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Roll out the Colors… by Lorena Bowser

 Roll out the Colors.  We’ll Put the Blues on the Run….
by Lorena Bowser
The chameleon must be among the most psychologically balanced creatures on earth.  While we take seriously the saying: “It’s all in the attitude,” this little guy lives by the idea that “It’s all in the color!”  And he’s not far from right.

If color can indicate our mood, then it’s reasonable to think that our mood can be changed by color. Unlike the chameleon, we can’t lie on a log and turn brown if we want to become wiser, or crawl into a plant to become green if we are in need of comfort, but fortunately, we can surround ourselves with certain colors if they are to our advantage. Are our troops going to wear pink to avoid stress on the battle field?  Not likely. Unfortunately, they have to “see red” and dress for their surroundings. Forced chameleon mode doesn’t work.   But you get the idea.

Shawna always got a headache in her math class, not because fractions and integers were difficult for her, but because the yellow walls in the classroom made her nervous and anxious. An overdose of bright lemon yellow is the most fatiguing of all colors. Research shows that babies cry more in yellow bedrooms, and families are more apt to fight in yellow kitchens. But yellow is also known to promote confidence and learning. So while that yellow classroom may give Shawna a headache, it might actually be helping her solve those square root equations. She should take two aspirin and ace the test.

Think all of this is a too crazy to believe? The ancient Egyptians didn't. Four thousand years ago, the Egyptians built healing temples of light, which filtered the sun's rays and bathed patients in specific colors to treat particular illnesses and emotional states.

How does this work?  We’ve seen that colors give off different wavelength frequencies. Well these different frequencies have different effects on us. It’s a matter of physics. The colors all around us — at work, in our home, in our wardrobe, and on our dinner plate can affect our study habits, friendships, sleep patterns, and self-esteem. In a world where color doesn’t even exist, if we still manage to “see” colors, they must be important. And why do we have so many? Aren’t black and white enough?....or blue and red?  There’s just got to be more to color than “meets the eye.” 

Can color really affect our mood?  “Try on” some colors and see. 

Cool Colors Emotions associated with these colors range from calm and peace . . . to sadness, withdrawal and repression

Blue calms the mind, gets rid of nervous tension. Too much blue can make a person feel cold, sad, or depressed, and suppresses appetite (which may be a positive for some people). Are you nervous about showing your portfolio to that new high class Gallery in town? Dress in blue and wear a pair of blue-tinted sunglasses on your way.

Green is mentally and physically relaxing, balances emotions, creates openness between you and others. Too much green can make a person in a bad mood feel worse. Next time you have muscle aches or you’re frustrated with things at work that aren’t going right, stare at a plant. Even better, surround yourself with foliage.

Violet brings about a feeling of peacefulness and understanding, promotes sleep, and suppresses appetite. Too much violet can make a person feel disoriented. If you're having trouble sleeping, place a purple bulb in your bedside table lamp. Turn the light on when you go to bed.

Black promotes self-confidence, power, and strength. Too much black can make a person feel depressed. Dress in black if you need to make a good impression on a prospective client that you’re meeting for the first time.

Warm colors speed up our perception of time and produce feelings that are warm, cozy, and inviting. These colors are associated with excitement, happiness and comfort

Yellow energizes, promotes learning, improves memory, stimulates appetite, combats the doldrums. Too much yellow can make a person feel tired or irritated If you really want to remember something, take notes on a yellow legal pad or yellow Post-its.

Orange, like the sun, is a natural healer and mood lifter; has a gentle warming effect, and increase appetite. Too much orange can make nervous people more agitated.  If you're feeling low, fill the house with orange flowers, and drink a glass of orange juice.

Red stimulates brain-wave activity, increases heart rate and blood pressure, improves circulation. Too much red can make people aggressive and agitated. Trying out for the team, or need to make a speech? Wear something red — a scarf, cap, or shirt.

Pink suppresses appetite, relaxes muscles, relieves tension and violent tendencies. Too much pink can put you to sleep, make you "zone-out." Did you have a fender bender with your wife’s new car? Give her a huge bouquet of pink flowers before you tell her the bad news.

The National Institute of Mental Health has done studies showing that our mental health and behavior depend in part on having a normal balance of colors in our life. Our color choices can be a wonderful tool for creating this balance. 

So let’s balance our lives a little by controlling the colors that surround us whenever we can. I could really use some green right now! I’ve got my green blouse on, a sketchpad in my hand, and I’m off to the Park to sit on the grass under the umbrella trees.

Lorena Bowser is a lifetime artist and linguist. She has lived all over the world and really knows how to make the pennies scream. Enjoy more of Lorena's resourcefulness at her website and blog: at http://lorenasartandprose.blogspot.com

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