Every single living cell receives and transmits color rays, even those preferring to live in darkness. The body, mind and emotions of humans are no exception and are highly responsive to color. Our well-being can be positively or negatively affected by a wide range of environmental stimuli such as weather conditions (air temperature, pressure, humidity and air electricity), sound levels, chemicals and more, but especially by the cosmic and terrestrial background radiation, including the electromagnetic vibrations of color. The human eye has the capacity to distinguish over one million colors. Colors are to our emotional life as spices are to food.
The colors of nature have a very positive impact on our human mind, especially yellow as its energy is dominant in the visible spectrum of daylight, as well as blue, red, and green, to which the human eye is most sensitive. Many different aspects determine the effect of a color, including the exact hue, saturation, surface texture and quality of a color, as well as the quality of the light (natural daylight or artificial lighting). Complementary colors, for example, are not only opposite from each other on the color wheel, they also activate opposite effects in humans. However, it is important to consider that the experience of color is a subjective affair depending on one’s age, gender, and ethnic background, as well as one’s personal color associations.
Hues of yellow, orange or red are warming colors that tend to be exciting. Hues of green, blue and violet are cooling colors that tend to be calming. According to studies by the British psychologist Hans Jurgen Eysenck, adults in the Western world exhibit color preferences as follows: 1) Blue) 2. Red; 3) green 4) purple 5) yellow 6) orange. And yet, as we grow older, our relationship with color changes. The founder of anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner, developed color schemes for rooms in elementary (or primary) schools: grade 1 – pink/red; grade 2 -pink/orange; grade 3 – orange/red; grades 4 and 5 – pale orange; grade 6 – orange/yellow; grade 7 – yellow/green; grade 8 – pale green. Dr. Heinrich Frieling, a German color psychologist, called the ubiquitous black blackboard “a poison for a child’s mind.”
The most prominent gateway of photoreception in humans is of course the eye. But we also retrieve color information through our skin. A wide range of photoactive molecules found in almost any tissue also seem capable of acting as photoreceptors. The absorption of light energy depends on the wavelength of the color. Due to their relatively long wavelengths, the warming colors of red, orange and yellow, as well as infrared, are able to penetrate into deeper layers of tissue. Since the cooling colors of green, blue and violet, including UV radiation, have a shorter wavelength, they are absorbed at the skin’s surface. The physiological effects of colors are based on the mixture of frequencies, the amount of radiant energy carried by photons of a particular color, and their conversion into heat and/or chemical as well as electrical energy.
Though colors in our immediate environment (home, work place, school, clothes) are mediated across other sensory organs, they have similar effects on our well-being. Thus the temperature of a room painted green-blue, for instance, is usually perceived as being 3 degrees cooler than a room tinted orange. We make countless color choices every day, often rather unconsciously and automatic. The National Cancer Institute and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advise everyone to “Sample the Spectrum” in fruit and vegetables for maximum health. It is a scientific fact that the plant pigments that color our food naturally possess powerful antioxidant and anticancer properties. The intensity of a given color guides us to the highest nutrient density.
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