I’m a firm believer that lighting affects mood, and twinkly lights on strings bring something magical to occasions . . . There’s a reason they’re sometimes called fairy lights. When the night is right, there aren’t any strings at all.
– Erin Morgenstern
I just bought a magical device for my home . . . a set of LED lightbulbs that allow me to program the look/color of a room. Rather than simple (and boring) white light, these bulbs work in conjunction with an iPhone app to let me create any mood with the color of my own choosing at any time. How do I know what color scheme to choose for a room? Well, it all starts with a simple yet powerful question: “How do I want to feel?” Once I know how I want to feel, I can choose the color that will conjure that emotion. Do you already sense where this is going . . . ?
Color psychology is captivating. Some studies have shown that color is so powerful that the effectiveness of pills is even impacted by the color of the pills; the color having an irrefutable influence on a patient’s anticipation, hopefulness, and outlook. Carl Jung, in fact, spent a great deal of time studying and applying color symbolism to his work (some of this coming from his contemplation of alchemical texts and their discussion of transmutation, advancement, and transition). Simply, you can choose colors to excite both sides of your brain, make you more relaxed, and provoke happiness.
So how do you start changing your mood?
STEP 1. Answer the question: How do I want to feel?
STEP 2. Select a color that represents how you want to feel. For example, if you want to use the color associations that I discuss in my book, The Vitruvian Square, you would choose from the following:
RED – Beginning; Renewing
ORANGE – Connecting; Reconnecting
YELLOW – Creating; Re-Creating
GREEN – Building; Rebuilding
BLUE – Changing; Replacing
INDIGO – Uniting; Reuniting
VIOLET – Defeating; Retaking
BLACK – Moving; Removing
WHITE – Completing; Refinishing
Here are some additional associations/meanings which are often linked with colors to help you with Step 2:
RED = One of the primary colors, it is energizing and passionate. Red will increase your vital signs. It will also attract others to you.
ORANGE = This color is obtained by mixing red with yellow. This is the color to choose if you don’t want the intensity of red. This color allows you to look distinguished without the “in your face” punch of pure red.
YELLOW = One of the primary colors, it is the color of the sun. It creates rapport and happy thoughts (if not overused).
GREEN = This color is obtained by mixing blue and yellow. It is thought to be a color of healing and stress relief.
BLUE = One of the primary colors, this is the color of composure and tranquility.
INDIGO = This is the color of mysticism, mystery, and wisdom. It falls between blue and violet.
VIOLET = This is a mixture of blue and red and usually represents royalty and aristocracy. It can also represent bravery, courage, and wealth.
BLACK = Black can represent accomplishment, power, and style. Black creates a feeling of profoundness.
WHITE = The “clean” color. This is the color of innocence, honor, pureness, and morality.
Another way to determine what colors match with particular moods for you, use the technique of my friend, Enrique Enriquez; namely, ask yourself: What in life (in nature) is _________________ [fill in a color]? and find those examples. Then ask yourself how those scenes in nature make you feel.
STEP 3. Imagine yourself surrounded by a ball of the color your wish to use. If it helps, you can imagine a colored spotlight of the color you wish to use shining down from above. Then, imagine yourself stepping into that spotlight of preferred color.
STEP 4. Make a conscious choice to start wearing the color that represents the mood you want to feel. This can be an undergarment, a piece of jewelry, and even a color swatch from a paint store that you keep in your pocket.
There can be no doubt that your mental, emotional, and physical condition are affected by the colors around you. It’s time to start choosing which color best represents you and your goals.
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