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Explore the use of colors through string painting at Moffitt's Arts in Medicine Program. Your artwork can be taken home or brought into the inpatient room so the colors can be observed every day.

The world is full of color, and like everyone else, you have your own likes and dislikes. You may have noticed that certain colors can alter your mood. What you may not realize, though, is that color can affect you subconsciously as well.

In many cultures, color is used to promote health and wellness. For instance, some practitioners of feng shui and acupuncture incorporate the use of color in the form of gemstones, candles, fabrics and prisms. This practice, which is known as chromotherapy, is a form of alternative medicine that uses color and light to restore imbalances in an individual’s physical, mental, emotional or spiritual energy.

How different colors can impact your well-being

Different colors can produce different physical, emotional and psychological effects. While some colors are calming, others are stimulating. Surrounding yourself with appropriate colors can help you harness their unique benefits, such as stress reduction. Consider the potential effects of some common colors:

  • Red – An exciting and stimulating color, red is often associated with passion and can be used to lift your spirits when you experience an emotional slump.
  • Pink – A soft and tranquil color, pink can inspire a calming sense of peace and balance.
  • Orange – Similar to red, orange is an intense and stimulating color that can make you feel invigorated.
  • Yellow – Softer than red and orange, but still sunny and cheerful, yellow can both improve your mood and counteract stress.
  • Green – Quiet and restful, green is a soothing color that can invite harmony and diffuse anxiety.
  • Blue – A highly peaceful color, blue can be especially helpful for stress management because it can encourage a powerful sense of calm.
  • Purple – In many cultures, shades of violet represent strength, wisdom and peace. Purple can invoke a tranquil feeling that helps reduce stress.
  • White – Symbolic of purity and freshness, bright white can inspire mental clarity (on the other hand, dull white can cloud your emotions).
  • Black – An elegant color that can represent power or submission depending on the circumstances, black should be used carefully because it can encourage either extreme.

Learn more about the Arts in Medicine Program.