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Color as Therapy

Updated on May 7, 2013

A popular question new friends ask each other is “What is your favorite color”. We often use the similarities in our color preferences as a bond-forming commonality. We will even choose gifts for that friend with their favorite color in mind as a sign of our affection for them.

What is color?

As most of you know, color is light and energy. Color is visible because it reflects, bends, and refracts through all kinds of particles, molecules and objects. Light affects our mood. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression which affects many people during the winter months, especially at the North and South Pole where daylight and night last for months at a time.


Chromotherapy or light therapy (also referred to as color therapy) is a type of holistic healing that utilizes the visible light spectrum of color to affect a person’s physical and/or mental health. Every color has its own specific frequency and vibration. Even though we know that light enters through our eyes, light can also enter our bodies through our skin. Studies suggest that certain colors entering the body can activate hormones leading to chemical reactions within the body, which can then influence emotions.

Do you ever feel particularly irritable or particularly calm in certain settings? Well, it is quite possible that the colors in those settings are causing that response. There are certain mood responses that colors are commonly thought to cause.

These are some of them:

o The color red is thought to stimulate, excites and warms the body, increases the heart rate, brain-wave activity and respiration. Persons who suffer from high blood pressure are actually discouraged from decorating their living spaces with the color red. My home office is red, but my time spent in there is definitely limited!

o Pink is thought to have a soothing effect. Pink is often used prison entrances, hospital rooms and drug centers. I didn't even notice that!

o Orange stimulates the appetite and reduces fatigue. It is often used in kitchens – my kitchen is orange! Avoid when trying to lose weight! :-)

o Yellow is a memory stimulator and also raises blood pressure and pulse rate, but not as much as red. I love yellow and often wear my yellow dress to work on a day that I want to lift my mood.

o Green is reminiscent of new beginnings. It is said to cause feelings of calm and hope and it soothes and relaxes the body and mind. My bedroom is green! I LOVE taking drives out of town and just looking at the grass and trees is SO soothing.

o Blue is also a relaxing color. It calms the body, lowers blood pressure, heart rate and respiration, and also has a cooling effect.

How color affects your mood

Knowing how these colors affect our moods can be very important information for when we are decorating our homes and especially rooms that we spend a lot of time in like our bedrooms and offices. Experiment with color for yourself. You may find that a calmer, more relaxed state of mind is just a tin of paint away!

Color affects my mood

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The text on this page, unless otherwise indicated, is owned by happiness coach (karen mcgibbon) who hereby asserts her copyright on the material. Permission must be granted by the author in writing prior to copy or republish this article in print or online. Thank you.

© karen mcgibbon


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    • happiness coach profile image

      Karen McGibbon 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Denise, you bring up a good point! I can envision the standoff feel of the office that you describe. I too, much prefer the way a room looks and feels with the 'non-energy saving' bulbs that we grew up with. Thank you for mentioning that because that 'feel' could determine whether someone visiting our home or office feels welcome or not!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Color definitely has an affect on my feelings and moods. When I first started working at my particular employment, we were changing the light bulbs in my part of the office. My boss asked if I liked the cool blue light better or the warm yellow light. My first impression was to go with the blue cool light because I like cool colors. After they put the bulbs in, I walked into the office and it just didn't feel right. The decor of the room took on a standoff feeling and was not like it was previously. I told them to change the lighting back to the yellow light, now the room is warm and welcoming, the way it was before.