- Physics of Color Energy
- Power of Color
- Hue Are What You Paint
Physics of Color Energy
The latest scientific findings in physics and energy provide evidence that color affects the human body through color vibration. This vibrational energy is the foundation of color psychology, color and culture, color physiology, and chromotherapy.
It is commonly accepted that everything in the universe vibrates, including color. All of our senses and everything we encounter are in tune to specific frequencies. Color stimulates all the senses, instantly conveying a message like no other communication method. These frequencies can affect us either positively or negatively. Additionally, each color has it's own wavelength: red is the longest, and violet the shortest.
Power of Color
Typically color psychology, color and culture, color physiology, and chromotherapy are lumped under the umbrella of "color psychology," though each discipline uses color energy in different ways. In some situations, color psychology, color and culture, and color physiology can be one in the same, while other times, a particular color can have a completely different symbolic, psychological, or physical effect when used at the same place and time.
For example, red in North America indicates stop and danger, but it also symbolizes love, as with Valentine's Day. Someone not familiar with the cultural coding of red in North America could confuse the symbolism and mistake a red Valentine's Day heart for a warning sign.
Colors throughout history have had deep-seated symbolic associations that feed into our response to art, clothing, nature, and the built environment. Some colors' meanings cross the boundaries of culture, while others are specific to cultures, locations, and time.
Color Psychology is the study of humans' mental and emotional responses to color and how color affects our moods, behavior, and feelings.
Color and Culture refers to the use of color as a symbol throughout culture and how it conveys messages through art and anthropology. Color is particularly important in heritage and religion.
Color Physiology studies a person's physical response to color through color's various degrees of wavelengths. For example, colors can excite, depress, calm, and stimulate or reduce appetite. Color can even lower or raise blood pressure.
Chromotherapy is an alternative medicine method in which therapists use color and light to balance energy wherever a person's body be lacking, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. The premise behind chromotherapy is to harness color's wavelengths and use them to heal.
Therapists may treat a person's chakra, referring to the body's seven major energy centers positioned along the spinal column. Each chakra has a unique function that responds to a specific color. When a malfunctioning chakra causes illness, chromotherapy rebalances the body to its optimum wellness.
A chromotherapist also treats the human aura, an electromagnetic field that surrounds every body, organism, and object in the universe. When color is introduced within the aura's range, it affects the human body.
Hue Are What You Paint
The colors we surround ourselves with can help stimulate, relax, empower, or even waken us. Once we recognize this, we can use principles of color psychology to decorate in homes in ways that bring us the balance and harmony we desire.
Red is associated with fire, competition, energy, optimism, passion, virility, power, determination, desire, and love. Red can raise blood pressure, stimulate appetite and metabolism, and increase passion and aggression.
Nothing catches a police officer's attention faster than a shiny red car. For the same reason, stop signs and emergency equipment are typically red. In Asia, red is the color of luck, while internationally red is the mark of honor. The red carpet is rolled out to honor celebrities and dignitaries. Red is the most exhilarating color, bringing up emotions of passion.
Are you procrastinator or in a sluggish time of your life? Paint your room an energizing red and let it motivate you to get moving!
Internationally, pink symbolizes light moods and femininity. Although traditionally considered to be a color for young girls, pink has gained a broader acceptance in more recent years, even working its way into men's wardrobes. Light pink is associated with innocence, while hot pink signals fun, frivolity, and sensual behavior.
If you'd like a relaxing space, try pink. It slows down the heart and diminishes aggressive behavior.
OrangeOrange is associated with adventure, extroversion, celebration, passion, confidence, and enthusiasm. A cheerful color, orange can promote self-motivation and even stimulate the appetite.
Orange combines the energy of red and happiness of yellow. In North America, orange has positive associations, as in sunsets, citrus, fall foliage, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Most Americans and Canadians prefer brown-based oranges to a pure orange.
Designing a room where people will socialize and play? Paint it orange and let the party begin! Orange and red simulate the appetite and can work well in a kitchen or dining room.
Yellow is associated with sunshine, joy, creativity, optimism, confidence, attention to detail, academic achievement, discipline and mental discrimination. It can help improve memory and aid in communication.
Yellow is the most visible color and an attention-grabber, making it a useful choice for caution signs, school buses, and construction equipment. Yellow is generally considered to be a happy, sunny color. Bright yellow is better in small doses; because it reflects more light than any other color, it's fatiguing to the eye and can create a sense of frustration if overdone.
Having difficulty getting people to communicate? Yellow is an excellent color for counseling offices and conference rooms, as it helps open the lines of communication.
Green is associated with nature, balance, healing, spring, growth, love, peace, hope, and compassion for others. A calming color, green can lower blood pressure and relax. It's also a great balance for other colors.
Green generally has positive connotations associated with health and growth. Feeling anxious or angry? Paint your office or bedroom green to reduce stress and evoke the feeling of balance.
Blue is associated with water, sky, mystery, purity, heaven, loyalty, trust, tranquility, and self-expression.
The favorite color in North America, blue represents quality, durability, and authority—a good reason police and military uniforms come in this color. It is commonly used as companies' color branding to convey reliability and trustworthiness, hence the phrase "true blue."
Although many colors hold different, religious symbolic meanings, blue is a non-denominational color. It carries the same meaning of love and mercy in Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism.
Blue is conducive to productivity and commonly used in office spaces. It's also one of the most popular colors for bedrooms because it's so calming and can even lower the pulse rate and body temperature.
Purple is associated with royalty, spirituality, creativity, sensitivity, and insightfulness. With the shortest light wave, purple calms and reduces stress.
While royal purple was once reserved for the wealthy, purple is increasing in popularity in North America. It is sometimes associated with deep feelings, as in "purple passion." Additionally, purple symbolizes bravery; consider the "purple heart" military medal that signifies injury in battle.
Having a creative block? Painting your studio indigo and violet will get your creative juices flowing again. And for a more blissful sleep, use violet in your bedroom to calm you.
Brown is associated with dependability, earth, grounding, stability, harmony, neutrality, hearth, and home. It is generally seen as an inviting and soothing color, good for the non-risk taker.
Want a calming backdrop to a room so your accessories will pop? Brown is a terrific neutral that works well with vibrant accent colors.
Gray is associated with neutrality, safety, coolness, timelessness, practicality, and conservativeness.
Like brown, gray is neutral and comes in a variety of tones, making it a good foundation for allowing a room's accent colors to shine. Certain finishes with gray can also pair well with stone and wood.
Black is associated with night, sophistication, power, and sometimes menace. It tends to lead to inward thought.
In most places throughout the world, black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be formal and elegant. The black tuxedo and the classic "little black dress" still remain the standard for evening attire.
Because black absorbs all light, it can deplete energy if used in abundance.
If you're feeling especially daring, you may be interested in painting a room in black. Talk with your paint specialist for recommendations; using semi-gloss or gloss will show imperfections, so it's best to stick with matte.
White is associated with calm, purity, equality, and the entire visible light spectrum. It reflects and amplifies all colors. Its fundamental characteristic is equality; all colors are equal in white's presence.
Use all white for a modern, clean feel. It also serves well as a blank canvas to which you can add splashes of color that reflect your personality.