How to use colours to help you thrive

By Noah Goldhirsh,
updated on Sep 23, 2023

How to use colours to help you thrive

Discover the ways colours can allow you to find balance and prosperity in your life

Have you ever considered that the colours in our world might be able to help us balance and live our lives in the best way possible? For thousands of years, humanity has been using colour for diagnosis and treatment – through food and drink, clothing, and healing stones, to name a few. And the best part is it can be both easy, and free, by simply making the most of the beneficial properties of each of the colours when we need them.

Sleep and the colour blue

Ask yourself: am I sleeping enough? Most of us try to get as much as possible done throughout the day, and, as a result, are awake for longer and longer hours. We do this even though we know that when we allow ourselves to get a good night’s rest we feel our best, and achieve our goals more easily.

Blue is considered to be a colour that can help us relax and therefore improve sleep, with a study by the University of Surrey and Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf finding 30 minutes’ exposure to blue light can even lower our blood pressure – reportedly equivalent to or more than the effect of some blood pressure lowering medications.

I’ve seen the powerful effects blue can have with a patient of mine, a woman in her 50s who had sleeping problems and felt her life was “stuck”. We did her personal wheel of colours (my book shows you how) and discovered that blue, which is linked to intuition, spirituality, and the ability to relax and sleep peacefully, was her main colour. When she started using blue in a practical way – in her clothing and her house – she was able to listen to her inner voice, sleep better, and take action to change her life.


Energy and the colour red

On the other hand, what can we do when we have trouble getting up in the morning, or when we feel tired and without energy? In such situations, we can use the colour red, which, in psychology, is associated with strong emotions – whether that be passion, strength, and confidence, or impulsivity and anger. One study, published in the journal Emotions, found that red can increase the speed and strength of your reactions, as it is a colour we associate with needing to be alert (think of red traffic lights and warning signs). However, it should be noted that this boost in alertness may be short-lived, and could be accompanied by feelings of worry, so be cautious how you use it.

Balance and natural green

Is there a colour that benefits us all? Absolutely! Green found in nature can help us be more balanced, improve our health, and encourage our growth and renewal processes. A 2016 study in Environmental Health Perspectives actually found that women who live in or near green spaces had a longer life expectancy, and improved mental health!

This colour can be brought into our lives with the help of food such as green leaves, by placing green and healthy potted plants in our homes and workplaces, and by spending time in nature.


The power of orange

Bringing more orange into your life could work wonders, with a 2020 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General finding it’s associated with enthusiasm, and considered bright and uplifting. Beyond mood, you could give your immune system a boost by eating oranges, which are high in vitamin C.

Emotions and pink

Of all the colours, pink has suffered the most from stigma and gender association. However, over the years, I have discovered that it works with every person in a wonderful way, and can help us relax and treat various emotional problems.

A man in his 30s who came to me for help was unable to find a relationship due to difficult events in his childhood, about which he refused to talk. When he saw a large pink rose quartz stone on my desk he was very attracted to it, and asked for my permission to keep it in his pocket for a week. On his next visit, he told me that during that week he had felt his heart open, and he finally allowed himself to talk about his past, deal with his feelings, and let himself heal from past traumas.


Deep thinking and the colour black

Unlike pink, black is considered a ‘classic’ colour which tends to suit everyone, and most of us wear black items of clothing. Black is considered to be a very spiritual colour, which encourages deep thinking and introspection, but it can also make us withdraw into ourselves, so we should use it wisely.

The full spectrum

The use of the entire spectrum of colours in the food we eat, in our clothes, in our jewellery, and our personal spaces allows us to enjoy their beneficial properties in an immediate and optimal way. So perhaps try to find out your personal wheel of colours, as shown in my book, to find out which ones support you best. But, whichever they are, just try to bring more colour into your life, and enjoy the vibrant rewards.


Noah Goldhirsh’s book, ‘The Power of Colors’, which is part of The Power of Alternative Medicine Trilogy, is available now (Hammersmith Books, £18.99).

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