As we discussed on the blog in August, color can be a powerful tool in shifting our mood when needed. Color psychology and its’ use in therapy, known as chromotherapy, dates back to ancient cultures (Cherry, 2017). Now, in autumn, a season when colors and light change daily, we hope you can consider using the hues and tones around you to boost or invigorate your daily experiences. Today, we continue our journey through the color wheel by sharing information about how to use the relaxing and calming cool colors to change our mood- green, blue, and purple.
Green symbolizes nature and life and brings forth feelings of freshness, newness, restoration, and growth. Given all of the things we associate with nature and life, it’s no wonder that green tends to relax us, helps us to slow things down, and broadens our perspectives. In addition to of all of that goodness, green can lead to feelings of acceptance and trust and is linked with creativity, energy, and productivity (Plutchick, 1980; Augustin, 2015). Just in case green hasn’t been basking enough in its’ well-deserved glory, Greenery is Pantone’s color of the year! Feeling burnt out? Can’t get that paper started or that new idea off the ground? Feeling sluggish or frustrated? If you’re looking for an experience of renewed energy or revitalization, green can change the game. Gather some fresh leaves from outside and mindfully spend some time looking over the color, texture, and differences in shading. Keep a few green accent pieces in your office, such as a vase, blanket, or pillow. These can serve as a cue to help you slow down, take a few deep breaths, and renew your energy. If you’re in the market for a new piece of art, peruse some online sites for prints of palm or fig trees to add a touch of tropical to your home or workspace. Even in the concrete jungle of NYC, it’s possible to bring a touch of green and freshness into your day.
Blue, the most commonly reported “favorite color” in the world, evokes feelings of openness, trustworthiness, and calming. Omnipresent blue, in our skies and the color of the sea, was not initially named as a color as it was considered to be a kind of neutral and part of the natural world (Eckstut & Eckstut, 2013). Since blue was named as a color by the Egyptians, we’ve come to trust and depend on it and the sense of soothing and serenity it provides. Feeling anxious and scattered because of the million things you have to do today? Is your work schedule packed back to back and you feel like you need a moment of calm? Head outside with your chin up and take in the brilliant blue of the sky. Watch a YouTube video of ocean waves, and envision your tense feelings hitching a ride on a wave out to sea. Opt for the blueberries at the farmer’s market or write your work down in a deep, dark blue marker and attend to the changes in color around you. We think blue is your ticket to feeling comforted and calmed. It’s one of our faves here at MindWell NYC for that reason as evidenced by our logo and the dreamy sky and royal blue tones in our suite.
Purple, the color of royalty and opulence, invites us to experience a sense of being uplifted, inspired, and calm. If you think back to our first post, the complimentary color to purple is yellow, which is similarly another dazzler and attention-grabber. Interestingly, purple, unlike violet, is not one of the colors of the visible spectrum, and is instead a combination of two primary colors, red and blue (Eckstut & Eckstut, 2013). Thankfully, these two other colors combine on occasion to give us this purple beauty. If you’re looking to the rainbow for a sense of imagination and inspiration, look no further. Wanting a dose of feeling like you’re up in the clouds with ideas to share? Gather a bunch of dried lavender flowers and mindfully note their color and shading. Collect purple stones such as amethyst to keep around your home or office, which change their look throughout the day in different lighting and can be a lovely way to amp up your daily dose of purple. Iris and lilac flowers are also a wonderful way to incorporate purple into your environment. If you only have a moment, head over to Pinterest where their purple board is beautiful, soothing, and inspiring. There may be no quicker way to uplift yourself as well as calm your nerves at the same time.
As you now know, color can have great influence on our psychology and the way we perceive the world. Here at MindWell NYC, we are looking to help you, our readers, find small things throughout your day that can help to improve or change mood when needed, provide a refreshing break, or give you a quick infusion of inspiration to leave you feeling recharged and excited about your next steps. Let us know if you think of any other ways to involve color in your day- we’d love to hear and incorporate your ideas!