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What are the seven colours of life?

What are the seven colours of life?

Colour is vital to life. It helps us experience the visual world, informs our emotions, and even plays a role in our health and wellbeing. While there are millions of colours that exist, seven key colours in particular seem to have special significance across cultures and civilisations throughout human history. These vibrant hues each have unique meanings and connections that make them truly the colours of life.


The colour red is bursting with symbolism. It represents passion, energy, danger, strength, power, determination as well as love, desire, and courage. In nature, red can be seen vividly in roses, apples, strawberries and Red is scientifically known to quicken your pulse and raise blood pressure. It’s an exciting and stimulating shade that motivates us to take action.


Orange combines the energy of red with the cheerfulness of yellow. It represents enthusiasm, creativity, success, encouragement and stimulation. Orange is often associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. In nature, orange can be found in vivid sunsets, carrots, pumpkins, oranges, and fall leaves. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain and stimulates mental activity. It’s warm, vibrant, and uplifting.


The colour yellow exudes warmth, happiness and optimism. It represents intellect, freshness, joy and sunshine. Yellow inspires original thought and inquisitiveness. In nature, yellow can be seen in bright daffodils, lemons, bananas, and the sun itself. Yellow boosts concentration, speeds metabolism and enhances vision. It’s a cheerful, uplifting colour that infuses hope.


Green is the colour of nature, growth, renewal, health and environment. It represents balance, harmony, stability, and resilience. In nature, green can be found everywhere – in lush forests, rolling hills, vegetables, and plants. Green has a calming, soothing effect. It reduces anxiety, promotes healing, and brings a sense of peace, comfort and hope.


Blue is the colour of trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, and intelligence. It represents calm, tranquility, and serenity. Blue calls to mind clear skies and deep waters. In nature, blue can be seen vividly in oceans, lakes and the sky itself. Blue has been found to lower blood pressure and heart rate. It has a calming, cooling effect that brings inner reflection and stability.


Indigo combines the stability of blue with the intuition of purple. It represents vision, wisdom and self-mastery. Indigo has long been associated with the mystical, sacred and spiritual. In nature, indigo can be found in some violets, blueberries and plums. Indigo helps tapping into your deeper wisdom and enhancing perception. It’s an introspective, philosophical colour.


Purple embodies magic, mystery and extravagance. It represents creativity, imagination, wisdom, dignity, independence and transformation. In nature, purple can be found in lavender, orchids, grapes, and iris flowers. Purple boosts imagination and creativity. It encourages compassion, spirituality and enhances mystic perception.

The Meaning Behind the Colours

While different cultures have their own symbolic interpretations of colour, what remains constant is how essential colour is to the human experience. The seven key colours of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple each have distinctive meanings that evoke certain moods, feelings and qualities in all of us.

Colour Meaning In Nature Psychological Effects
Red Passion, Love, Energy Roses, Apples, Strawberries Excitement, Stimulation
Orange Joy, Success, Enthusiasm Sunsets, Pumpkins, Carrots Uplifting, Energizing
Yellow Happiness, Intellect, Freshness Sun, Lemons, Daffodils Optimistic, Uplifting
Green Growth, Healing, Harmony Plants, Forests, Vegetables Calming, Soothing
Blue Stability, Wisdom, Loyalty Oceans, Lakes, Sky Calming, Cooling
Indigo Perception, Intuition, Wisdom Violets, Plums, Blueberries Introspective, Mystical
Purple Magic, Mystery, Spirituality Lavender, Iris, Grapes Imaginative, Compassionate

The Colours of Nature

The natural world contains an incredible diversity of vivid colours. Red roses, orange monarch butterflies, yellow lemons, green forests, blue oceans, the indigo feathers of birds, the purple petals of orchids – colour is intrinsic to nature’s beauty and forms.

The seven key colours of life can be witnessed across so many flowers, fruits, vegetables, animals, landscapes and natural vistas. Their presence is vital. Green chlorophyll gives plants life. Blue and indigo pigments are essential for vision. Orange and red carotenoids offer protection.

Nature’s colours aid pollination by attracting insects, birds and animals. They act as warnings, camouflage, COURTING displays and territorial markings. Colour signifies when fruits and vegetables are ripe. The vivid changing of leaves in autumn is nature’s seasonal transition.

Sunrises and sunsets splash vivid orange, red, yellow, pink and purple hues across the sky. Rainbows bridge these colours in dramatic arcing displays. The natural world would lack meaning and vitality without this colourful abundance.

The Psychological Effects

Beyond aesthetics, colour actively impacts our psychology and physical functioning. Red stimulates and raises blood pressure. Orange boosts oxygen supply to the brain. Yellow enhances concentration and speeds metabolism. Green reduces anxiety and promotes healing.

Blue induces calm by lowering heart rate and blood pressure. Indigo enhances deeper perception. Purple boosts imagination and compassion. Each colour triggers biological and emotional responses.

Colours also influence our moods and behaviours. Warm yellows and oranges lift spirits and energize. Cool blues and greens relax and destress. Vibrant reds encourage passion and action. Pastel hues like lavender promote gentle tranquility.

Understanding these effects allows purposefully using colour to invoke certain feelings, mindsets and activities. Our reactions prove that colour is far more than surface deep – it intimately connects to our innermost being.

