A Splash of Colour
It’s nearly time to start a new week and this week we are thinking “colour”.
This particular little tip that I’m going to share with you, has helped me so much throughout my life and although it is very easy and feels that there’s not much to it, it’s a brilliant little exercise that you can use at any time of the day you just have to see it, to feel it.Many years ago, during drama school (a very dark and stressful time), I was experiencing regular feelings of fear, anxiety and stress. This was mainly due to the fact that I missed being at home and in part due to other relationships I had at the time. I was struggling to manage my feelings and how these would then manifest themselves in my every day activity. I became a little anxious about things that, looking back, I was making up in my head, based in part, on things I couldn’t control or things that I felt were somehow different to the reality.
I knew that I needed to change something and so I went to visit a qualified personal coach. Although I’d never worked with a coach before, I knew some people who had done this and how well it had worked for them, so I gave it a go. We spent the first hour talking through the problems, feelings and situations I was facing which settled me into the session and made me feel at ease with her. She then went on to talk through ways that I could help myself that I could use regularly after the session with her. One of the things she taught me was one of the first things I am going to share with you.
The first exercise she asked me do was to think of times in my life where things had gone really well or felt particularly positive. I was then asked to attach a colour, any colour in the world that made me feel happier than I was in that very moment to how I felt during those good times. At first I was a little confused as I wasn’t sure how it was going to help me, and I guess you are thinking the same….
Well, have you thought of your colour?
Think back to a time that was positive in your life, it could be a moment in time, an achievement, watching someone else do something great… anything that makes you feel a million dollars. Keep hold of that feeling.
Now, with the colour that you’ve thought of (again, a colour you can associate with being positive) imagine your colour as an aura around that feeling.
My colour was yellow. I am not sure why the colour came to my head, maybe because it’s bright and happy and for some reason it makes me feel safe, but that’s the colour that I thought of immediately, and the colour that has stayed with me since.
When thinking of this colour, she made me close my eyes and find a positive feeling to associate with it. I had to make sure this came from within, and that I could actually physically feel the feeling inside my body – happy, safe, content, any of these feelings, but I had to make sure I felt inside and when I did I had to think about the colour yellow.
So now let’s have a go at the exercise. It’s your turn. Have you thought of your colour and a situation that made you feel happy inside?
Here we go…
I want you to close your eyes and see your colour – bright and vividly in front of you. It could be a shape with the colour inside or the colour could just be floating in the air. Think about how this colour relates to the situation you recall – how it makes you feel – is it happiness, excitement or a feeling of inspiration? Keep that feeling while imagining this bright colour in front of you.
Now, take a big breath in – inhale and imagine the colour flowing through your nostrils and filling your body – exhale and see the colour and the feeling becoming brighter and more intense than ever before and there, right in front of you. Take time to sit and use the inhale and exhale to really picture the colour and to enhance the feeling.
How does that feel?
The mission that she set for me after leaving the session was to look out for anything that was my colour – the colour yellow. The more I looked, the more I saw it: street signs, double yellow lines, sunflowers. Every day it would happen at least three times.
As I looked at the colour yellow I had to take a deep inhale, exhale and remember the feeling I had in the session and then carry on my daily business. What I found was that, the colour and the feelings associated with the colour, were providing me with positive thoughts of reassurance on a regular basis, and by doing that I was unconsciously thinking about my breathing and good thoughts.
Now, here’s the science…
Colour is light and light is energy. Scientists have found that actual physiological changes take place in human beings when they are exposed to certain colours. Colours can stimulate, excite, depress, tranquilize, increase appetite and create a feeling of warmth or coolness.
Our personal and cultural associations affect our experience of colour. Colours are seen as warm or cool mainly because of long-held associations and beliefs. The psychological association of a colour is often more meaningful than the visual experience.
So, this week whilst you are going about your daily business, see if your colour jumps out for you. For the first couple of days maybe even count how many times you see your certain colour, and remember to inhale, exhale and bring your mind back to the colour and the feeling.
Look forward to hearing your experiences and the results!