To some, color is pretty matter of fact: Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, shades they consider beautiful, and shades they do not. While you may be tempted to paint your home in the hues you deem most attractive, understanding the psychological effects of a tone can help you achieve a specific mood, energy, and ambience in your interior spaces. “It’s not just plush pillows and cozy throws that creates a tranquil environment, a wall color can have a big impact on the overall feel of the room,” says Benjamin Moore color and design expert Hannah Yeo.

Without even realizing it, you may be creating an undesirable environment in your home due to the colors you throw on your walls. There’s a reason why a bright red room might make you anxious upon entry. Chromo therapy, or color therapy, is the increasingly popular practice of using color to stimulate positive emotion and improve mental health. We spoke with top color experts, who explained which colors will help you find your zen–and which will make your stress-levels soar.

“Shades of blue or green are always very calming. Blues are especially known to have a relaxing effect perfect for creating a serene feeling at home,” says Nicole Gibbons, interior designer and founder of Clare Paint. “The perfect blend of the two–shades of aqua–offer the best of both, conjuring up tranquil ocean vibes that make any space feel instantly calm.”

“Blues and greens are inherently calming because they remind us of nature. Imagine looking out over the ocean on a beautiful day, or sitting in nature looking up at the trees,” says Jamie Davis, co-founder of Portola Paints.

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