Color therapy has been gaining popularity in recent years. Also known as chromotherapy, it involves using particular colors to affect your mood, energy levels, and other aspects of your health. Many ancient cultures, including those in Egypt, Greece, China, and India, used various forms of color therapy. Modern science has continued to show that color can have a significant impact on our well-being.
If you’re interested in trying color therapy in your life, where do you start?
What effects do colors have?
Each person has a very individual response to colors. However, there are some general common tendencies. Research has shown that colors tend to have the following effects on people:
Red is energizing. It can help invigorate you when you’re feeling tired. It’s associated with active pursuits like exercise and can stimulate vitality and self-confidence.
Orange elicits happiness and joy. It may also stimulate both appetite and mental activity, and can improve productivity at work.
Yellow brings lightness and joy. It helps people to feel more optimistic, and may also bring feelings of clarity.
Green brings balance and relaxation. It can help people to feel more in harmony and may help with anxiety. It also tends to make people feel more social and in touch with others.
Blue is calming and soothing. It may help to promote relaxation and sleep. Chromotherapists even use blue to help with depression and pain, because of its soothing qualities.
Purple stimulates intuition and imagination and is associated with self-knowledge and spiritual pursuits.
It’s very important to remember that your response to color is extremely personal. Factors like your past associations can have a huge impact. For example, if you grew up in a loving family, then particular shades that remind you of the house you grew up in may bring feelings of safety and warmth. Our responses to colors are also always changing, as new associations are formed. In addition, the particular shade of each color is important. A pale sky blue will likely make you feel very differently than a deep sapphire color.
The list above shows the general tendencies of each color. It can be used as a starting point, but you certainly don’t have to feel limited by the list. Try spending time with different colors, and see how each one makes you feel. If you find yellow calming and blue energizing, then you aren’t wrong! You probably have certain associations with these colors that are eliciting these responses. The important thing is to pay attention to how certain colors make you feel, and then to incorporate colors into your life in a way that brings about the responses that you need in various situations.
How can I incorporate color therapy into my life?
There are a variety of ways to use color therapy in your daily life. One example is the colors that you choose to paint particular rooms in your home. For example, you might choose a relaxing blue for your bedroom, and a sunny yellow for the living room. Think about how you want to feel in each space, and use color to help bring about the states of mind that you want to promote.
Painting your home is a lot of commitment. If you don’t want to go to that level, you can still use particular colors in your decorating scheme. For example, you could put a blue blanket on your bed, or buy a few yellow throw pillows for your couch. You could choose a purple meditation cushion, to help stimulate your intuition. You could put a poster with a red color scheme in your workout area.
Small changes like these can make a difference in how you feel in each space.
Another way that people sometimes use color therapy is through colored lights. You could replace one or a few light bulbs in a room with color-changing LEDs, or buy a color-changing lamp. This is far less expensive than painting your home, and also allows you to adjust the color as needed. When you’re working from home, you might choose a stimulating orange; when you’re relaxing in the evening, you could choose a soothing blue.
The colors that you choose to wear can also be impactful. Try choosing your outfit each day based on how you feel. For example, if you’re feeling low on energy, you could wear red to help energize you. If you’re feeling anxious, you might choose green or blue to feel calmer.
Many people find color therapy beneficial, and use it in their daily lives. Try it for yourself, and see how powerful this ancient practice can be.