Colour me happy

How chromatherapy can colour your mood.

Have you ever felt blue, seen red, or been green with envy? Colours have long been associated with our emotions – that’s why hospitals are often painted muted greens and fiery reds are used on warning signs. Colour therapy, also known as chromatherapy, dates back thousands of years, with roots in ancient Egypt, Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine. Now a well-established holistic therapy – used as much by wellness practitioners as interiors experts and fashion designers – every colour of the rainbow has a different wavelength, affecting the way our brains perceive and interpret them, with a direct effect on our mood.


On the visible light spectrum, red has the longest wavelength. Associated with warmth and passion, it can stimulate and encourage. Linked to the root chakra, it boosts energy and adrenaline, but can also induce anxiety and aggression.


Most often associated with joy, this warm, sunset tone represents creativity, attraction and enthusiasm. It is linked to the sacral chakra, connected to sexuality, stimulation and creativity. However, orange is often considered the least popular colour, with its vibrancy overwhelming.


The colour of the sunshine, it’s no surprise that yellow is most associated with happiness, freedom and warmth. Linked to the solar plexus chakra, it’s related to intellect, and is a shade that represents awakening, mental clarity and wisdom – meaning that it’s often used to aid concentration and focus the mind.


Green is a balancing shade, right in the middle of the colour spectrum. Linked to the heart chakra, this soothing hue has a calming effect on body and mind, encouraging our compassion and self-acceptance, and representing growth, renewal and learning.


The colour of the sky and the sea, blue is most related to peace and quiet. This calming colour is associated with communication, honesty and openness, and is linked to the throat chakra. It can, however, also been seen as cold and unemotional, and certain shades are energy draining.


Violet has the shortest wavelength in the visible spectrum, closely associated with spiritual knowledge and self-awareness due to its connection with the crown chakra at the top of the head. This cool, calming colour is often used as an aid for meditation and evoking a dream state, and can soothe mental and emotional stress.


The colour of the earth, brown is dependable, solid and reassuring. Often regarded as boring or frugal, nonetheless its simplicity and elemental connection to nature also means that it is grounding and safe.


A combination of all the spectral colours, white is considered the colour of healing, purification and new beginnings – a blank slate to start afresh. It aids mental clarity and inner calm, but can be seen as sterile and cold.


An absence of colour, black comes from the complete absorption of light. The colour of the night, its darkness is associated with mystery, magic and transformation. While often linked with pessimistic feelings, bad luck and even death, black is in fact considered protective, shielding us from negative energy.

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