One of my favourite things in this world is colour. All colours, in different vibrancies, hues, shapes and shimmer. As a kid I would marvel at all the different back to school products. Excited by my purchases of bright geometric shaped planners, glitter pens, scratch and sniff markers, etc. Even now I’m joyful over getting a deal on vibrant hued sharpies. Unbeknownst to me, colour is a power therapeutic tool and be used to enhance our mood and cognitive function.
I’m not sure when my fascination with colour began, but I’m sure it started young. Bright colours and sharp contrast of complimentary colours are used predominately in children’s programs, learning materials, and even clothing! My nephew, whom is a youtube savant at seventeen months, is captivated by any video teaching colours (personally I just find those videos odd as many involve dolls bathing in candy…. but kids love them). Along with being therapeutic they are a great learning tool to use for kids of all ages.
So what is colour? Technically we view colour as a reflection of light off of an object. We detect and compute it optically via 3 receptors in our eyes (for blue, red and green). After it is sensed and perceived, it can create a cognitive connection or neurotransmitter release. If you like a colour, seeing that colour can cause a release of oxytocin and serotonin which helps improve and elevate mood. Colour is a refracted spectrum of light, hence it’s a form of energy. Since we are composed of (electromagnetic) energy that’s why colour can be used effectively as a therapeutic tool (used to elevate our energy when low, or discharge our energy when heightened). There is also a relationship to the chakra system and colour, where if we are deficient in one chakra area then we have a preference for, or treat with that corresponding colour.
Back to school seasons provides us with an optimal time to use colour therapy with our kids. They can be incorporated in school supplies, clothing, foods, gems/jewellery, meditation techinques, etc. Below is a list of each colour and how it can used:
Is good for structure, routine, and organization. If a child feels like they don’t belong or fit in, they can use red. The energy of the colour helps evoke stability and security, and helps with circulation, fatigue, inflammation and anxiety. It’s a good colour to help focus dreamers in class, and teens that need security and courage
Is the colour of Joy! Thinking orange instantly gives a smile and sense of relief. It’s a colour that helps stimulate appetite (an orange lunch bag is a good idea for kids that don’t eat much) and improves attitude towards life. It can be used for allergies, difficulty with expressing emotions, constipation, difficult menstration, binge eating or no eating, lack of self worth and body image. A good colour to use in small amounts with teens going through body image and self acceptance issues (since it’s a bright colour use in small amounts as teens may be reluctant in bringing attention to themselves).
The brightest colour as it contains the most light. Related to personal power, confidence, and your relationship with yourself. Help with digestion (as bile is yellow and helps process/breakdown food), and self esteem/confidence issues. Use to help your child shine, or see their shine. Use gold pen or gold cue cards for positive affirmations in their lunch, or give a piece of gold jewellery that can be their “token of esteem and confidence”.
The colour of neutrality, harmony, and balance. Is great for overall health and wellness. Can be used to calm an overstimulated or high strung child. Also great for emotional balance and can be used for teens writing exams or projects/tests. Great for diffusing drama and tension. Best to incorporate with foods – eat clean, lean and green!
The colour of calm (think ocean), communication and creativity. Good to use when children have difficulties speaking or expressing (or standing up for themselves). Is great for deflecting gossip and truth provoking. Use to boost creativity when braining storming ideas for projections/assignments. Also has an affinity for the thyroid and ears/nose/mouth/gums – so can use for sore throats and communication/emotional issues.
Indigo (Dark blue):
Is the colour related to intellect, clarity, and healthy boundaries. Great for concentration of weak/tired mind (make the binder of your most difficult subject indigo), helps you look at the big picture (not focus on little details like agonising over grades). Is great for wisdom, imagination, intuition, calming the mind. You may want to avoid in low mood (depression) since it can evoke coolness and detachment.
Is the “mystical” colour related with purification and spirituality. Purple has a gentleness about it, hence why it’s useful for headaches, nervous pain, neck pain (student shoulder syndrome) and sleep issues. Great as a pencil colour to stare at or roll across the forehead to help with headaches. Also good for seizures and aggression, or the other end of the spectrum with shyness and social anxiety. If your child is highly sensitive to their environment or conflict, magenta is a better colour to use.
Use colour in every way – back to school supplies, clothes, notebooks, foods, jewellery, lunch bags, pens/pencils, whatever you can think of. The more colour, the better! Have a wonderful colourful return back to school!