress fully in red to make a powerful and energetic impression. A red foulard tie or red jacket are strong enough to make a statement.

Navy and black are other power colors, with dark colors having a tendency to make someone appear slimmer and taller. Grey is a corporate and cool color, and it takes on more power in a darker charcoal sort of shade. It’s often seen on professionals in the world of finance and banking. Too much solid grey clothing can give the impression that you lack personality, so as with all things in life, a balanced approach is key.

6. Color Blindness

And we can’t forget about color blindness when it comes to the subject of color.

1 out of 12 men and 1 out of 20 women are reportedly color blind. What does a colorblind person actually see? Someone who has red-green color blindness — the most common form of color blindness — sees red and green as the same color. If there’s a green number 7 on a red background, they won’t be able to make out the number clearly.

As for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the reason for Facebook’s blue shade is because Zuckerberg is colorblind. Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind. In an interview with The New Yorker, Zuckerberg explained how blue was the richest color to him. The next time you check into the app on your phone, you'll know why blue dominates Facebook’s branding.


References:

Canon, IARP.org, HubSpot, Smithsonian, Elle Decor

CNN, ColorMatters.com, Regain.us, JoyofClothes, ColorPsychology

mm

Jess Chua

Jess writes and edits content for the Optimal Living Daily podcast network. Her interests include personal growth, cooking, and spending time with her pets.
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