As a behavioral healthcare provider serving on the front lines of patient care, I can tell you that what patients want is a balanced approach to health and wellness. In fact, when I went home to conduct research (and enjoy some chia seed pudding), I found that Pinterest “pins” containing the word holistic have increased over 71% since 2015.
In our quest for optimal wellness and getting to that elusive “next level,” one therapy rises up gloriously through the holistic clutter of cloud-bread, mindfulness, detox-tea, and salt lamps – color or more appropriately chroma therapy.
But what exactly is color therapy and how can you start to incorporate it in a meaningful way?
Let me unpack this for you. In very simplistic terms chroma therapy uses the vibrations of certain colors (yes each color has its own frequency!) to influence chi energy (a fundamental life force that moves through all living things).
So without further ado, here are 9 ways you can start enjoying the benefits of color therapy right now.
1. We live in a stressed out society. According to the American Psychological Association, 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress. Think: Shades of green, turquoise, purple and blue. I painted my office a muted purple and the results were almost immediate. It’s now one of my favorite rooms in the house, even when I’m paying bills or burning the midnight oil!
2. 1:75 adults may experience panic disorder according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. Think: Gold. And now you have a perfect excuse to buy a new gold bangle. Pro tip: If you’re caught in a panic attack at work or on-the-go, focus on your new bracelet (or another gold object) while tuning out everything else for at least three minutes.
3. Approximately 10 million people in the United States use prescription sleep aids. We humans are just not getting as much sleep as we used to. Insomnia is a frequently overlooked epidemic. Think: Indigo. My three-year-old just asked me, “What is indigo?” I replied, “Indigo is the color of blueberries.” Blueberry will not fit nicely into most people’s bedroom décor. So I suggest using an indigo colored pillow case that you can remove whenever you aren’t catching a few winks. Pro tip: If you are serious about stepping up your insomnia management game, purchase a fabric headboard in… you guessed it – a blueberry color. Instagram me the final look @findbalance360.
4. The loss of a family-member, friend or pet can wreak emotional havoc. Think: orange. I was vacationing on a beach a few days after my fur baby, Heidi, a Jack Russell Terrier passed away. While relaxing on one of those hoity-toity chaise lounges, underneath a large orange umbrella, I noticed, quite organically, that my grief was lifting. Pro tip: Orange is also an ah-ma-zing color to use when you’re feeling depressed.
5. Not-so-red power suit. If you find yourself about to deliver a presentation, engage in public speaking or need to ask the boss for a raise, what you really need is a boost of self-confidence. Think: yellow. As a public speaker, I sneakily incorporate a yellow binder into my routine which I can simply place on the podium and glance at prn (as needed) for a quick confidence boost!
6. No, I can’t ask him out (he might reject me)! The next time you find yourself lacking in courage to go talk to that guy (or gal)… Think: red. Red really gets to the core of shyness, so focus on something red and go get him (or her)! Remember to send me a wedding invitation.
7. If you find yourself saying, “He cheated on me and I just can’t get over it,” this one is for you. You’re living in the past and stuck in the anger stage of the five-stages of grief. Think: magenta. Pro tip: It’s best to incorporate this color in “pops” of color so throw pillows, accessories, and accent walls are going to be your best bet.
8. High-highs and low-lows. You’re moody. ‘Nuff said. Think: brown. If you’re going to call a code-brown do it up classy in various shades of chocolate. Pro tip: Tiger’s Eye is a beautiful multi-colored chocolate gemstone that is known to help with mood swings.
9. Writer’s block. It’s difficult to describe the utter agony of writer’s block. It is best described in Haiku. “Frustrated writer. Words stuck like dry Elmer’s glue. Deadline almost here.” Think: white. White can supercharge creativity. You’re welcome.
10. When in doubt… Think: green. Green is the Samuel Adams of chroma therapy. It’s always a good decison. Pro tip: Get out into nature.