THE POWER OF COLOURS
You’re probably aware that even the smallest of things can affect your mood: the quality of your food, the amount of sleep you log, the difference between a clear road and gridlocked rush-hour traffic or even your make-up shades. But did you know that the way you use colour can affect your emotions too? Colours, like the ones in the colour wheel each have a distinct effect on our psyche.
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Chromotherapy, sometimes called colour therapy, colorology or Croma therapy, is an alternative medicine method, which is considered pseudoscience. Chromo therapists claim to be able to use light in the form of colour to balance "energy" lacking from a person's body, whether it be on physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental levels. Light moves in waves of varying lengths and, as each colour has a different wavelength, we sense them all individually. Colour therapists believe that different colours in the spectrum correspond with the body's inner vibrations. If your vibrations are off-kilter, therapists believe that colour can harmonise and rebalance them if treated with the right colours.
The seven colours of the spectrum relate to the seven main chakras - or energy centres - of the body. Depending on your mood and physical health, the colour therapist will use specific colours to treat the afflicted parts of your body.
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Colour therapy is administered in several ways. In many treatments coloured lights are shone on the body or coloured silks are worn. Other practitioners use different coloured liquids in bottles or small torches with coloured beams that are pointed at the relevant acupressure (also known as colorpuncture) points.
How about decorating your home?
Ever notice how a brightly coloured living room or a crisp white office space influences how you feel?
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Colours impact people in varying ways depending on past associations and how your brain processes those hues. The colour psychology guide below includes the most common colour and mood associations, so you can decorate your home based on how you’d like each room in your home to feel. Keep in mind that various tones of the same colour will evoke different moods. Take blue for example, a cool beach-y blue is said to be great for relaxing spaces, while a deep navy is still intimate and cosy but more formal. You can also use warm or cool shades of the same colour to change the ambiance and feeling a space conveys.
The easiest and most affordable way to bring colour into your home is with paint. Be sure to buy no-VOC (non-toxic) paint. You can also liven-up a room by painting the furniture. Buy a dresser from a yard sale and rehab it with a coat of your fave colour and new knobs—voila! A beautiful new piece of furniture that brings a pop of colour—and emotion—into a room.
Colour Psychology: 7 Colours and How They Impact Mood
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Red is typically associated with passion. Red can increase your heart rate and respiration. And while red can encourage warmth and passion, it can also raise feelings of intensity. This can be a good thing for a dining room where you hold lots of lively parties or in an office space where you need energy and drive. You can use red as an accent color for one wall or be bold and paint an entire room red. Red is also said to make people eat more—so for that big dinner party you’re planning, use red cloth napkins or a red table runner to ensure your guests really enjoy themselves and indulge.
Orange is associated with being active and social—perhaps that’s why you see a lot of workout clothing in shades of orange. In decorating, use a pop of orange in a living room, dining room, children’s room, or conference room to encourage more chit chat.
It’s no surprise that cheerful yellow makes us feel happy—it’s the color associated with sunshine and many types of flowers. Yellow also make us feel optimistic. Pops of yellow are great for making people feel cheerful and even focused. Yellow is a great color for an office or to add light to any dimly-lit space like a hallway. But be careful not to use too much yellow. An all yellow room is said to increase anxiety and restlessness, and one study shows babies cry more often in yellow rooms. Yellow also reflects the most amount of light, so avoid putting it on the wall where your television or computer sits as it can cause eye strain.
Green reminds us of nature and is a rejuvenating color. Green is also associated with good health and healing. Try painting a bathroom in shade of leaf-y green. Or put splashes of green throughout your entire house! Green is also the color people can be around the longest without feeling overwhelmed.
Blue is calming. It’s the color of the sky and the ocean, so subconsciously it makes us think of serene environments. Add splashes of blue to a room evokes a sense of tranquillity. Blue is also said to lower blood pressure, and slow respiration and heart rate—making it a great color for a space where you practice yoga, sleep, or anywhere you want to unwind. Fun fact: Blue is so widely thought to be calming that in Glasgow, Scotland blue street lights were installed in hopes of lowering crime rates and suicide, and several other cities soon followed.