What do colours mean? Part II

Chris Rewell on 14 December 2009. Posted by WellBeing Natural Health & Living News

Part one of this article looked at the impact of colour on your psyche and physical wellbeing. We also analysed how your colour choices reveal your inner state, with specific reference to the colours white, black and blue. In part two, discover what your attitude to yellow, brown, grey and red reveals about how you operate.



Yellow is the colour of cheerfulness, optimism, insight, wisdom and intellect. An extroverted, generous and stimulating colour, it’s a warm energy and a major attention-getter. Yellow is the colour of confidence and self-esteem. It indicates we are ready and open to change and new concepts.

We are hardwired to yellow as a stimulus. Sunshine in the morning alerts us to a new day and fresh opportunities. If getting up in the morning is not fun, you may be rejecting yellow and not be open to its expansive nature. It is bursting with energy, stimulating everything in its path.

Yellow is a colour that commands attention but also demands caution. We use it for cautionary road signs and on safety vests. Amber traffic lights or flashing roadworks lights caution us about what may lay ahead.

Since the colour yellow is stimulating and suggests alertness, too much of it can contribute to anxiety, nervousness and agitation. Babies cry more in yellow rooms, tension increases in people in yellow rooms and people who drive yellow cars are more prone to becoming aggravated in heavy traffic (brings to mind a trip to New York and all those yellow cabs).

If you work in an environment with too much yellow and you recognise the anxiety, place blue above your desk or put posters or pictures with blue around the environment. If your work environment has poor lighting, introduce the colour yellow with posters, flowers or other objects. Spend time exposed to a lot of yellow and you’ll feel like time has sped up. On the other hand, if your environment is boring and time passes slowly, surround yourself with small amounts of yellow in posters, pictures, flowers and objects.

Yellow is people- or self-oriented rather than task-oriented. It’s the colour of communication and reflects an excellent intellect and a good grasp of communications and language. Yellow is logical and seeks change, personal development and new insights. It is friendly, welcoming and open. There is a tradition of using yellow ribbons to welcome people home — you may remember the song ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree’.

When we say someone is “yellow”, we imply they lack courage. Yellow journalism was said to be alarmist and irresponsible journalism. In 10th century France, the doors of traitors and criminals were painted yellow.


The yellow person

A liking or craving for yellow indicates a wish to escape current limitations, a desire for personal development. It indicates an opening up, an optimistic approach, a need for change, a desire for exploration, a need for mental expansion. The colour you are attracted to along with yellow will indicate your preferred area of exploration.

Rejection of yellow indicates fear of change. If you don’t like yellow, you’ll be reluctant to change. You’ll stay with the devil you know. You’ll cling to the familiar rather than toy with the unknown. Current options will feel more comfortable than the possibility of disappointment, loss or isolation. People who dislike yellow often favour blue to calm themselves and feel secure.

If you like coffee for a pick-me-up, try drinking it from a yellow cup. The British Medical Journal reported research on the effects of different-coloured pills on patients, which concluded, “Colours affect the perceived action of a drug.” Warm colours, which include yellow, were perceived to be more effective as stimulants. Yellow is a stimulant and coffee is a drug, so check how they work together.

Scientists studying night-flying insects found that replacing standard white lights with yellow lights resulted in a 30 per cent reduction in the number of insects gathering around the lights, so yellow lights would be better close to the entertainment area. (See Blue for its effect on night-flying insects.)

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Article Tags: psychology , personality , spiritual , soul , colour , red , brown , symbol , grey , yellow ,
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This article was published in WellBeing magazine, Australasia's leading source of information about natural health, natural therapies, alternative therapies, natural remedies, complementary medicine, sustainable living and holistic lifestyles. WellBeing also focuses on natural approaches within the topics of ecology, spirituality, nutrition, pregnancy, parenting and travel.

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