by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac. and references from his health community, Alternative Answers
About a week ago, my mom shared with me a story about the time she was in the hospital. One of her dear friends came to visit and brought her a single hydrangea flower in a vase…the thing was, the flower was black! My mom, although not sharing her feeling of unease with her good friend (who was unaware of the effects of the flower and its color) shared with me, that it was one of the most disturbing events she could recall.
Color affects every moment of our lives although our color choices are mostly unconscious. Color has a great emotional impact on a person that comes out via the clothes we chose to wear, decorations to fill our homes, personality, foods we choose to eat, flowers we surround ourselves with and many more ways.
It is possible to introduce colors to different areas of daily life, in order to give off more energy, soothe our mind, stimulate appetites and sexual motivation or even give us calming atmosphere.
Blue can either be a calming color or a depressing color, depending on how much one is surrounded by it. Blue most always has a pleasant association. Blue also is associated with a cool, cleansing, relaxing, calm, hopeful, protective, reassuring, trusting and accepting feeling. It inspires mental control, clarity and creativity. Blue has a direct effect on the autonomic nervous system, which helps calm and soothe us. Light blue can be a calming relaxing color, which soothes the soul. On the other hand, dark blue is sedative and too much can give off a feeling of depression. Blue is also an appetite suppressant. This is believed to be due to the fact that nature does not create a blue food other than blueberries, therefore we do not have an automatic appetite response to blue. In a decorative perspective, blue is a spacious color that is most suited for thought and relief from a stressful, hectic day. If you wear blue, you may feel self-reliant, sensitive or intelligent. It promotes a good imagination and a practical approach to life by feeling responsible for others. Blue wearers are normally independent yet feel the need to be surrounded by tenderness, love and affection. Blue flowers should be given when trying to convey trust, honesty, loyalty, or sympathy. Consider hyacinths, hydrangeas, columbine, morning glory vines, forget-me-nots, ceratostigma, lobelia, campanula, mertensia, St. Michael flower, iris, dark stars and bluebells.
Brown is associated with nature, so it gives off an earth feeling that brings us comfort and support. It allows us to feel grounded. However, fans of brown are known to often keep emotions to themselves and retreat from fear of the real world. These people sometimes suffer from a lack of self-worth. Those who prefer brown, find it helps them with their troubles and gives them a sense of stability and alleviates insecurity. People who wear brown are normally honest, sensuous and protective because of their desire to be emotionally secure and accepted. They strive for a structured life and they appreciate the finer pleasures. Consider chocolate lace flower and chocolate sunflowers, Marsala cymbidium orchid, brown thistle flower, ranunculus flower and copper spider mums.
Orange is widely known as the attention grabber and the stimulator of the mind and body. Orange is an anti-depressant color that lifts spirits by giving off feelings of security, warmth, joy, creativity, fun, humor and independence. Like brown, orange frees and releases emotions and alleviates self-pity. It tends to boost our self-worth and the unwillingness to forgive. Physically, orange stimulates the sex organs and has an incredibly beneficial effect on our digestive system. Wearers of orange are action-oriented, often impatient, independent and self- motivated. They have a energy level as it tends to make us more active and competitive. Being surrounded by orange is mentally and physically stimulating and can make a person feel warm, secure and comfortable. Although orange blooms are white, their distinct smell conveys emotions of happiness, joy and pride. Consider lantana, fritillaria, helenium, Iceland poppy, asiatic lily, butterfly weed, marigolds, and California poppy.
Purple is a color of mixed messages coming from both red and blue. Purple is mostly associated with those who are sexy, powerful, and sophisticated. For the people who favor this color, they are typically dramatic, spiritual, creative, intuitive, inspirational in beauty and art, protective, and wrapped up in a fantasy. Purple balances the mind, brings peace and combats fear. Purple has an association with the Third Eye and tends to bring out our intuition. For those drawn to purple, this color helps them to look deeper into themselves and brings more awareness to their surroundings. Purple is a color of spirituality, imagination, and elegance. Since it does not occur very often in nature, this color adds a rich contrast that can almost feel exotic or extreme. These blooms should be added to a bouquet if you seek to express admiration for an individual’s accomplishments or important life transition. Consider, hyacinths, hydrangeas, verbena, lavender, clematis, bellflower, dwarf iris, balloon flower. catmint and salvia.
Red is the most powerful of all the colors because of its ability to stimulate the heart and blood circulation so that it raises heart rates. Red is known for its arousal in all perspectives. It is a sexy, dynamic, daring, vital, powerful, hot, sensual, determined, courageous, angry, impatient and ambitious color. It always has a pleasant association because it helps people overcome negative thoughts although too much red can cause a person to become impatient. Red is a color that is often preferred by the economically stable, secure and the risk-takers. Studies even show that people dare to gamble more while under red lighting. Impulsive, excitable, energetic, sexual, courageous and extroverted are ways of describing people who enjoy wearing red. They are ambitious and want things to happen as soon as they say the word. They want to be the best and can be insensitive to others feelings to be the best or the center of attention. Also, studies show red stimulates appetite more than any other color. When we give red flowers, we tend to want to communicate feelings of romantic love and/or passion. Consider roses, poppies, tulips, poinsettias, geranium, gerber, begonia and amaryllis.
