We've all heard the term "seeing red," right? After a frustrating experience with technology over the weekend caused me to literally see red, I decided to research the origin of the phrase! I found a couple of possible sources—one linked to bullfighting, and another that draws from the state of heightened emotion in which blood rises and we become angry. Both make sense to varying degrees. Also, the color red—aside from blood—evokes images of fire, passion, love, energy, and desire. Red can be an intense color, and it’s one that typically gets attention—hence the color chosen for stop signs! I’ve heard that owners of red cars tend to get more speeding tickets than any other color. I wonder if that’s because the car draws more attention to the police or just because owners of red cars tend to speed. Hmm.
Once you’ve seen red, how do you calm down? Can color make a difference? Let’s look at some other colors and what they mean:
Out of the Blue
What does blue signify? Think about what’s blue in nature—the sea and the sky. Blue is therefore often associated with depth, stability, water, and cleanliness. All calming thoughts. When we say we have “the blues,” however, we’re not talking about any of those qualities! Blue, of course, also symbolizes sorrow.
It’s Not Easy Being Green
As red’s opposite, green typically denotes safety, harmony, growth, fertility, and freshness. We also describe newbies, people who don’t have a great deal of experience in something, as “green.” Because it’s found abundantly in nature, green can easily evoke a sense of peace.
Purple Mountains Majesty
We’ve talked a lot about essential oils and how their properties can facilitate calm and relaxation, but does their color have any affect? Let’s look at lavender. Of course, we love lavender—the color, the herb, and especially the essential oil—and we love purple! Symbolizing power, nobility, luxury, extravagance, creativity, and wisdom, purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. It’s a color possessing a great deal of feminine energy but a favorite of about 75 percent of all children. “Purple mountains majesty” are heralded in America the Beautiful , but mountains aren’t really purple, are they?
Lavender essential oil certainly promotes calm. It also reduces inflammation. If you find yourself seeing red to the point of your blood pressure rising, inflammation can certainly occur. Rub a good amount of lavender essential oil over your heart, at your temples, and on your wrists to minimize the effects of stress and reduce that inflammation.
The color brown—while not generally considered a particularly sexy color—denotes qualities of earthiness, stability, and masculinity. Cedar wood is brown, and it just happens to be another essential oil known for promoting calm and restful sleep. Massage a couple of drops between your eyebrows, on your temples, and on your cheekbones.
Another essential oil that combines purple and brown (perhaps a good balance of feminine and masculine energy!) is vetiver. Similar to cedar wood, vetiver has a strong, earthy aroma. The combination of these two (like in our Cedarwood with Amyris and Vetiver Premium Lotion) can ease tension and stress. Vetiver has a unique property of promoting relaxed productivity.
Whether you’re seeing red, experiencing a case of the blues, green with envy, or tickled pink, colors are significant and can both describe and influence our moods. Find a powerful combination of color and scent and you’ll be back in black in no time.
What are you feeling right now? Is there a color that represents your mood? Tell us about it!