As a form of self-care, this could involve looking at or handling things in colours you find calming. Anecdotally, people believe that while red promotes anxiety, blue can have a soothing effect. Others say that pink reduces aggression. Because everyone is different, it’s more important just to spend the time with the colours that you find uplifting, whether that's by noticing them in nature or looking at pictures online.
There are also colour therapists, who focus more specifically on the idea that, because light moves in waves of varying lengths, each colour has a different wavelength and therefore we sense them all individually.
Colour therapists believe that different colours in the spectrum can harmonise or rebalance the body’s inner vibrations. A colour therapy session may look at ways certain colours are corresponding to aspects of your life, and invite you to talk about what that may mean.
What young people have told us:
'It made me think about the colours around me and what I found negative and why, then try to focus on the more positive colours.'
'Find something in a colour that you love and train yourself to look at or think of it when you're feeling low.'
'I strongly find the colour orange to be very happy and calming, though this is only because I have a very specific orange object that I love and makes me extremely happy so I don't think this would work for me without such a strong connection to a particular colour.'
'Being surrounded by the colours that I find soothing helps me feel safe, secure and calm. I think it helps because everywhere I look I see my favourite things and favourite colours that remind me of nature.'
There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.
If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.