How to Use Color Therapy to Relieve Stress

Can Color Therapy Reduce Stress

Colors and What We Feel
Colors and What We Feel | Source

Color Therapy Has Been Practiced Since Ancient Times

Color affects our moods, evoking powerful feelings on a conscious and unconscious level. From the colors of clothes we choose to wear to the shades that decorate our home, colors have a powerful impact on what we feel and the choices we make. From marketing executives to holitistic healers, colors have been studied to help people in many ways.

The ancient Indian practice of medicine called Ayurveda uses color therapy, as does the study of chromotherapy used by Egyptians and Chinese in their holistic practice of healing, In western cultures, color therapy, chromotherapy, colorology, and light therapy are used primarily as an alternative or holistic treatment.


Conventional medicine and psychology does not provide any certification or licenses in any state in the United States, using color therapy. There have not been extensive studies done in this area, and although colors do affect us emotionally, the effect may only last for a brief period of time.

Colors have different meanings to people of different cultures. A holistic practitioner will use their knowledge about color to stimulate a certain feeling that color may represent. Some use crystals, some use silk and cloths, some use lights to help achieve a certain mood in their client.

Colors Evoke Feelings on a Conscious and Unconscious Level


Modern color therapy can be traced back to the 1800’s when light spectrums and electromagnetic waves were discovered. There is a reason color affects us in ways that are not necessarily tangible. It is thought colors, seen through our eyes affect the hypothalmic and cortical layers of our brain. This area has a lot to do with for our emotions.

Color therapy is not scientific, yet it does have a place in helping us feel better. Proponents of colored light therapy believe colors can help alleviate stress and sleep disorders among other ailments. They believe hues and shades of colors can be used to improve our well being on an emotional, physical and spiritual level.

Color Therapy and Cautions

Cautions Using Color Therapy and Light Therapy

  • Do not use color therapy as a substitute for conventional psychological or medical care
  • Flashing lights used in chromotherapy may be harmful to people who have epilepsy
  • Avoid looking directly at any lights used in color therapy, as it may be detrimental to your eyesight
  • Read about the prescription drugs you taking to make sure there are no side effects when exposed to any of the lights used
  • Color therapists are not licensed, regulated, or certified in any state in the United States
  • Color Therapy does not work on serious disorders

Colors Affect Our Senses and Emotions


Art therapists use a combination of conventional and alternative health methods and has been used since WWII.to help people deal with their emotions. Through different methods of art, a therapist can attribute some meaning to their work and their use of colors to their feelings.

Our senses are connected to our emotions. Hearing music on the radio today, can bring back memories from our teens and feeling from that time. The aroma of fresh baked cookies can remind of Grandma and fill us with emotions we didn’t expect to feel. Colors do this too. Visually they create a sensation that trigger feelings and associations that evoke emotions on a deeper level than we may be consciously aware of.

Colors and The Way We Feel

Do Certain Colors Help You Relax?

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What Happens When We Feel Stressed

When we feel stressed everything from our thoughts, to the chemistry in our body reacts. There are many aspects to shedding stress. One component is action. For example, if you are feeling stressed because you have not finished a project, finishing the project will help you get rid of that stress. Another component to reducing stress is to relax. Relaxing is an integral part of destressing.

Learning to relax is a matter of changing our thoughts, changing our behavior, and changing our environment. Color therapy can help change our thoughts and change our environment. For example, blue is thought to be a calming color. If blue evokes feelings of serenity, wearing blue, sitting in a blue room may help soothe a person feel. Hospitals are now paying closer attention to the colors they use, realizing that colors do evoke certain emotions.

Color Therapy and How it Can Help Us Relax

For people who are seeking color therapy through a holistic practitioner, educate yourself fully about the effects, and the cautions about using this type of therapy. Color can play an integral role in how we feel at any given moment, but it may not have a lasting impact on our emotions. or change our stress levels permanently.

Color therapy is not something someone goes to have done. Color therapists can teach someone who would like to use color to help them feel better by using colors in their everyday surroundings. An expert in color therapy can be a valuable advisor in using color to help improve balance and well being for you. But color therapy is best not to be used as a stand alone treatment, as its value has yet to be studied in detail.

