Green is the colour of grass, healthy evergreen trees and is associated with Nature. According to colour psychologists it makes people feel positive, happy and relaxed. However, it does depend on the shade of green so the influence of green, as with other colours, is not as simple as it first appears.
The grass green shade is seen in abundance in Nature. Where I live in South Australia it is winter as I write this and I am loving all the green. It makes me feel alive and energetic. When I read that the colour green is good for rejuvenating and revitalising us if we are worn out I agree.
Image by Marie Vonow
In regions where winters are very cold and snow falls, spring is the season that is associated with renewal as green new leaves appear on the deciduous trees. Green is seen as the colour of renewal and promise of things to come. It can also be considered a symbol of fertility.
With its connection to Nature, green is seen as a nurturing colour, both in the sense of it nurturing us and us nurturing others. Green is seen as having a link with the heart.
Image by Marie Vonow
Pale green New growth on plants is a light or pale green. Therefore this shade of green is considered to represent youthfulness. It also indicates immaturity and inexperience, hence the expression, 'greenhorn'. Pale green can be seen as representing a new start.
Lime green This shade is also considered to have a link to youthfulness, accompanied by both lack of experience and a sense of playfulness. This shade is often liked by young people. It is also said to be good for ridding the mind of negativity.
Aqua green Aqua is said to calm the spirit. As it includes some blue which is associated with calmness, this makes sense. Aqua shades are also said to protect and heal the emotions.
Jade green Jade green is associated with trust, diplomacy and tactfulness and a more mature attitude. It also represents a generous spirit, being willing to give in some way without looking to receive something in return.
Dark green The associations with this shade are not all positive. It is associated with ambition and goals and also signifies striving for increased wealth leading to greed and selfishness. With this can come resentment, envy and being jealous of what others have. This is where the expression, 'green with envy,' fits in.
Olive green The olive branch is symbolic of peace and in the Bible the dove returned to Noah's ark with olive leaves to show there was dry ground after the great flood. Some say olive green shows a strength of character.
However, there are some negative things associated with olive green. Some see it as indicating deception and someone who is not to be trusted.
Yellow green This shade is connected to ideas of being a coward, fearful and experiencing internal conflict.
Image by Marie Vonow
Green and negativity Some shades of green are associated with illness. We talk of an unwell person being, 'green around the gills'. Some mould is a shade of green and vomit can have a green tinge so these murkier shades are associated with sickness and decay.
Other associations The green traffic light means, 'Go,' so people talk about getting the green light if they have been told they can do something or start a project.
These days the word 'green' is associated with environmentally friendly products and strategies.
I have read green represents eternal life in Japanese culture. In Portugal green means hope and the green Irish shamrock is believed to bring good luck.
Research has shown some people find it easier to read if a sheet of green perspex or plastic is laid over the page they wish to read. They may be able to read more quickly and comprehend the material more easily.
Green is said to help relieve anxiety and depression, but I am thinking this might relate more to the brighter shades of green and light green, not the shades with more black in them like khaki green.
There seem to be mostly positive associations with the colour green. I am certainly enjoying and appreciating all the green I see when I go outside on these winter days.