The Effects of Color on the Mind

Sierra Pirkey, Staff Writer

Color impacts everything in our world. In some cultures, differing colors represent different ideas and social standings. Certain colors can also hold different values to consumers and can even influence purchasing decisions. Over the years studies have been conducted to explore the exact effects that colors have on the mind. Through these studies, it is shown that colors have psychological effects on the brain, and can even influence the moods of people who are exposed to the colors. 

The color red is a very powerful color and has been known to have strong effects on the mind. The color red is known for its ability to increase metabolism and its connection with strong emotions, like love and anger. Over the years, the color red has been used in many restaurant industries because of its ability to increase the metabolism of the human body. In 1955, the first McDonald’s opened in San Bernardino, California. This was one of the first restaurants to use the effects of color on the mind to its advantage. In many of its restaurants, McDonald’s painted the walls red and hung red-colored wall decorations in order to enhance the impacts that the color red has on the mind. Since the color increases metabolism and makes consumers more hungry, McDonald’s used red in order to make customers feel more hungry and eat faster. This caused customers to eat more food at a faster rate, and in turn, started the “fast food” industry. Red has also made a strong connection to certain emotions, like love. In current society, the color red is strongly associated with love and admiration. Because of this, it is shown that when the human brain is exposed to the color red, it automatically forms a connection to love, and thus causes a release of feelings and emotions associated with love. The color red is a prime example of how color can affect the mind because of its ability to increase metabolism in the human body and the strong ties to certain emotions.

Another color that has a huge impact on the mind is the color yellow. Yellow is largely associated with happiness and joy, and can even increase the overall mood of a person when exposed. It has been shown, through studies, that by exposing the human mind to the color yellow, the mood increases in a positive way. Too much yellow, however, can lead to negative emotions. It has also been found that too much of the color yellow can cause anxiety. Because the color yellow is so bright and stands out to the human eye, too much of the color causes the human brain to feel overwhelmed, and in turn caused anxiety or anxiety-related symptoms. The color yellow is another great example of the effects colors can have on the mind because it shows how color can cause an increase in moods in the human body. 

The color blue is another color that hugely affects the mind. Unlike the color red, the color blue is known to have calming effects and decrease appetite. It also makes people feel calm, reduces tension, and can even slow pulse rates. In many places, the color blue is used to create a relaxing space. Because the blue relaxes the mind, many places, like yoga studios, cafes, and libraries alike, use walls colors in blue tones to create a space that relaxes the people who fill the area. The color blue is a great example of the effects of color on the mind because of how it can relax the brain and cause anti-anxiety effects on the mind. 

Everything around us has color. From the color of our shoe-strings to the color we paint the walls, color is in everything around us. Yet, we often overlook the effects of color on our minds. Red can increase appetites and is strongly tied to love. Yellow can increase moods but can also lead to anxiety. Blue has calming effects and often relaxes minds. So, what does this mean? Is there a way we can apply this to our world? In the future, we can use this knowledge we found to create spaces that are healthier for people to be in. What if we changed all the wall colors in our lives to increase the moods of everyone? What if fashion industries created a line of clothing that relaxed the people who wore their designs? By better understanding the effects of colors on the mind, we can impact the world in a positive way and shift how the world sees color.