By Martin Mak
The sensation of time and space is influenced by colors. For instance, the color red increases the rate at which the heart beats and, causing time to appear to pass faster. Green, however, creates an atmosphere of emotional balance. The eyes relax and concentration increases. Imagine yourself walking through a forest and try to experience the feeling. Even blue has the ability to fool the senses. In blue light, for example in the moonlight, it is easy to underestimate the weight and dimensions of objects. Blue has a relaxing effect on muscles and the heart beats slower, it feels as if time has suddenly slowed down.
Quoting the Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky (1886-1944) “In the first instance, color influences our souls”. And most people would agree with him. The appreciation of life and beautiful colors are often related. Caught up in the explosion of colors during a sunrise or sunset, immersed in the turquoise waters of the sea or the sparks and flames of an open fire, you immediately feel the sense of happiness and calm.
This knowledge of the therapeutic effects of colors, not surprisingly has many application. “Color therapy” is the term for the technique of using color to soothe or even heal ailments of the body or soul. Used widely for the treatment of very young children, premature babies, for example, often develop severe forms of jaundice, which are treated with blue lamps. In everyday life, you can make use of the effect of color on your psyche in order to enhance your job satisfaction and well-being. People with high blood pressure, for instance, should have less red in their environment. Headaches can be reduced by getting rid of the color yellow. This is one reason why hospitals, for example, don’t use strong colors, neutral pastel tones create a sense of well-being.
In a hospital’s operating theatres, green is common. Even the overalls worn by the doctors and nurses are green. Green has replaced the more clinical white, since it has been found to calm patients more. Green also counteracts headaches, disturbances of vision and loss of concentration among surgeons and their medical assistants – problems that come out in bright white rooms or attire.
The color green has also found its way into factories and workshops. Potentially dangerous and machines can be painted dark green to give a calming effect and lowering accident rates. The psychology of colors, its knowledge and application is even being applied to the design and fittings of trains. Restrained shades of blue and green are used to give travelers the feelings that they are being carried safely from one place to another, easing tensions and stress due to long distance travels.
To relieve stress and to give your mind better concentration levels and to improve your memory, you might want to paint or decorate your office or study room in gentle shades of green or blue. For children’s play area however, bright colors help make them more creative.
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