In today’s modern life where stress, anxiety and depression are seen to be the norm taking a toll on people’s mental, emotional and physical health, amongst the numerous remedies offered as a respite to this problem, there is one much overlooked but super-easy way to get joy, peace and calm back into your life. And this is through color therapy.
What is colour therapy?
Color therapy (or chromotherapy) is an alternative remedy that uses color and light to treat physical or mental health by balancing the body’s energy centers. This concept dates back to ancient Egyptians who used sun-activated solarium rooms constructed with colored glass for therapeutic purposes. Colour therapy is also based on the idea that colors create an electrical impulse in our brain, which stimulates hormonal and biochemical processes in our body. These processes either stimulate or calm us. There are as many colors in color therapy sessions as there are colors in the rainbow.
Colour Therapy is an entirely non-invasive holistic treatment that aims to bring balance to the energy of our body. It is often used as a complementary therapy alongside other treatments, and is a popular go-to practice for people suffering from depression, stress, and seasonal affective disorder. It is a safe and effective treatment and can be either be used on its own or alongside another therapy like physiotherapy or traditional medicine. Regardless of how it’s used, it is important to understand that the therapy can strongly affect the mind and body.
It is proven that both our mind and body react in different ways to different colors, and using the right shades of paint in home backgrounds can be a great way to keep stress levels under check. Colors can have a significant positive impact on us, emotionally, physically and psychologically. Imagine you had a busy day at work with short deadlines and cranky co-workers and you finish your day to come home to a living room with a comfy couch and a soothing blue background. This can instantly soothe your mind and alleviate your stress.
Colour therapy is also based on the theory that your body craves certain colors, just like it unconsciously craves certain food or vitamins that it is deficient in. Your color cravings will depend on whatever is out of balance in your body. Your different organ systems and cells function optimally by using different wavelengths of color for their various functions. If one organ system is out of balance, you’ll crave the color energies that will bring that organ or cellular system back into balance. This is one of the reasons why red light, first discovered by NASA in 2004, was found to help heal wounds quickly, .
How does Red Light heal?
When exposed to red light, the mitochondria (powerhouses) of your cells respond directly and will kick into gear. Countless research studies conducted around the world have now proven what NASA discovered in 2004. Because of how our cells respond to these particular wavelengths of colored light, red light is used not only for healing surface wounds, but also for internal issues. Red light very effectively treats arthritis, joint pain, muscular pain, it stimulates bone growth, stops cold sores in their tracks, and even has an anti-aging and beautifying effect by stimulating collagen to get rid of facial wrinkles.
So just as Red light affects us on a cellular level, simply looking at objects that are red in color, have a similar effect. It gives you more energy, speeds up blood flow and circulation in your body and makes you move, act and think more quickly.
All colors affect us in this way
Each color has its own particular effect and we crave the colors that our body needs to come back into balance. The colors we use to describe emotions may be more useful than you think, according to new research. The study found that people with depression or anxiety were more likely to associate their mood with the color gray, while happier people preferred yellow. So color therapy is something that can be done by applying a certain color to any room in the home according to the need. For example, in the kitchen or dining room you may want to stimulate appetite, aid digestion or create a sociable and warm family atmosphere, hence shades and hues of reds, yellows and orange are perfect for doing so.
How to select and use different colors
Use strong, bright colors when your spirits are low. Yellow is a bright, uplifting color which also stimulates the mind. Yellow is also a warm color known to have a purifying and cleansing effect. It is the color associated with mental clarity and wisdom and is great for when concentration and intellect are needed. Yellow is also known to clear mental fatigue and re-energize the body and mind. It is often used in schools because it keeps the brain ‘switched on.’ At home it’s great for studies and kitchens, but bad for bedrooms and wind-down rooms as it is known for its liveliness and energy. There is something very positive about this bright color. Various studies say that rooms painted with a shade of yellow make people more active and conscious in decision making. While bright yellows can make your mind run faster, a lighter tone of this color can do exactly the opposite. Entering a room painted with soft yellow can make you relaxed as if you are being sun beamed and that is a beautiful feeling. Pale yellow brightens an area where activities happen, giving a happy, positive atmosphere. Since too much yellow will have our thoughts working overtime, stick to soft buttery tones if you want to get more rest.
Orange is also a color associated with stimulation and combating sluggishness. It is a great color for increasing mental energy and fostering courage, especially when related to attaining goals. Orange can make a room look smaller and if used in excess it will make a space feel claustrophobic and stressful. So this is not really good for bedrooms and study rooms as you may find it hard to sleep or concentrate. Since it is a warming and energizing color and known for stimulating creativity, it is best used in activity areas (like home work out areas), gyms and creative areas.
