We observe a garden, a green park or a forest in broad daylight, in spring. The green of the leaves of trees, grass, moss and lichens … It is something that has always inspired us and that we bring to life. And it is that the color green has almost always been present in the world of the human being, being one of the most common colors in the natural environment and which has accompanied us the most in our evolution.
This fact has made that throughout history it has acquired a series of connotations and symbolisms, to the point that this color has managed to acquire a symbolism already to provoke us a series of responses. This is mainly due to the psychological meaning we have given to this color and its symbolism. It is this meaning of the color green that we are going to talk about in this article.
Green as a color
Although we generally speak of green and other colors as something palpable, which is there and is part of the nature of objects, the truth is that color is nothing more than the perception of refraction and the absorption of light from them, being therefore a product of our perception,
In the case of green, we see this color when our eyes pick up wavelengths between 496 and 570 nm. Between these wavelengths, we perceive different shades of this color, there are different types of green. Along with red and blue, green is a color for which our eyes have a specific type of cone.
Although biologically and also according to the model of additive color synthesis, green is one of the primary colors, being the secondary yellow and product of the mixture of green with red, has traditionally followed the model of subtractive synthesis in which is considered a secondary color and a product of the mixture of blue and yellow (which is why most children learned this way).
What does the color green mean?
As with other colors, green has its own symbolism acquired through its association with elements of the same color and on this basis has also generated a psychological meaning which is studied by the psychology of color. More precisely, it is linked to nature and vegetation, from which multiple symbolisms are extracted.
In this sense, green is generally present in the human psyche. a series of extremely positive connotations. It is first related to birth, life, strength and energy. It is a color deeply associated with spring and linked to fertility and growth, making it something to do with the idea of youth. In this sense, it is also a symbol of innocence. Another element related to its link with growth occurs in the economy: it is a symbol of wealth.
The color associated with nature is also the color of healing and healing, of freshness. Also as the tradition says the green it is also the color of hope, optimism and good luck. Also with the naturalness, the pursuit of pleasure and vigor. Finally, it is one of the colors most closely related to the idea of balance, serenity and calm, as well as to the spiritual.
Nature, generally symbolized by green, is considered beautiful and full of life. But it also has its dark side: it is also full of death, blood, persecution and cruelty. And in this sense, the symbolism of green also incorporates these negative elements. These include the association with poison and toxicity, possibly due to the staining of many plants and animals (e.g. snakes and frogs) and the use of green copper dyes which have been shown to be toxic. . It is also related, and probably its best-known negative association, to envy.
Death, horror, and manipulation are concepts related to this color, especially in darker hues and when paired with black. The same goes for betrayal, including concepts like infidelity. Light green too it is associated with immaturity and naivetyIn return for the aforementioned link with youth and the excessive pursuit of pleasure. Also to vanity and both to strength / authority and to weakness. Socially, he was also identified as the color of the bourgeoisie.
Psychologically speaking, this color has been associated with characteristics such as calmness and affection, as well as moral exigency, hedonism and joviality. He generally observes an association with the sociable and balanced.
On the other hand, adaptability (in extreme cases indecisiveness and conformity) and inner peace are linked. However, it is also associated with the aforementioned possessiveness, rancorous rumination, and envy. Also to cunning, which in a negative sense can also be linked to manipulation. The color green too it generally generates calm and relief, Allow reassurance which in turn improves emotional stability and promotes the use of reason and logic. It is also often linked with optimism and vitality, improving energy levels and motivation, and helping to maintain hope. He is also linked to a sensitive and open-minded personality.
How is it used in society?
The properties and symbolism of green make it an ideal color for some practical uses. Its connection to nature and recovery make it suitable for environments where a search for balance and comfort is required, as well as for healing and mood recovery.
Linked to healing, among the meanings of green is also increased defenses and preservation of motivation. It is also useful in meditation. In addition, its association and its relaxing effect have led the clothes of doctors and surgeons to be green.
Its link to tolerance and flexibility means it can be used in paint rooms where there is a need for harmony and reduced anxiety and stress levels, both in homes and offices. . In marketing and advertising, we have seen that green encourages action, and more it is associated with both recycling and respect for the environment and the idea of freedom and stability. That is why it is used in the design of a large number of products. In the case of food products, it is used because of the link between natural and healthy.
In addition to the aforementioned associations, the color green has received different considerations in different cultures or even through various histories.
In most of Europe, green is a symbol of luck, energy, rebirth and nature. It is associated with Christmas and countries like Ireland in the Catholic religion. The color of the bourgeoisie was considered, due to the difficulty in obtaining this pigment. In the past, however, evil was often depicted with this color. It is also often linked to envy and jealousy, as well as weakness.
For Muslims, green is a sacred color associated with the Prophet Muhammad. It is also a symbol of strength, luck and prestige. In China and the rest of the East, it involves hope and fertility, as well as virtue and good intentions. Traditionally, jade was used to make gifts and offerings). However, it has sometimes also been associated with shame and infidelity.
The life-death duality linked to nature and the color green has been observed by multiple cultures and societies. for example in ancient Egypt, the god Osiris had a skin of this color, To be a divinity linked to the judgment of souls and to rebirth. For pre-Columbian peoples, it symbolized immortality, fertility and power and used jade in the making of funeral masks. In some South American countries where jungle abounds, however, green is much more associated with death.