You probably already know that a sunny yellow hue is, generally, associated with happiness and joy. But science backs it up, too: “There was a study in Manchester, England, some years ago in which they asked people what their favorite colors were, and then they assess their mood state,” Minich recounts (it’s called the Manchester Color Wheel Study, in case you’re curious). “And what they found was that yellow, the typical, bright, happy-faced yellow, was actually connected with happiness. People that chose yellow tended to have a healthy mood.”
But here’s the thing about a bright, sunny color: Venture too close to the sun, and you’ll get scorched. Meaning, if you feel the urge to avoid the color altogether, you might have what Minich calls “excessive yellow”–which she says can manifest as stress and anxiousness. “Whenever people shy away from yellow, I’m thinking, ‘Ah, it’s been too bright.'” You’re quite literally feeling burned out.
On the nutrition side of things, the link between “excessive yellow” and stress makes sense, too: “[Many people are] eating a lot of yellow foods these days,” Minich explains–not the whole, nutrient-rich variety (like, say, squash, lemon, and ginger–which we recommend opting for), but highly processed, corn-based foods. These refined yellow foods can affect your blood sugar levels, which, studies have shown, is associated with the stress hormone cortisol.
Of course, this color association is certainly not the be-all and end-all. Maybe a mustard hue just clashes with your undertones, and that’s totally fine! But if you have a sudden aversion to yellow or you simply prefer other colors at the moment, Minich says it’s worth it to check your stress levels.