Did you know that by simply gazing upon a calming color, it can produce a calming effect on the body and mind? When I was in Undergraduate school I worked in an engineering library that was colorscaped, as they called it, with special colors in mind to support the natural rhythms of light within the building throughout the day. They reported that these chosen colors would support student learning and focus while working in the building. Colors of paint and furniture were chosen to harmoniously blend with the sunlight as it moved through the building throughout the day. Stimulating colors when the day was dark and calming colors when the sun was at its brightest. I was so fascinated by this and truly believe that the calm and focus I felt whenever I was in the building was a result of the mindful colorscaping of the environment.
Our bodies and minds are very responsive to the energy of color. In fact, gazing upon certain colors has even been shown to have a physiological effect on heart and breathing rates, slowing the mind for greater clarity and focus and allowing the body to let go and release tension.
Here’s a relaxation practice centered around mindful use and experience of color. Introduce your child to the meanings associated with various colors and then guide her in paying attention to what colors calm her body and mind. Below I have provided an overview of calming colors and their meanings to get you started.
Create a “My Calm Colors Pallet” worksheet like the one below and ask your child to tune in as you experience the calming colors to determine and create own her “calming color pallet” to gaze upon to return to a state of relaxation, tranquility and calm.
Blue is a very soothing color that calms the mind and stimulates the release of tension. It has the power to calm the heart rate and slow breathing. It supports calm, peaceful sleep and is a wonderful color for the bedroom. Choose soft, neutral, restful blues for calming effects.
Inner Peace Violet
A color that arises from a blue base, violet can bring inner peace and balance to the body, mind and heart. Choose soft violets, not harsh purples which are formed from the addition of black.
Pink is a sweet color of the heart, of love, and brings peace into any environment. The meanings associated with pink are playfulness, tenderness and charm. It also stands for friendship, affection, and harmony.
Take a Break! Aqua
Aqua, the color of the sea is tranquility at its best. It is also a very refreshing and gently awakening color. From Latin, it means “water, the sea, and rain.” It is associated with wisdom,serenity, emotional balance, wholeness, patience and loyalty. It is good for bringing up the energy of allowing yourself to take a break and slowing the pace of life and including play.
Earthy Rusts and Browns
Earth colors from the grounded-ness of the Earth around us. Very soothing, grounding, and stabilizing of energy, earth colors support us in feeling safe, warm and supported. Found in the colors of moss, sand, grass, trees and soft river rocks, these colors support a feeling of being nurtured.