Blue is a classic color and a favorite among many as it has versatile shades that can be used in innovative ways. It is a cooling color and helps with relaxation. It is known to create peace and serenity and has the power to calm a busy mind and rejuvenate the soul. One of the best stress management tools, this color contains a large volume of cool elements that can gradually put anyone to sleep. This is a good color for the living areas and also for bedrooms. Generally, people with blue bedrooms tend to get the best night’s sleep and wake up feeling positive and happy. This is due to the calming, cooling and relaxing qualities of blue, which are said to slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and help combat headaches. But it can also create the opposite effect if you’re living in cold areas. According to a study by Pantone, office workers complained that an office was too cold when it was painted blue – but when it was painted a peachy shade they warmed up even though the temperature had not changed. The blues recommended are sky blues, duck egg blues and navy blues. Electric blues are more rejuvenating and invigorating.
Green is a beautiful color associated with mother nature and is correlated with balance and harmony. It is associated with bringing energy and balance to the heart. Green is also used for healing, especially for relieving headaches. Green promotes self-love and compassion and when we reach balance we are then able to give love and understanding. Popular for its soothing nature, it can cut down anxiety levels by infusing harmony in the minds of people and turning them refreshed again. So if you are planning to experience the magic of green, paint your home interiors with pale-yellow greens or you can also go with beige greens to introduce happiness to your family. It is a color that is often used in hospitals as it has a tendency to comfort everyone present around it and is also associated with healing. Depending on what shade you settle on, it can create very different effects: bright greens improve vision and create a refreshing atmosphere, while softer, more natural greens are calming. Mellower tones of green are also excellent for children’s bedrooms – pale turquoises and sea greens will settle them but won’t leave them feeling lethargic. As an added bonus, green doesn’t carry any gendered connotations, as do pink and blue.
This is another magical color that is warming and is known for its healing effects like revitalization and stimulation of the mind and body. It is associated with courage and power. It is a powerful color used in color therapy to increase circulation and clear circulatory blockages, especially in the back and joints. Red can be used to ease tiredness and lethargy as it is an energizing color. Dark red can be a passionate color for bedrooms as it is known to increase libido. But rather than going all out with the same shade, it’s best to have just one wall in a dark shade like maroon or ruby red as too much can be unnerving rather than arousing. It’s also an appetite stimulant, so try to deck out your dining room with red details. Again remember to choose only one wall or few spaces rather than go all out. Red always need careful choice of tone and depth and the space in which it is to be used as it can make a space look smaller and can be claustrophobic or oppressive. But when used in the right way, it can make a space feel warm and cozy. It is often seen to be used in restaurants giving a cozy feel.
Purple or violet is said to be a color of royalty and can be an interesting shade to work with. It is known to create self knowledge and awareness and also develop a deeper insight. This can soothe mental and emotional stress and encourage meditation, so it is a good color for meditation and prayer room. Dark, dramatic shades are amazing in moderation but can have a bit of a depressing effect if used too much. Since lavender shades are a sedative, try to avoid too much of its use in living or dining rooms as it can make them seem drowsy. A mixture of relaxing blue and energizing red, purple creates an air of luxury and sophistication, but it can reduce the number of hours you sleep. Since purple stimulates creativity and the unconscious mind, try to avoid its use as on bedroom walls as it may cause you to have more vivid dreams and leave you to waking up feeling tired. Instead stick to small pieces of purple articles that can add the royal purple effect without being too overwhelming.
Pink is one of the most comfortable and comforting colors out there. Although it is traditionally seen as a feminine color, such conventional mindsets are dramatically changing with people increasingly preferring it for their home interiors. Apart from beauty, this magical color is known for promoting peacefulness and igniting positive vibes in the room. Try rich rose tints or pale pinks in the bedrooms for a warm, nurtured night’s sleep and use peachier shades for bathrooms. Pink is emotionally soothing and calming. It relieves any feelings of loneliness and depression and brings an air of optimism and happiness.
So go ahead and try adding that splash of color on your bedroom wall, the dining room or even your kitchen cabinets and watch your life come alive with new colors. Experiment with different colors or ask a designer or a color therapist to help you choose the right shade to change the entire atmosphere of your house or work area. One simple way that you can bring color into your home and work environment is through getting different colored articles that you can use and see every day. For example, get a bunch of colorful coffee mugs or art pieces of different colors and bring the magic of color into your kitchen or office area. You can choose a different colored mug for the way you are feeling that day as your body intuitively knows which one to go for. This way you can bring balance and optimal health into your life through simple color therapy methods.