How colors influence our lives

Namrata Sharma-

Namrata Sharma is a color therapist.

Ever wonder why smileys are yellow or fast-food joints red?

Ever noticed the number and variety of colors in birds, butterflies, insects, animals and nature at large?

Ever tried to count the number of shades of green we see around us all the time?

Whether we like it or not, we see colors around us all the time. Colors are an intrinsic part of this creation and our existence at all levels. For example, our chakras and auras, which cannot be perceived by our eyes, also have their own colors.

Very often, we think of colors only from the aesthetic perspective, but the fact is that colors have such a profound effect on our moods and emotions, and vice versa, that they influence all the small and big decisions we make on a day-to-day basis, like which clothes to wear or what kind of food seems appetizing on a particular day.

Research also says that 93% of people buy products based on visual appearance, of whom 85% are influenced by colors.

Manufacturers have always been capitalizing on the fact that certain colors signify and stimulate specific responses. That is why you will notice that fast-food joints use red generously since red induces hunger. Baby product brands favor white since white signifies purity and innocence.

A lot of research is being done on how colors affect us and there are many debatable views. However, the subjective scientists (saints and sages) have referred to colors and their benefits in various contexts. The oldest Hindu texts, the Vedas, also mention the healing and therapeutic value of colors.

Experiential scientists (healers and therapists) have used colors at various levels of healing.

Colors are used for our benefit in three broad ways:

  1. Intake of color – this happens through the eyes, food, oils, solarized water, chromotherapy and others.
  2. Expression – For anything to heal, it must emerge to the surface. We need to release emotions, experiences, etc so that they can be treated.
  3. Going to alpha state – The brain is made up of billions of cells called neurons and these use electrical impulses for communication. This activity can be measured with an EEG which can be seen as a brain wave pattern. These are broadly categorized into four ranges:

14-22 Hz – beta state – alert, awake state, 5 senses are alert, large number of thoughts per minute

8–13 Hz – alpha state – senses are dull, reduced thoughts per minute, relaxation, super learning, increased serotonin production, meditation, beginning of access to the subconscious mind

4–7 Hz – theta state – Deep meditation, heightened intuition

0–3 Hz – delta – Coma state

With decrease in brain frequency; thought rate, heart rate and breathing rate decrease.

Most of us live the majority of our lives in a state of primarily beta brain waves which is alert, concentrated, but also somewhat stressed.

When we lower the brain frequency to alpha, we put ourselves in an ideal condition to learn new information, perform elaborate tasks, analyze complex situations and find solutions, enhance creativity and expression.

There are many ways to achieve this state, like certain spiritual practices, different kinds of meditation, yoga, chanting, etc. But there are also other ways which do not depend on a person’s ability to quieten the mind but use external means like color and music since both these mediums have their own frequencies and vibrations.

One more important attribute that colors have is the ability to alter your emotional state. Unfortunately, in our daily lives, while experiencing negative emotions, we tend to make choices that worsen this state of mind instead of countering and balancing it. For example, when we are heartbroken, we tend to choose dull colors instead of bright colors which in fact would help to lift our spirits.