How Do You See Color?

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HOW YOU SEE COLOR IS HOW YOU USE COLOR, so if you want color to be mind-blowing, you’re going to have to use your mind! Obvious, right? Sometimes what’s right in front of you is the hardest thing to focus on. When we’re being mindless, we only see color with our eyes, but when we’re mindful, we feel color with all of our senses!

I was recently talking to a senior-facility owner about the benefits of color on emotion and memory and ways we could apply these ideas in a practical way. The owner said that he could see the benefit of adding color as long as a “crazy” color like red wasn’t used because the seniors needed to feel calm.

I looked around at the painfully beige walls that surrounded us.“You mean sedated?” I wanted to ask.

Instead, to prove that red wasn’t going to make anybody crazy I whipped out a picture of a beautiful sunset on my phone and asked him how it made him feel. He said there was nothing more contemplative than a beautiful sunset. He said it made him feel “peaceful and serene.”

“Mind-blowing, right?” I asked him.

“Yes, mind-blowing!” he replied.

“Now, imagine someone saying to you that the reds in the sunset were ‘crazy’ and they needed to be taken out.”

Why would red beneficial to Seniors? Well, this depends on how it’s mindfully used. Red can be peaceful in sunsets, cheery in red geraniums, or significant on a fire hydrant. Imagining the color red in a sunset enabled him to both think and feel the color in his mind. This allowed him to get past personal associations with the color red and his inability to see how it can be used in peaceful, contemplative ways.

Red stimulates the adrenal glands and generates feelings of energy or threat, depending on the intensity or amount. But, when used in conjunction with repetitive or detail-oriented tasks, it actually enhances performance. Red can be calming in a sunset, just as it can be exciting in a blooming geranium, or even glaring on a firetruck. It all depends on the context. The benefits of color-coordination on memory and emotion are fascinating!

How you use color, and even the specific shade you use, is just as important as the color itself. With the right shade and proper use, red can be delightfully calming for a senior center, just like a sunset.

So, hey! Senior Living Facility owners! If you still have to believe it to see it, it’s time for that miracle to start happening.

Shouldn’t we make our endings as colorful as our beginnings?

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