Research Round #3 – How does color affect mental state?

Hey everyone!

This is my third round of research with my question “How does color affect mental state?” . For this round, I’m going to be researching about color theory and color therapy.

Color theory

Color theory is a concept that the colors a person is surrounded with can have an effect on the person’s health, either physical or mental. Color psychology is based on the idea that the colors that a person is exposed to can have an effect on that person’s emotions and even on their health. In color theory, literally any shade of any color, has an effect on how a person thinks, acts, and responds to various stimuli in their world. (1)

Color theory is in different industries to influence the way people behave and think in those environments. In healthcare, color theory is used to create environments that feel safe, healing, and inspiring.  Color theory is used a lot in hospitals to encourage patient healing and motivation,facility efficiency and efficacy and healthcare staff motivation and efficiency. For example,hospitals are usually decorated in soothing, cool colors, such as pale blue and green. This is thought to foster a relaxing environment that enables rest which could encourage faster healing. (1)

Color therapy

Color therapy, also known as chromotherapy,  is an alternative remedy that uses color and light to treat physical or mental health by balancing the body’s energy centers. This concept goes way back to ancient Egyptians who used sun-activated solarium rooms made with colored glass for therapeutic purposes. Today, both conventional and holistic practitioners acknowledge the bright potential of art therapy, which would include color.(2)

Color therapy uses the energy relating to each of the seven spectrum colours of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Each of the spectrum colours is actually just light of varying wavelengths which basically means that each colour has its own particular energy. These energies resonate with the energy of each of the seven main chakras/energy centres of the body. If you imagine the chakras as wheels, where they are like the workings of a clock or an engine; each wheel needs to move smoothly for the clock/engine to work properly. Therefore, good health and wellbeing is being brought by a balance of all these energies.  Balance of the energy in each of the body’s chakras is very important for health and wellbeing. Colour therapy can help to re-balance and/or stimulate these energies by applying the appropriate colour to the body and therefore re-balance our chakras.(3)


Color therapy controversy

While color therapy is still used in different applications, there is a lot of evidence from research that it doesn’t have the effects attributed to it. For example, according to the Center for Healthcare Design, the effects of color can be subjective based on cultural history and understanding. This can influence the effect that a certain color has on a certain individual, which goes against the idea that specific colors have a specific psychological response. Color may affect individuals in the cultural context, which makes the whole idea of color therapy valid while still requiring it to be based on a person’s cultural background. More research is needed for the validity of color therapy. However that being said, if a person feels better or more validated by color therapy, then they shouldn’t stop.(2)




If you have any comments, ideas or questions for me, feel free to let me know! Thanks for reading!!

4 Replies to “Research Round #3 – How does color affect mental state?”

  1. Hey, Rhea
    I like this topic, especially as an artist, because colour helps set the mood and tone of a piece of work. I’m putting a comment because I was curious if you knew of something called “synesthesia”. If you’re unaware as to what it is, it’s when people link words or scenarios to certain colours, smells, or other senses. I think this could possibly link to your research.
    A basic example of synesthesia would be: Linking Monday to the colour blue whenever you think about it.

    If you’re interested, here’s some links:

  2. Hi Rhea,

    Once again, fantastic research round. You never fail to impress me with your hard work! I really enjoyed reading how the color theory is applied on our everyday lives, especially the section on how green and blue colours are commonly found in hospitals. It’s intriguing the profound impacts colour can have on people’s mental state and emotions. Nonetheless, great on ending your post with the controversy section. Colour can affect everyone in a different way.

    If you continue with this cycle, perhaps you could research whether wearing different colours can affect what other people think of you. I read on a site that people wearing red are believed to “appear” more attractive. Is this true? Does colour impact attractiveness?

    Some links:

    Congrats on finishing your cycle with a great post,

  3. Good morning Rhea, very cool topic! When I think about times where certain colors have affected my mood or state. I have also heard in the past things about how colors affect your sleep and how darker oranges and red are connected with falling asleep and blues and yellow lighter colors are connected with waking up. After hearing this I always try to avoid staying in blue or brighter lights before bed I think this might also have an affect on the relaxation of a person or even how their days might be affected depending on the lighting (color) they surround themselves with. How could someone fix this? I also had questions about how this color theory, may affect people who are color blind? Hope you are doing well and staying safe! Have a great day!
    -Sienna Saunders

  4. Hey Rhea,

    Interesting research round on colour theory and colour therapy. Personally, I am unfamiliar with the topic, but through your explanation, it was very clear and easy to follow and understand. Although it isn’t very common, the usage of colours to help balance individuals emotions is quite cool. It provides a safe alternative for medication and teaches patients to change their energy. Subconsciously, I never associated colours with those specific emotions above but it’s neat to see different perspectives. Perhaps, if a child is overly hyper and excited, their room colour could be blue to promote calmness, peace and honesty. Even though you have completed the cycle, if you continue with this amazing question, it could be fascinating to learn about the effects of color on children specifically because they often are surrounded and understand colour. Anyways, another great research round, and here are some sources on colour and children!

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