Colour and your Health

by Anna Perretta

Ways to use colour to improve your life.

Colour plays an important role in my workplace. I work in a hospital and two floors underground. There are no windows and no natural light. The atmosphere is dreary and depressing. Worse yet, is that our patients are suffering either a form of cancer or a dementia type of disease. Our patients are sad and depressed as it is, let alone come to a place for 2-3 hours and feel even worse, staring at lifeless surroundings. The dullness of the plain white walls and dreary dark carpet, there wasn’t anything to brighten up these individuals (or staff), even for a little while.

After speaking with Management, we introduced fresh flowers and landscapes on the walls. We chose the bright and boldest of colours to fill the vase, bright yellow, pinks and oranges even the purest of white. In our waiting room, they were a sight for sore eyes.

On the walls, we had landscapes of country sides and oceans. Vivid green grass, the sharpest of blue skies and the brightest rays of sunshine, you were drawn to the colours; they were dragging you into the picture. Myself, I was taken away by these landscapes. I often escaped to the ocean, feeling the golden sand under my feet, the fresh breeze of the oceans and the warmest rays of the sun. I was no longer working underground; I was in a faraway place, a long way away from the office.

The colours were uplifting, relaxing and calming; it was amazing the effect just two pictures had in a waiting room full of sick people, and not to mention the staff. There was no longer a feeling of sadness; it was a feeling of life, serenity, contentment. Disease was able to be forgotten for a short time, they were able to go to that special place, whether it was the ocean or the country side.

We also added landscapes on the roof of each scanning room. As patients listened to their choice of relaxing music, lying on the scanning machine bed, they were able to stare up at the landscapes and again loose themselves for a moment, imagining a happy place, free of disease, pain and sorrow. It made the experience a little less daunting and more calming and soothing.
For me personally, the landscapes and flowers kept me sane and alive. I was no longer lingering on the notion that I was underground for eight hours every day. When I had a free moment I was away in a faraway land, one day at the beach, another day in the country side. The bright colours took you away for a place where you were free, alive. I was able to arrive home in a happy, relaxed and calm state, not a dull, depressed and sad state, like I used to when my day felt like it would never end.

Colour plays a vital role in my workplace, bringing joy, serenity, calmness, to what used to be sad, depressing and dull. It is now uplifting, a sign of hope, even if it is for a short time. The staff benefit from the pictures on walls and in the tearooms, we’re able to break free and run like the wind in our imaginations. Colours bring life and vitality to all that truly believe and allow themselves to be taken away by all its beauty.

Anna Perretta

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