How Color, Music and Nature Heal Emotions

When visiting a friend’s home, a woman noticed the friend’s 9-year-old son seemed a bit gloomy. “Do you have a bright red t-shirt you could wear instead of that navy blue one?” she asked the boy. He retreated to his room and soon bounced back up to her, enthusiastically sporting his scarlet shirt. Instantly, his entire mood and energy level had changed.

Color is just one of the external factors that can have a definite impact on our emotional state. Bright, warm colors, like red, yellow and orange, can energize us and make us feel more creative, enthusiastic and happy. Soothing cooler colors like green, blue and purple induce feelings of optimism and peace. To quickly quiet down rowdy prisoners, jails frequently paint a holding cell in “Drunk Tank Pink,” a Pepto-Bismol-like color that actually calms violent or rowdy offenders in minutes.

Music also has the power to immediately change how we feel. It can be used to create a feeling of dread or tension when it’s used in the soundtrack to a horror movie. Calmer music helps us release stress and can even lead us into a relaxed, healing Alpha state. Music helps us improve our memory, and boost our immune system. Hospitals using integrative wellness techniques will frequently have a harpist or pianist playing gentle music while people are receiving various treatments.

Drumming has been shown to be an effective therapy for people dealing with PTSD. The physical sensation of slapping the head of the drum, combined with the deep tone produced, relieves stress and helps people feel more centered. It may seem hard to believe, but even heavy metal music can induce a peaceful mental state. Scientists have found a pounding beat and blaring guitar riffs can actually be a catharsis and help us burn off negative emotions like depression and anger.

Nature has a profound, healing impact on our emotions. A short walk outdoors can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and create a feeling of serenity and peace. The emotional connection is so strong that hospital patients who have a glimpse of trees outside their window heal quicker, need less pain medication, and are discharged up to two days earlier than those who can’t see nature from their beds. Bringing some of nature’s beauty inside, like cut flowers or a potted plant, can be an instant mood booster.

Let the beauty, serenity, delicious food and compassionate people at OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas reinforce positive emotions during your one, two or three-week stay. Take advantage of Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special offers through the week beginning 9-10-17. Visit our website at , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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