¤ Add Colour To Your Life
Who has not found beauty in colour ? It is a phenomenon that has caught imagination and stimulated the creativity of artists, scientists, and philosophers. Colour has been an inspiration for so many, but that is not the only reason why it is important. Today the frontiers of colours and their potential are subject to research, yielding new facts on the file.
¤ The Choice of Colour
The fact that colour can trigger off many of the symptoms of tension is now well established. But it is in the field of mental illness that colour therapy is exciting researchers and there the results have varied from the extraordinary to baffling. It appears that a whole range of mental patients react to colour and can be calmed and helped by soothing colours in their surroundings. It is established that the use of positive cheerful colour arises the alertness and energy level of senile patients, while dull and dingy colours encourages them to sink further.
For use in the hospitals in Great Britain in the 1930, a green was developed for the ease of surgeons who looked at red blood and tissue for a period of time saw disconnecting green (red’s complimentary) after-images when they glanced up at white walls, sheets, towels and garments. To solve the problem, the walls, clothing and towels in the operating areas were all coloured green. " Eye ease green" was developed to have a specific effect in a particular setting, worked well there and then was used widely elsewhere without any real justification, while for the surgeons it helped to concentrate and allayed their worries about visual difficulties while operating.
Despite shortcomings, researchers have been able to pinpoint some specific behaviour responses to colour. Those who sat under red lights gambled more and selected ‘riskier’ bets than those who sat under the blue light. Yellow seems to provoke violence and anti social feelings.
¤ Common Reaction Towards Colour
Sure, each of us has a favourite colour and even on a national or raical scale has a preferred colour ‘above the rules’.
The colours are selected for various reasons-historical, political, or symbolical-and each nation has arrived at its choice through its own special circumstances. Green is often used to symbolise a nation’s forest and agriculture; red denotes the blood shed by the patriots; and so on. Some flags like those of Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, France have no colour significance, they use old heraldic or dynastic colours.
You only have to think of the green shamrock as the luck of the Irish; of Siamese pink, the colour of the Royal Thai pink elephant, of lucky Chinese red ( a preference shared by the Russian-Kassnoye in Russian means red, Krassa means beauty) or of the Madonna blue in every Christian church that popularised blue throughout Europe.
As our normal reactions to colour are now established, we don’t have to be professional colour experts to carry the positive properties of colour into our own house setting if we latch onto a few of the basic rules.
¤ Characteristics of Colour
- Pale colour creates space and air. If you work in a crowded dark coloured surroundings, come home to a clear sky blue room and you will actually breathe easier.
- The sand/earth/taupe tones generate a feeling of warm, secure comfort. The relaxation therapy for anyone who passes their working day under glaring strobe lighting in vast open areas like supermarket.
- The green /blues of foliage and running water act to relieve the tensions built up by the grey concrete jungle of modern cities.
and of course, pink colour of flowers, femininity and sweet fruit flesh, is just what the doctor ordered to raise any woman’s morals when she gets home. Best of all in the colour therapists’ book for the modern city dweller is a rectangular dose of the colours of nature. Spend a regular part of your leisure out of doors, fill your eyes with the living colour of flowers and trees and grass, open up your horizon with the sea and sky and you’ll never need a tranquilliser.
The colours in nature serve as the basis of many of our most fundamental moods. But like seasons, our moods change. Unlike the colours we wear on a day-to-day basis, which may reflect fashion or professional considerations, there is a particular colour we identify with that reveals much about us.
From psychological point of view, there appear to be four, rather than three fundamental colours-red yellow, green and blue.
Do you know what your hues are?
¤ White : White has always epitomised purity and virginity. It reflects all the rays of the Sun and is dazzling in its purity. Angels are depicted in white and so do Jains wear exclusive white clothing since any form of dyeing is considered impure, which perhaps, is the reason why people performing puja rituals wear white too.
You feel like a bride on her wedding day, untouched, open to a vast and exciting array of experiences. White is not worn during Hindu weddings as it is connected with mourning (as also in China) but like the Christians, the Kerela brides dress in white with gold edged sarees. Additionally, since white is the colour of mother’s millk, you’re feeling nurturing and supportive. and perhaps, even at a deeper level, since white is an amalgam of all the other colours, you experience a sense of ‘oneness’ with everything around you. The Taj Mahal of Agra in white marble continues to pray for peace of the departed soul of Shah Jehan’s beloved Mumtaz.
Similarly, the snow-clad mountains bestow upon the minds of the people calmness and peace. It was in the midst of the serenity and calm of these white giants that our forefathers practised meditation and found for us the great spiritual truths of life.
¤ Black : Just as white as always symbolised the positive, black has always accentuated the negative, reflecting an unhappy state of mind, sorrow or ill omen. The spot of black or kohl, on the body of the bride and groom is supposed to protect them from evil. Black is the colour of night, the same night that terrified our forefathers as well as the child in all of us. Where as the sun represents life, the darkness is the absence of warmth and clarity. Black means you’re in a funeral mood.
In the condemned cell where a prisoner is kept prior to the execution, he is made to wear black handcuffs and black dress. This is to concentrate his mind on becoming courageous enough to stand the ordeal. In Equatiorial Africa which has the maximum sunshine of a blazing sun all the year round, black colour becomes their pet and so black stripes are popular in the national flags of the resurgent countries of this Continent.
¤ Gold/Silver : The colours gold and silver invoke the impression of wealth and affluence. You are feeling rich-optimistic about a business deal or investment scheme. Indeed the opulence in your life may be more spiritual than material.
¤ Brown : This colour projects a mood of despair and despondency but most of all, loss. Brown is the shade of late fall. It signals the end of a period of growth and development. Similarly, you feel that you’re in the midst of your autumn years. Instead of allowing yourself to have spring in your step, you cling to these murky feelings.
¤ Red : Red is the colour of blood, and that’s exactly what you feel throbbing in your veins. You’re alive! and you want the world to know it. Your personality is - at once expansive and aggressive. Which means you’re also highly excitable and easily frustrated. When this occurs, the end result is that you literally ‘see red’.
A sure stimulant to some, your vitality is a sure threat to others. The popular suhaag symbol - the sindoor or kumkum ( vermillion on the forehead) is indicative of a woman’s marital status. Red is considered pious, as it has several emotional, sexual and fertility related qualities. Red bordered sarees are popular among Bengali women while in Punjab brides are decked in red.