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The Psychology of the Color Blue: How Does It Impact Your Everyday Life?

The Color Blue - Painting of a Blue Wave in Living Room "Nanosecond" by Danita Brooks

When you think of the color blue, what pops into your mind first?

Do you think about a blue sky or the ocean? Perhaps you think about your favorite pair of jeans or maybe your mind goes straight to the theme song for “Blue’s Clues.” Regardless of what pops into your mind, you likely associate this color with something positive.

Blue is considered to be a calming color (which is probably why it's one of my favorite colors).

In color psychology, blue is often associated with tranquility. That’s why blue is a great color for a bedroom—imagine a beautiful shade of blue helping you sleep better, relax your mind, and shake off the day.

It’s also a great choice for offices because it subconsciously calms your mind allowing you to focus better. I named this print “Calm Waters” because it is so soothing to look at (you can find this print right here or view the entire coastal collection – all my coastal photography prints are full of blue tones!).

The Psychology of the Color Blue - Calm Waters Coastal Photography Print by Danita Brooks Studio hanging in a bedroom

How the color blue affects you depends on how you feel about the color blue or the meanings that you associate with it.

The color blue can give you many different feelings and reactions. It may even evoke memories or responses in people who don’t even consciously pay attention to the color blue. 

I am sure you have certain colors you like at specific times or places (but not at others). For example, the color red isn’t my fav. But on Valentine’s day, I love the color red! Or if it’s associated with a team I like—let’s go for it! After all, it’s associated with passion and love in those ways. But put it on a wall in my house or give me a red sweater just for kicks? Ugh, I am not a fan—maybe it’s the contrast or the way I view red when it’s not associated with something fun.

How you perceive a blue depends a lot on context – especially where you are from.

Are you feeling blue?! While Western cultures tend to see blue associated with calmness and tranquility; in some Eastern cultures, blue represents sadness. These associations are largely based on cultural meanings rather than the actual properties of blue (i.e., red truly does make you think of love).

In the US, we typically think of blue as a happy color. It’s associated with clear skies and sunny days—the perfect backdrop for warm-weather activities like swimming at the beach or hanging out on your porch. Which is why . . .

Blue is actually America’s favorite color overall, while a deep teal leads the world right now as a fav!

Blue's perceived temperature may also influence its psychological effect.

It has some of the same qualities as its warmer counterparts: it can be calming, relaxing as well as exciting, refreshing, and invigorating (like cold blue water splashing in your face).

Blues have shorter wavelengths than other hues do so they stimulate our brains in a way that makes us feel awake and alert when we look at them up close but relaxed when they’re far away. 

If you want to make sure your living room feels calm and peaceful, add some coastal blues into the mix. Or is your child’s playroom chaos?! Maybe a blue color scheme or piece of art could help create a calm, more focused space.

You can use color theory to help add calmness or energy to support certain activities (even in a small subtle way…lol I had young ones, sometimes it is what it is! 🙂

Blue has long been linked with creativity - one color that stimulates our imagination and makes us come up with unique ideas.

Maybe it’s because blue is one of the easiest colors to process visually. The color blue actually stimulates our brains’ reward system and can increase dopamine production levels when we look at it—meaning you feel good when you look at something blue!

Have you ever noticed that a blue sky inspires your creativity? In fact, it’s been linked to creativity for centuries—think of artists like Vincent Van Gogh and his skies!

Above I’m currently painting my Summer Series which is set to debut in July. Let’s just say blue will be a major part of it, and I’m also playing with a vibrant color palette to capture the warmth and remind you of the vibrancy of summer.

This collection is pushing the boundaries of my usual painting style, and I can’t wait to share the journey with you! For exclusive behind-the-scenes peeks, be sure to follow along on my Instagram. And if you want to be among the first to see these pieces as they come to life, sign up for my insider emails so you won’t miss out!

The bottom line is even if it’s subtle blues impact our everyday lives in so many ways. It’s not just a pretty color. It has real effects on how you feel, act, and think. It can impact your sleep, how calm you are, and at the same time give you energy.

Now that you know about the hidden powers of the color blue, where will you add it to your life, or what room will you paint? Tell me in the comments!

The Color Blue - Painting of a Blue Wave in Living Room "Nanosecond" by Danita Brooks
(see the oil painting "Nanosecond" above is available in my originals :))

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