November 16, 2015
Stop lights, warning labels, poisonous berries…
It’s no surprise that red is generally considered to be a “negative” color. It’s even rumored that red cars get more speeding tickets, as they stick out like a sore thumb and are easy to track down. And let’s not forget that red hair is associated with fiery tempers. It’s definitely the color in the ROYGBIV spectrum that grabs your attention. Director M. Night Shyamalan has even been known to throw the color into important scenes in his dramatic films, using the hue as a sort of figurative exclamation point.
So what’s the truth behind this intense color? Although I wouldn’t recommend painting your living room fire-engine red, there are definitely plenty of ways that you can use red tones to improve your health.
Red represents love, strength, and vitality. Overall, it’s a very strong, passionate, aggressive color. When displayed on a coat of arms, for instance, it can indicate courageous warrior energy. After all, the planet Mars, named after the God of War, bears a cardinal hue.
Red can also affect the nervous system, stimulate the senses, and increase blood pressure and temperature. It acts as an energizer for the circulatory system, and, overall, is a natural stimulant.
People who are quick to anger are advised to avoid reds, as it can further agitate their heated nature. It’s likely that people who are timid will either avoid this color (for fear of either standing out and/or embracing their warrior energy) or crave it (in a subconscious attempt to channel that energy).
The color red is associated with the root chakra, which is located at the base of the spine. Red vibrates at a very low frequency, which corresponds to the activities and characteristics of the base chakra. This is a very primal energy that’s all about survival, as well as the fears that are associated with survival (such as money and shelter issues). When we lack energy in this area, we’re prone to succumb to these fears of survival and well-being.
It’s best to incorporate reds in subtle but powerful ways – such as wearing a piece of garnet jewelry, placing red candles around your home, or even eating more red fruits and veggies. If you’re intent on painting, try decking out your bedroom; arguably the most ideal room to blast with passionate energy.
This article is part one in a seven-article series about color theory. I’ll be discussing orange next week, so stay tuned!
This article (Color Theory Series: Red) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Marisa Brenizer and Era of Wisdom.org.