How Do I Eliminate Stress with Color?

The Calming Effects of Color

Color is more than just decoration. In nature, insects, fish, birds, flowers and more have color that camouflage them, facilitate mating, and guide them to what they need for survival. For humans, we decorate with colors and dress with colors that we express ourselves with.

How many of us consider also that when we choose colors, we're also concerned with how we feel, especially when we're at home? Probably many of us do without even thinking about it. You know how when you're picture shopping for a den and a play room, well when you pick a nature scene and a hot air balloon, the color scheme is as important as the subject. That's because colors affect your mood instinctively.

Research has shown that different colors have different effects upon us psychologically, emotionally and even physically. So if you are suffering from stress and its effects, you might consider changing the colors in your environment. You can select colors to surround yourself with and to wear as a stress management tool.

Did You Know

Did You Know?

  • Color helps us understand the world around us, and they give us a way to express ourselves.
  • In art therapy, the color choices are as important as the images drawn when a person is expressing how he is relating to his environment.
  • Your preference for color has a psychological affect on your mood. Some hues have a very calming effect.

The Colors and How They Affect Your Mood

We respond to color on a non-conscious level. And that is part of the reason that they are a great tool to manipulate the way that we feel. This form of addressing health issues is recorded as far back as ancient times. Variations of it exist in various cultures around the world. Today, people who practice Feng Shui, acupuncture and other types of adjustments for better living will introduce colors. These practitioners will employ tools like gemstones, colored fabric, candles and prisms.

There are many color charts that you can find on the internet and in libraries. Generally, you will find that they share similar evaluations about the effects of specific colors. Below we have included a color chart. See if you can recognize some of the feelings that they describe for each color. A good idea is to just try it out if you haven't already. Think about it: If you ever went to your closet and dressed for the day and chose colors based on how you felt or what was ahead of you, then you practiced a bit of "colorolgy." Colorology is another name for chromotherapy. This is considered to be an alternative medicine. It uses color and light to balance energy wherever a person's body is lacking, whether it's mental, emotional, physical or spiritual.

If you are feeling overly stressed, you can use color as a stress management tool. As we have seen, the calming effect of color can help you relax and let your worries go for a while. In the information below, notice the colors that have positive stress management qualities. Colors can be great tools in your efforts to manage your stress and feel better and more in control.

How to Eliminate Stress with Color

Dr. Group states that "Dark blue has a calming effect on the body." Consider wearing dark blue to lift you out of a stressful mood, or if you anticipate a stressful situation in your day ahead.

Review the color chart below and consider your own reaction to certain colors. To use them to relieve stress, wear them and decorate with them to relax and revitalize yourself.

  • Red: This color is not one to use for stress management. It is an exciting and stimulating color, usually associated with passion and vigor. You might want to use this color when you want to lift yourself out of an emotional slump.
  • Pink: This color is seen as soft, tranquil color. It's peacefulness promotes balance of your energies.
  • Orange: Like red, orange does not exhibit the calming effect of color. Instead, orange is a stimulating and intense color. It can work to invigorate you when you are feeling low.
  • Yellow: Yellow is softer than red or orange and is seen as sunny and cheerful. It's a great color to lift your spirits and when you live in a positive state you are well-equipped to combat stress
  • Green: Green restful and quiet color. It's a soothing color that invites harmonious feelings that can diffuse anxiety
  • Blue: Blue is tranquil, peaceful, and calm. This color has a tremendous stress management quality to it, making us feel cool and calm.
  • Violet: Violet represents strength, peace and wisdom. It can give you feelings of inner peace when you wear it. Decorating with it can give your space a peaceful feeling, relieving stress internally and externally.
  • White: White is symbolic of clarity and freshness. It really needs to be a clean, bright white because once it gets dingy and dull, your emotions can mirror the dullness.
  • Black: This color can be overpowering at times, as it exudes a feeling of power and elegance. And it can also represent submission. It's one that can impact your world either way so you need to be careful when decorating with or wearing black.