There is a connection to how we feel and how we may react when we see certain colors. Color therapy in combination with talk therapy can be a very effective tool to help us learn more about ourselves and how we are affected by our environment on many levels. As science learns more about the effects of color therapy treatments, new opportunities will exist to help us discover more about ourselves.

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Comments 20 comments

Pages-By-Patty profile image

Pages-By-Patty 4 years ago from Midwest

Love, love, love this topic! The human mind has always fascinated me, as I'm sure it does many others, so this article is such an interesting read.

Of course, we all think about the obvious senses when we "go to our happy place" but never thought about color therapy!

Years ago I painted the living room in my favorite color which is a coral/salmon color. Naturally, it's the room in which I spend the least time. I'm thinkin' I may go sit in my living room for a while today! :)

A very interesting and fun hub!


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi Patty, It is interesting that color is everywhere and we make so many choices about it, often without thinking about it. I have a coral room also. The color just does something for me. My family room is a blue that is light but intense, kind of like the blue in a pool that reflects the blue liner. At first I thought I might change it because it was a bit stronger than other colors I had used. Before long, that room became so relaxing to all of us and to everyone who sits in it. It pays to try different colors to see how it can affect you.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

I love colors but as an artist I have a strong preference for Turquoise blue and Barbie pink.


kissayer profile image

kissayer 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

This is an excellent hub! I've never look into how colour therapy can relieve stress but it actually makes a lot of sense after reading!


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi Gypsy, blue and pink are very soothing colors. Your art work must be very relaxing to view. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi Kristy, I am glad you enjoyed this hub. Your comments are always well appreciated.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I must have all the right colors because I am rarely stressed. Very interesting hub; well done!


Helena Ricketts profile image

Helena Ricketts 4 years ago from Indiana

Very interesting topic! I had heard that retailers and restaurants use color in their environments to help trigger things like hunger and happiness. I found this out after I painted my kitchen yellow and someone told me that yellow helps trigger hunger. I'm pretty convinced that it's true because we all started gaining a little weight. That kitchen was only yellow for about 6 months until we painted it back to off white!


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi Billy, You certainly do have all the right colors, especially those pink niacin vitamins (lol).


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi Helena, You certainly are the proof that colors affect us. Glad you figured out what was increasing your appetite.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend, very interesting information in this hub,enjoyed read it and learning more about color therapy . Well done !

Vote up and more !!!


DoItForHer 4 years ago

If I wear sunglasses with grey lenses, I get really tired. If I wear the brown lenses, I feel different, but not bad. Have no experience with other lens colors.

Now that I write that it sounds weird, but I do have quite the time with transition lenses and such.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi Tom, Glad you enjoyed this hub, but I always felt you see my hubs through rose colored glasses. Thanks so much for the up votes.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi Tom, Glad you enjoyed this hub, but I always felt you see my hubs through rose colored glasses. Thanks so much for the up votes.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi DoIt, It is very interesting how you are affected by the color lenses you wear. What do green and black lenses do for you?


VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 4 years ago from United States

This is such an interesting subject. I'd love to have had a few examples of what exactly happens in color therapy and maybe a story of someone who was helped by it. Are the colors for therapy the same for everyone?


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi Virginia, Thanks for taking such an interest in this hub. Color therapy is not a recognized form of therapy, even though it has been used for centuries holistically. There are little scientific studies done on it. I won't write about an individual's experience unless there is reliable proof behind it because it is important to me that my hubs are a reliable source of information. There are some colors that are universal and some colors that are cultural.


DoItForHer 4 years ago

Have not tried other colors; maybe I will someday out of curiosity.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago Author

Hi DoIt, Well let me know if it changes your energy, or your perspective.


DoItForHer 4 years ago

This may be of interest:

I needed shades in the worst way to be able to drive the commercial vehicle I was driving as the large windshield coupled with an inadequate visor made for some intense glare.

I drove a fixed route for a bus transit system. I had driven the routes forwards and backwards hundreds of times, but with the brownish lenses, once familiar landmarks became unrecognizable. (I had tried the gray lenses again but could not deal with the off-putting feelings.) I repeatedly drove off-route and relied heavily on street signs to orient myself. The passengers were quick to correct me, too. lol

After two weeks of hell, I learned how to recognize what I already knew. Now I can drive anywhere with no problems.

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