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The Psychology of Color

Posted by Eileen Yelovich

Color is all around us; it influences our thoughts, actions, and moods. The colors in the clothes we wear, the food we eat and our perceptions of the colors in everything around us influence the health and wellness of our mind, body and spirit. You can influence your emotions through thoughtful application of colors when choosing: 

  • Paint colors
  • Furniture colors 
  • Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Foods
  • Eyeglass lenses 

Red: Essential for physical and emotional transformation, restores depleted energy. 

Orange: Warm and encouraging, relieves nervous tension and fear. 

Yellow: Warm and positive with a purifying effect. 

Green: Cooling and balancing, effective in calming the body. 

Sky blue: Cool and calming, facilitates breaking down emotional barriers, aids relaxation and sleep. 

Indigo blue: Peaceful and calming used for restlessness. 

Violet: Effective in relieving anxiety and nervousness. 

Magenta: Helps balance the emotions.

Turquoise: Relaxing color, supports the restoration and rejuvenation of the body at a deep level. 

Pink: Soothing and sedating. 

Color influences us in all areas: business, social and personal life. 

In the office: neutral gray work surfaces are less fatiguing on the eyes. In addition, relaxing softer tones of blue, green or turquoise are balancing in a work or study environment where concentration is necessary. 

Socially: when dining out, appetizers of bright warm reds, orange and yellows encourage customers to linger while foods made with cooler shades of blues and greens subconsciously encourage a fast turnover in restaurants. 

In the home: Pale tones offer a soothing environment while bold colors are stimulating. It would be best to not overdo the use of bold colors as red can be irritating and too much green, depressing. 

Color changes the rules: In 1991, it was discovered the visitor locker rooms at Iowa and Colorado State were painted pink in the belief that pink made the players passive. This discovery changed the Western Athletic Conference rules, consequently; visitor locker rooms must be painted the same color as the home team locker room.

Stress Relief - One Breath at a Time

If you Google the words “stress relief “ you will find approximately 1,310,000 results. While there appears to be vast amounts of information related to relieving stress, statistics show unmanaged stress levels keep rising.  Currently, over 80% of all visits to primary healthcare providers are due to stress related problems. In addition, half of those visits are from those suffering from adverse effects due to stress.  Stress is a natural unavoidable part of life. Our survival mode, the “fight or flight” stress response is a necessary and appropriate reaction when action is required to keep us safe and out of harms way. The mind cannot tell the difference between a real survival stress response and a self-created stress response. Consequently, when we live in a constant state of “fight or flight” the body’s self‐repair and natural healing abilities come to a halt.  The goal is to interrupt and ultimately remove the patterns of our personal reactions to stressors to reduce the harmful effects to our health and wellness. Every opportunity to interrupt our stress patterns creates space within the body where our natural abilities for healing can flourish.  Breathing is the most efficient tool to open space within the body to balance the mind, body, spirit and emotions.  Each opportunity to concentrate on the breath can contribute significantly to our wellness. Even three or more slow deep belly breaths can bring resilience in the moment, opening space within the body interrupting our stress patterns. The cumulative effect of ongoing awareness and practice of deep breathing can have profound effects on our health and wellness.  Opportunities to incorporate slow deep breathing into the day are unlimited and can be practiced while: Stuck in traffic Waiting on the phone  In line at the grocery store In an elevator  Walking the dog Preparing dinner  Before falling asleep  Commit to finding numerous opportunities throughout the day to take a moment to pause and breathe. Discover the impact you can have in your health and wellness, one breath at time!

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