The Color Psychology of Green

Color psychology suggests that different colors can evoke psychological reactions. For example, color is often thought to have an impact on moods and emotions. Sometimes these reactions are related to the intensity of a color, while in other cases they are the product of experience and cultural influences.

How does the color green make you feel? For many people, it has strong associations with nature and immediately brings to mind the lush green of grass, trees, and forests. Perhaps because green is so heavily associated with nature, it is often described as a refreshing and tranquil color.

"Green, which is Nature's colour, is restful, soothing, cheerful, and health-giving." —Paul Brunton

Green color psychology
Verywell / Cindy Chung

The Color Psychology of Green

Green is a cool color that symbolizes nature and the natural world. Perhaps because of its strong associations with nature, green is often thought to represent tranquility, good luck, health, and jealousy.

Researchers have also found that green can improve reading ability. Some students may find that laying a transparent sheet of green paper over reading material increases reading speed and comprehension.

Green has long been a symbol of fertility and was once the preferred color choice for wedding gowns in the 15th-century. Even today, green M&M's (an American chocolate candy) are said to send a sexual message.

Green is often used in decorating for its calming effect. For example, guests waiting to appear on television programs often wait in a “green room” to relax.

Green is thought to relieve stress and help heal. Those who have a green work environment experience fewer stomachaches.

Consider how green is used in language: green thumb, green with envy, greenhorn.

The Effects of Green

How does green make you feel? Do you associate green with certain qualities or situations?

Learn more about what people have to say about the color green in some of the following responses readers have shared with us over the years.

Green Is Calming

Readers often suggest that the color green has a calming effect. "I read somewhere that green is a calming color or a color that helps concentration or something," suggested one respondent.

"Dark greens are so soothing. I've noticed that whenever I'm feeling nervous or anxious about something, sitting in my dark green living room makes me feel much more relaxed," explained another reader. "I guess that's why they have 'green rooms' for actors to sit in before they go on stage. It probably helps them feel more grounded and calm."

Green's calming effects may be due to its associations with nature, which people often feel is relaxing and refreshing.

Green Is Exciting

While some find green a relaxing color, others find that it gives them a feeling of excitement. "Green gives me a rush. I buy everything in green, and like pictures with a lot of green in them. I like characters with green hair, eyes, clothes automatically. It gives me an endorphin rush, I think," said one viewer.

This can be especially true of particularly vibrant shades of green. "I love a really bright, vibrant green! It seems so energetic and motivating. Like I always feel inspired and recharged whenever I'm around a bright chartreuse or lime green," explained a reader.

Green Evokes Compassion

"When I see someone is wearing the color green, I feel she is kind, helpful, caring and sympathetic. It is a color that just radiates compassion." – Yeganeh

Green Is Natural

"Green to me is a symbol of growth of nature. When I notice the color green it gives off a calming and peaceful feeling." – Brenden

"The color green reminds me of the natural world. I love to incorporate green in my interior decor and wardrobe because it feels so close to nature." – Betty

Green Is Optimistic

"Hopeful, optimistic, forgiven, energized, restful, royal, elegant, rich, healthy, playful, respected, responsible, wealthy, cautious, peaceful, warm, stable, tall, clean, stable, comforted, sturdy, strong, and compassionate. This is my favorite color, all shades and hues." – Joe

"Green is a color that to me symbolizes a new beginning. I imagine a fresh green plant emerging from the soil. Whenever I'm trying to get motivated to tackle a new goal or start over on something, surrounding myself with green can be quite helpful." – Ivan

Your own reaction to the color green is highly personal. Past experiences, as well as personal and cultural associations, can all play a role in how this color makes you feel.

A Word From Verywell

Because the color green is so associated with nature, people often describe it as natural, fresh, and restful. However, it is important to remember that all reactions to color are also shaped by cultural influences and individual experiences.

The next time to find yourself observing the color green, whether it is in a room, in a painting, or in an outdoor setting, take a moment to consider the types of emotions and moods that the color tends to evoke. 

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