By Megan Laser
Have you ever wondered why mourners wear black to funerals, while brides wear white to weddings? Sure, brides can wear an assortment of colors, but you never see someone show up to a funeral in pink. Wearing other colors almost feels like an outright slap in the face to the mourning family members. But why does it feel that way?
If you didn’t know this already, different colors have certain effects on the way your mood changes. Interestingly enough, it not only affects your mood but it can have an influence on your thoughts and emotions. Different people can have different reactions to something, which is why everyone’s bedroom color is uniquely based on their preference and personality.
Each color can be tied to a psychological value. Certain colors can make you feel a certain way and influence your emotions, from tranquility to rage. Again, this is based on the person; colors that make you feel a certain way may take an opposite effect on others.
Before we get into how each color can affect your mood, let’s talk about the three different types of colors.
The first type of colors is the active colors. These colors are commonly associated with feelings of strength, enthusiasm, and exuberance. For example, you’d find that most exercise rooms are painted with active colors to pump up your adrenaline and make you work harder.
The second type of colors are the passive colors. These colors promote mental focus and often have a calming effect on humans. For example, an office would most likely be painted a passive color to increase your focus and keep you on the task at hand.
Lastly, you have the neutral colors. These colors are pretty much self-explanatory there’s no color associated in this group. There’s no vibrant colors to really influence your mood.
Now onto the colors and how each one can influence your mood. Let’s start with the beginning of the rainbow at red.
RED: active color
Red is associated with feelings of intensity, energy, strength, and danger. Red can radiate your energy and increase your pulse. According to a report by BBC in 2013, a study was conducted during the 2004 Olympics where boxers wearing red had a 5% better chance of winning, compared to other colors.
The more common rooms to be red are the living room and any exercise rooms. Red pumps adrenaline, stirs up excitement and has shown that it can raise your blood pressure, speed respiration, and heart rate. It also boosts the social energy in the room, which is why it’s used in living rooms.
ORANGE: active color
Orange can be associated with hot, aggressive, and successful emotions. Orange is an energetic color that evokes excitement and enthusiasm.
Orange is also a great color for exercise rooms because it helps to bring out released emotions during your fitness routine. Orange allows you to get things done and work harder to get them done faster.
YELLOW: active color
Yellow can be associated with feelings of optimism, cheerfulness, and energetic emotions. Yellow stimulates mental activity and is has been proven that students do 15% better on a test if you’re in a yellow room, according to a study by Psychologist World.
Yellow can capture the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness in a bedroom. You get an energizing and uplifting vibe from the color. Although it feels welcoming, scientists recommend that you don’t paint your newborn’s bedroom yellow, as it does cause them to cry longer. It also does tend to create feelings of frustration more easily, and you’re more likely to lose your temper in a yellow room.
GREEN: passive color
Green tends to tie with wealth, nature, and freshness. Green is often associated with feelings of tranquility and relaxation since it is easy on the eyes.
A green room can relieve stress and helps you relax. This may be the reason why hospitals tend to use a light green for their rooms. Besides calming effects, green can have an effect on your efficiency of doing a task, which may tie to the lure of money.
BLUE: passive color
Blue can be tied to trust, security, corporate, peacefulness, faith, and wisdom. Blue has been proven to bring down blood pressure, slow down your respiration, as well as your heart rate. According to a 2012 Huffington Post article, men should wear blue on the first date because it makes them seem more emotionally stable and put together. It can also keep the date relaxed, as opposed to anxiety running high.
As a result of its calming nature, blue is recommended for bedrooms because it’s calming to both wake up and fall asleep to. But different types of blues have different types of reactions. A lighter blue as the main color of a room are known for the calming effects, while darker blues can evoke feelings of sadness.
PURPLE: passive color
Purple can be seen as royalty, luxury, calming, and mysterious. It can also be tied to your creativity level.
Purple is most likely seen in bedrooms. As with blue, different shades of purple have different effects. A darker purple suggests a richer, sophisticated, more dramatic aroma. Meanwhile, a lighter purple can bring restful qualities, the same as a lighter blue.
PINK: passive color
Pink is typically tied to characteristics such as femininity. Pink can actually have a calming effect on people. In a 2013 article by The Telegraph (UK), they detail a project in which Switzerland painted prison cells pink. It has proven to reduce anger in inmates in as little as 15 minutes.
“At Santa Clara County Main Jail, they used to have a pink room that they used to use for drunk inmates,” explained Liza Laser, a criminal investigator for the Santa Clara County Public Defenders Office.
In another experiment at the University of Iowa, the football coach, Hayden Pry, painted the opposing team’s locker room pink to extinguish their fighting spirit. The football coach turned out to be one of the best, and this may be due to the calming effect of the opposing team’s locker room.
BLACK/WHITE/OTHER NEUTRAL COLORS: neutral colors
Neutral colors such as black, white, gray, and brown don’t really have much of an effect on our moods. Although black does provide depth in a room and a white ceilings makes a room feel more open, you need to add other colors to liven up the mood in the room.
Now to answer the first question on why we wear black at funerals, it actually ties back to the Roman Empire when they used to wear dark togas to mourn the loss of someone they loved. It gradually just became a trend in America. There’s no real reason to, it’s just the social status now. ◆