Have you ever noticed how in our everyday language we naturally associate certain colours with specific emotions? We feel blue when we are sad, we see red when we are angry, we turn green with envy, and when we are feeling optimistic ... we see things through rose-coloured glasses.
From this perspective, you might not be surprised to hear that different colours and shades can be used to improve your mood and overall health through a practice called colour therapy.
What is colour therapy?
Colour therapy is an alternative remedy that employs colour to balance the body’s energy centres, also known as chakras.
If you’ve ever taken a yoga or meditation class, chances are you’ve heard about chakras and the role attributed to them in our wellbeing. According to holistic practitioners, chakras are like ‘disks’ in our body in which energy flows through, each vibrating or spinning at a certain frequency that affects the working of particular organs or neve bundles. Open and aligned chakras mean good health. But if one is out of whack or blocked … uh-oh, it will manifest as specific emotional and physical issues.
Here is where colour comes in: since each chakra also matches the vibration of a certain colour, the idea is that by bringing more of that colour into your life you can help rebalance the energy flow within the chakra.
But is there any scientific evidence behind these claims?
Well, although systematic research on colour therapy is still quite limited, it would seem that more researchers are starting to take seriously the possibility that colours can influence our emotions and wellbeing.
One argument in favour considers a condition called SAD or ‘seasonal affective disorder’ – a type of depression occurring in winter, triggered by a lack of sunlight … ahh, those winter blues! If white light can have such a powerful impact on our mood, coloured light might similarly affect us.
Interestingly, the therapeutic use of colour appears to be backed up by scientific principles as well. We know that colour is simply light of different wavelengths and frequencies, and light is one form of energy that we happen to be able to see. We know that the cells of the human body are made of atoms consisting of particles of energy in constant motion. As one psychologist puts it, ‘We are at the most fundamental level made of energy and information, so when we add a particular colour we are adding energy into our lives’.
Indeed, a study carried out in 2015 found colour therapy to be a valid and effective complementary treatment. Patients were exposed to light of different colours, and were then asked to complete a questionnaire. The results suggested that colour therapy may be helpful for a variety of conditions. See our range of awareness ribbon pins that have a colour for each condition.
What are the meanings or influences behind each colour?
So yes, if you feel like giving it a go, a splash of colour might just be what your body and mind fancy right now … But how to establish which colour would benefit you the most?
The study mentioned above has given an idea of what colour might be best suited to address particular physical or emotional conditions – now let us expand a bit on the meanings and influences behind different colours, so that you can make an informed choice.
If you’re still unsure about which you should pick, have some fun with this quiz to get your recommended colour ;)
How can you incorporate your colour of choice into your day?
The possibilities for incorporating your colour of choice into your everyday life are virtually endless, from the clothes you wear to the interior décor of your house.
For instance, if you need a bit of extra confidence at work or before a romantic date, don’t be afraid to dare with a bold red outfit, or spice up your look with a swipe of red lipstick or nail polish.
No other colour ignites passion and romance as much as red does, so why not bring some heat into your bedroom decor scheme with a couple of luscious red cushions?
Yellow is such a happy colour, and you could consider incorporating yellow items into your wardrobe – perhaps a cute raincoat to brighten up a grey day?
Given its connection with the digestive system, you might also consider adding a pop of yellow to your kitchen or dining room; you could try a statement chair, a stylish fruit bowl or a luxury bouquet with tulips or daffodils as table centerpiece.
Since blue promotes mental focus, add a splash of it to your office space – this could be a new desk lamp, notebook or pretty picture frame.
However, since it also promotes positive feelings of tranquility and serenity, you might consider adding some blue to other rooms as well as through personal items – for example, match a pair of washed-out denim jeans with a dark blue blouse for an effortlessly chic style.
Pretty much like blue, the relaxing power of green makes it a perfect colour for every space – but especially your bedroom as it will favour sleep. The easiest way to bring more green to your life is to get some houseplants and leaves to create your little indoor oasis of tranquility. In fact, certain plants also contribute to purify indoor air, so this is another added benefit!
If you don’t have much of a green thumb, you can always go for artificial plants or some those super trendy botanical prints … or perhaps you’d rather invest in a gorgeous green bedding set!
Green works great for your bathroom as well – you can add soft green towels to make your hot bath even more relaxing!
As for pink, its connections to love and kindness make it a perfect colour for a comforting hot water bottle or teacup, as well as a fluffy nightgown or a warm blanket to wrap yourself in at the end of a tough day.
Last but not least, a colourful jewellery piece might be the perfect way to reap the benefits of colour therapy whilst also adding that extra oomph to your outfits.
This also applies to medical jewellery. If you have a chronic condition, the benefits and healing properties associated to different colours might be a factor worth considering when picking your medical bracelet, not least because you will be wearing it every day.
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