Symbolism Across Cultures

While colour meanings can vary interculturally, many symbolic associations are consistently used. Red universally represents love, passion and danger. Blue denotes calm, trust and wisdom. Purple connotes royalty, luxury and mystery.

Yellow is widely linked with sunshine, joy and intellect. Green symbolizes nature, health, prosperity and renewal. Black signifies power, elegance and death. White connotes purity, perfection and peace.

Orange represents enthusiasm, creativity and success. Pink denotes romance, femininity and self-love. Silver and gold respectively represent modernity and wealth. These shared meanings reveal an innate psychological perception of colour that transcends cultures.

Uses in Society

Colours have countless applications in society. They are used for branding, advertising, political affiliation, expressions of personality, declarations of identity and much more. Sports teams have signature colours. National flags contain symbolic hues.

Colour Use in Society
Red Stop signs, fire trucks, Red Cross, warnings
Orange Traffic cones, life jackets, safety vests
Yellow Taxi cabs, school buses, caution signs
Green Nature conservation, organic foods, sustainability
Blue Government, professionalism, police uniforms
Indigo New Age spirituality, holistic medicine
Purple Wealth, royalty, luxury, mysticism

Traffic lights use red, yellow and green for key signals. Product labels indicate ingredients, dietary needs and hazards with colour coding. These examples demonstrate how engrained colour is throughout society.

In Fashion and Décor

Colours play an integral role in fashion, cosmetics, interior design, architecture and visual arts. Warm palettes like peach, gold and red signify glamour and energy. Cool palettes like silver, aqua and violet suggest sophistication and spirituality.

Neutrals like white, grey and tan promote understated elegance. Vintage colour schemes hearken nostalgia. Coordinating or contrasting shades make definitive style statements. Colour defines eras like the psychedelic sixties and eighties neon.

Makeup and hair dyes enable self-expression with colour. Painters create magnificent works through skilful use of their palettes. Fashion trends cycle certain hues into prominence. Interior design uses colour to shape ambience. From subtle to dramatic, colour choices define aesthetics.

In Media, Marketing and Entertainment

Colour plays an integral role in media, marketing and entertainment. Brands establish instant recognition through logos and packaging in signature hues like Coca-Cola red, Tiffany’s robin-egg blue and Cadbury purple. Movie posters set the tone with dominant background colours.

Product labels and food packaging use colour to grab attention on crowded shelves. Magazine covers rely on colour palettes tailored to their readership. Stories establish moods and meanings using colour-coded imagery and descriptions. Stage lighting shifts coloured gels to change atmosphere.

Film colour grading creates cinematic styles. Animated movies and cartoons use hyper-expressive colour. TV shows leverage colour semiotics, like red for power or green with envy. Music album covers artfully coordinate colour and imagery. We unconsciously absorb colour’s effects in media and entertainment.

In History and Culture

The use of colour has long historical and cultural significance. In ancient Egypt, lapis lazuli pigment was more valuable than gold. Chinese dynasties adopted official colours. Mayan blue held deep ritual meaning. Fabrics dyed with saffron and indigo signified status.

The rich purple Tyrian dye indicated royalty and privilege. Religious ceremonies from Hindu holi to Catholic mass vestments involve sacred colours. People select auspicious colours for weddings, births and special occasions based on tradition.

Architectural landmarks showcase iconic use of colour like the Taj Mahal’s white marble. Historic art movements embody colour techniques from Renaissance verdigris to Impressionist dots. Colour resonates meaning across history, rituals, status and identity.

In Vision, Science and Nature

From physics to biology to optics, colour holds scientific importance. Isaac Newton established that white light contains the visible spectrum through his prism experiments. Chlorophyll’s green absorbs red and blue light via photosynthesis.

Cone cells in our retinas allow colour vision through receptive pigments. Differential light scattering gives sky, eyes and hair their blue tinge. Rainbows demonstrate the colour spectrum through atmospheric refraction and reflection.

Butterfly wing scales refract light to create iridescence. Diamonds scintillate rainbows through light dispersion. Fireworks ignite metals to produce vivid bursts. Soap bubbles create fleeting spectral displays. Across disciplines, colour reveals nature’s hidden workings.

As Therapy and Healing

Colour has long been used holistically for therapeutic purposes through chromotherapy. Red stimulates energy and passion. Orange boosts creativity and social connection. Yellow enhances clarity and concentration. Green promotes inner balance and healing.

Blue induces calm and relaxation. Indigo provides intuition and insight. Violet fosters spirituality and transformation. Exposing yourself to key colours can restore wellbeing and vitality.

Colour also has clinically proven therapeutic effects. Blue light treats jaundice and seasonal depression. Red light helps skin and scar tissue repair. Coloured lenses and filters aid conditions involving visual processing. Our biological responses validate colour’s healing potential.


Colour is vital to life. While the spectrum presents infinite choice, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple hold distinct meaning. Their symbolism crosses cultures, appearing throughout nature, society and history.

Colour shapes our emotions, cognition, behaviours and physiology. It acts as information, communication, and expression. Master painters, pointillism artists, and modern graphic designers all owe their success to skilful use of colour.

Surrounding yourself with life’s key colours provides beauty, mood enhancement, and balance. The next time you feel blue, energize with yellow. When stressed, relax with green. Let colour sustain and uplift you. Its influence is the rainbow that spans our world.