In my last post I was lamenting the absence of Spring in my neck of the woods, and expressing my need for some color! Sadly, I can't say that Spring has found its way to me yet, although I do see some buds on my plum tree and my forsythia, so I do know that it will show up soon. Fingers crossed.
I live in the Northeast, New York to be exact. Our winters can seem to last a life time. By the middle of March I've HAD it with the dull landscapes, grey days, and lack of color (other than beige.)
According to Certified Color Therapist, Eleyne Austen Sharp, " color is a vibrational energy that is absorbed through the eyes and the skin, so the colors you see instantly affect you on a physical, mental, and emotional level." I can't imagine that absorbing the color beige for three months straight can do much for my physical, mental or emotional well being!
Since ancient times, cultures around the world have understood the power of color. Native Americans used colored crystals to heal. In the Middle East, the color blue was used for protection, and in China, the color red symbolized celebration and luck. The Egyptians and Chinese practiced chromotherapy, which is the use of colors to heal. This is sometimes called light therapy or colorology, and is still used as a holistic treatment today.
Although I've been known to swoon over some of the soft, monotone photos I see on flickr and Instagram, my photography style is usually that of vibrant, saturated colors. While perceptions of color are somewhat subjective, just for the fun of it, let's look at some of the colors and see how they are said to affect our mood.
Purple is the color of spirituality, healing and deep calm. It's best to stick to lighter shades of purple, ranging from soft lavender and lilac. Darker purple, like eggplant or royal purple, can make you feel negative and fearful. We definitely do not want that!
White symbolizes the Divine and can make us feel fresh, and clear the mind and soul. Be sure to choose warmer shades of white so that your room doesn't have a clinical feel to it.
Green symbolizes harmony, healing, regeneration, refreshment, and freshness, and is both calming and uplifting. It is advised to choose shades like sage, seafoam, mint, jade and celery as opposed to Hunter or Kelly green. The darker greens can cause moodiness and obsessive tendencies, and that's no good!
Blue is the color of peace, serenity, communication, and truth. In the bedroom, blue inspires tranquility and is ideal for insomniacs, but just as with the other colors, beware! Darker shades of blue, like indigo, may make you feel depressed or claustrophobic. Bleh. There is anecdotal evidence that installing blue-colored streetlights can lead to reduced crime in those areas. That's something to think about...
Red is the most emotionally intense color and can actually stimulate a faster heartbeat and breathing. As we all know, it is also the color of love. Red clothing gets noticed, and makes the wearer appear heavier. Note to self - empty my closet of all red things!
So, what do you think? Do you feel that color therapy is a whole lot of hooey, or do you notice that colors do affect your mood? No matter what, I love color. I'm drawn to color and I can't wait until I begin to see some color around my neighborhood!