STYLE ARTICLE

color wheel

Color Me Happy

How to boost or change mood with color

The Pantone color of 2012 is Tangerine Tango. As a riff on orange, which traditionally signifies energy and stimulation, perhaps it's a smooth move on the part of Pantone, the authority on color, to stimulate the national mood? It could certainly work for you. Read on for a quickie guide to color and how to use it to boost your mood!

Red: strength, power, passion
Make it work: Rock a big presentation with a red accent like nail polish or cuff links that you can look at to remind you of your power and preparedness. Slip on a red shirt or dress for date night and let the longest wavelength in the color spectrum work for you—of course, that's not the only reason all eyes will be on you.

Orange: energy, enthusiasm, stimulation
Make it work: Struggling on a Friday to get your enthusiasm up for the last day of the work week? Try an orange top, or accessorize with an orange tie or scarf. You can also boost your workout motivation with orange sneaks or workout gear.

Yellow: happiness, intellect, friendship
Make it work: Eat eggs with bright yellow yolks in the morning or try yellow flowers in your kitchen to perk you up any time of day. Paint a picture frame or vase bright yellow to give you a burst of energy in any room in your house.

Green: nature, health, relaxation, safety
Make it work: Green reminds you of the relaxation found in nature, so use it when you need to chill. Try green throw pillows on the couch or wear something green when you're headed into a potentially heated situation, like a confrontation you've been avoiding.

Blue: creativity, calm, stability, trust
Make it work: Write in blue ink to stimulate creativity; rock a blue hue in your outfit on the day you're asking for a raise. Blue can also be an appetite suppresant, so try blue plates to help you control portions.

Purple: spritiuality, mystery, childhood
Make it work: Some studies show that up to 75% of kids prefer purple to any other color. Bring a child-like joy into your life with purple home accents or flowers, or amp up your weekend playfulness with a punchy purple outfit.

Brown: earth, home, comfort
Make it work: Get cozy with brown, be it a warm jacket or comfy leather chair. Even sipping your mocha-colored coffee can give you a sense of comfort. 

Black: power, elegance, sophistication
Make it work: There's a reason the LBD and tuxedo are classics—the traits you crave are all expressed by the inky garb. Empower yourself at a big event for work or play by donning the basic but not boring hue.

White: hope, purity, cleanliness
Make it work: Start fresh with white. After losing your job or going through a tough breakup, freshen up your digs with a new white accessory for your workspace or a new bright white comforter.  

The secret to using color to boost your mood is to recognize the associations you have with it. While these are common—and oft-studied—connections to certain colors, be sure to play up your own color history. Snag a promotion while wearing your favorite pink shirt? Rock it when you need a reminder of how awesome you are. Meet a hot girl wearing your best khakis? Use them to inspire confidence in the future. 

Need help envisioning the colors in action? Check out our Color Me Happy Pinterest board for inspiration!

Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by david.nikonvscanon

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