Pink and Violet have a gentle stimulation of heart and blood circulation. Just as pink is nearly red, pink nearly has the affects of red, just not so radiant. It elicits simple emotions such as unselfish love, kindness and consideration. It is emotionally soothing and calming, cooling, cheerful and nurturing colors that lessen the feelings of irritation and aggression by surrounding us with a sense of love. A study has even been conducted to show that pink has a subduing effect on violent prison inmates. People who enjoy wearing pink are typically affectionate, sympathetic and understanding. They often need the support of others and can often times be child-like. Pink takes on traits of red and white; therefore it is still a sensuous color while being quite innocent. This combination makes pink quite a sexual color, as it embodies innocence. Pink combines the innocence of white and the passion of red with a flair of femininity. It is the perfect gift to give to someone who you are in the early stages of romance with. Consider pink roses, Violets, hyacinths, poppies, tulips, geranium, gerber, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, freesia, orchids and verbena.
Green is the color of freshness, peace, freedom, relaxation, security and relaxation. It can represent optimism, yet it also represents envy and sickness. Because it is the color of life and vegetation, it helps us to connect with the empathy of others and nature. Green has a balancing quality that regulates our circulation so it is physically and emotionally good for the heart, so we should seek green under stress. Wearers of green are often cautious, quiet, and humanitarians. They are the type to just observe life and not actually get involved in the action. However, when a green-lover must get involved, they will proceed cautiously to be able to fully control the situation. Culturally, there’s significant variation; depending on where you are in the world, green can be the color of envy, luck, and even fertility. Give green blossoms as a gift when you want to wish someone health, wellness, or good fortune. Consider Cymbidium orchid, green Geisha orchid, pom green mini buttons, green hydrangea, hypericum berries,
green Lisianthus, eucalyptus, lady slipper and spider mum.
Yellow is the sunniest, most cheerful color. It represents the happiest, brightest and most uplifting of all the colors. It stimulates the brain making people alert, clear-headed and decisive. Because it helps assist the brain in these activities, it is a good idea to decorate an office in yellow so that the workers could do his or her best thinking. It also assists in the powers of discrimination, better memory, clearer thinking, decision making, good judgment, organization, assimilation of new ideas and ability to see other’s perspectives. A person that wears yellow is someone that is easily approachable because they seem stimulating, spontaneous, interesting and lively to others. However, yellow lovers desire to find greater happiness, which implies minor conflict in which release is needed. Although it’s typical to give yellow flowers as a sign of friendship, it’s appropriate to give these flowers whenever you want to add a bit of sunshine to someone’s life. Consider sunflowers, black-eyed susans, day lily, coreopsis, Graham Thomas roses, daffodils, yarrow, pansies, poppy, iris and marigolds.
Black is a very powerful color because of its mystery, dominance and the fact that it is the most sophisticated of all colors. Black is associated with silence, infinite and feminine life-force (passive, uncharted and mysterious.) It is also associated with mourning. This is possibly due to the fact that black is the most popular color in formal clothing, that is worn mostly by the upper class. The wearers or black are often strong-willed, opinionated, disciplined and independent. Black is a color that is very popular in clothing; especially formal clothing because it makes things look smaller, meaning it makes people look thinner. However, it is not especially smart to make black the dominant color in a room because it will give the room the same affect and could also give a person a negative frame of mind. Objects that ABSORB all wavelengths and DO NOT reflect any, is black. Black flowers are mysterious, elegant and seem to come straight from some fairytale world. In reality there are no truly black flowers – most are very dark shades of purple or red. Consider black dahlia, black orchid, chocolate cosmos, hellebore, pansy, black lily, queen of the night tulips, black magic hollyhock and bat orchids.
White is the color that is always associated with cleanliness, purity, coldness and peace. It gives off the aura of freedom and openness. However, too much white can be cold and isolating or can give headaches and cause eyestrain. White contains all the colors of the spectrum; therefore it shows that people who wear white have a positive, well-balanced, optimistic personality. They also seek a lifestyle free of pressure. Objects that REFLECT all wavelengths and DOES reflect everything, is white. When you want to communicate purity, thoughtful love and fidelity, these should be your first choice! Consider white roses, lily of the valley, amaryllis, asters, bachelor buttons, calla lily, carnations, tuber rose, chrysanthemum, clematis, dahlia, daisies, dogwood, hydrangea, hyacinths, poinsettia and morning glory.
Gray is the color of individuals. It gives off the impression that you are self-sufficient, have good self-control and prefer to be uninvolved. Gray is associated with independence, self-reliance, and acts as a shield from influence. However, gray gives off a negative feeling and can make a person who is around this color frequently, feel lonely and self-critical. Gray takes on many of the characteristics of black and white since it is a combination of the two. Consider gray metal hydrangea, silver snowflake spider mums, silver thistle flower and pussy willows.
In the end, color subconsciously plays a vast role in the psychology of us. It can be a major persuasion factor in our emotions, and they can seriously uplift or bring us down, especially if a person associates a color with one particular idea. However, naturally, color has the same general affect on people.