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  1. How Color Affects Us
    One of the most influential aspects in the quality of our lives is color. Colors are everywhere and we use our perception of color every day. Most of us have a favorite color, but did you ever stop to think of how colors can affect our mood, our behaviors and ultimately our health. For years, colors have been used to express how we are feeling. A few examples are: GREEN with envy, feeling a little BLUE, seeing RED with anger, and at times when we are anxious, we can be referred to as YELLOW.
    Many people do not understand the impact color has on our physical body and our emotional state. It can happen anywhere we go; home, work, school, stores and even healthcare facilities. Walk into any grade school classroom and you will more than likely see an array of bright colors on the walls. These colors help stimulate brain function and ideally make learning more fun. Scientific studies have shown that color isn’t just used to lighten a room; it can actually be mood altering. Why do you think so many salons are decorated with warm, soothing colors? Several studies have shown that color is one of the most important keys to relaxation. Considering that a large percentage of illnesses are a result of stress, relaxation and colors can play a large part in disease prevention.
    The influence of color began at an early age for many of us when our parents decorated our rooms when we were infants. Pink for girls and blue for boys were the norm.
    However subtle it may be,
    color influences our actions and emotions.
    Sight is the most immediate of our physical senses. We can simply open our eyes to experience an ever-changing kaleidoscope of light and color, which can have a distinct effect upon our well-being.
    Color also plays a role in our decision making. Think about it; how we dress, what car we drive, and even the stores we shop in. Advertisers have long understood that color can influence a buying decision. Has it ever occurred to you why you feel safer in one store and more energetic in another? Have you ever noticed that on some web pages you feel like browsing the site while on others you want to stay on one page and keep reading? Color is believed to be one of the most powerful elements in marketing materials and can truly effect your buying decisions.
    Workplace colors are another to influence the way we act/react, sometimes without our knowledge. Research has shown that many employers use various shades of green in the workplace as there is evidence that suggests that these shades result in less absenteeism. At the University of Iowa, the visiting team locker room is painted pink on the basis that research showed pink surroundings had an effect of reducing aggression. Pretty tricky!
    Scientists have long studied the effect of color on our mood, health and way of thinking. Our preference of one color over another may have something to do with the way color makes us feel. Colors reflect our inner attitudes and emotional states. Knowing more about each color and understanding their effects can help us truly benefit from making colors a way of life.
    So let’s take a look at several colors and what some of them mean to us and our daily lives:

    Because peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, it is often used in bedrooms. It is believed that blue slows metabolic activity. People are more productive in blue rooms. Blue enhances clear thinking, diligence and organization.

    Currently a popular decorating color, green symbolizes nature and is the universal healing color. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, nourishing, refreshing color. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. Clear perception, self- recognition, and compassion are associated with green.

    The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates the heart to beat faster and breathing to increase. Red also increases metabolic activity. Red is thought to attract attention. Self-motivation, leadership and generosity are some qualities of the color red.

    Yellow is a memory stimulator. A touch of yellow in every room might just help you remember where you left your keys or eyeglasses. Yellow also raises blood pressure and pulse rate but not to the degree that red does.

    Black is the color of authority and power. Black also implies submission. The qualities of black include self-sufficiency, individualism and protection. Many sports teams use black as their primary color on their uniforms.

    White is associated with light. It is often linked to goodness, innocence, purity and virginity. It is also considered to be the color of perfection.

    Purple has long been associated with royalty. It strongly symbolizes power, nobility, luxury and ambition. It conveys wealth and sometimes hints at extravagance. Purple is also associated with wisdom, dignity and independence. It is a powerful color in enhancing creativity.

    Orange is a power color. It is one of the healing colors. It is said to increase the craving for food. It also stimulates enthusiasm and creativity. Orange means vitality with endurance. People who like orange are usually thoughtful and sincere.
    As the University of Iowa determined, Pink has a soothing effect and can even relax the muscles. Pink’s tranquilizing effect has helped it be used in prisons, hospital rooms and drug centers.

    As we can see, color is a very important part of our everyday life. We have seen how it can affect pretty much everything we do and how we act. Understanding how colors can affect your mood is a great first step in how and why we act and make the decisions we do. Have a great remainder of October and remember that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
    Enjoy the colors of autumn!
    In Good Health!

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