If you want to counter anxiety, fears and stress, you just have to surround yourself with objects of color… green! Not only that, also colors such as pink, blue and yellow have been shown to act by relaxing and calming. All thanks to how sight interacts with the nervous system by stimulating the release of hormones such as serotonin, also called the hormone of good mood, and endorphins. This is what emerges from two recent scientific researches. The first research was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by a Japanese team (Takemura et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2021), the second in the Dental Research Journal thanks to the work of Iranian scientists (Rafatjou et al, Dent Res J, 2021).
The green color contrasts anxiety and pain
The first study sought to understand the role of the color green on the emotional state of people subjected to great stress. In the case of the research in question, the stress was represented by the insertion, in the hospital setting, of a peripheral venous catheter in patients who would soon be subjected to other treatments or operations. 24 patients, average age 41 years, and waiting to undergo catheter insertion were recruited for the experiment. The study participants were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to wear normal glasses with clear lenses, the second group glasses with green lenses for a quarter of an hour before the surgery. The levels of anxiety and stress were assessed by measuring salivary amylase, an indicator of stress, and by completing questionnaires. Well, what emerged is that following the surgery, salivary amylase values increased in the group who wore glasses with clear lenses, while no increases were recorded in the group with green glasses. Not only that, the subjective feeling of anxiety and pain was also lower in the group who wore glasses with green lenses.
Blue, pink, green and yellow for fear and anxiety, even in children
The second study investigated the effect of colors on anxiety and stress in children during a visit to the dentist. An oximeter made it possible to assess the levels of stress and anxiety in the children chosen for the study. The volunteers were all on their first visit to the dentist. The researchers set up different environments so that different colors, such as blue, red, black or yellow, prevailed in the furnishings and curtains. Even the colors of the uniforms of dentists and nurses changed according to the environment. What emerged was that the colors blue, pink, yellow and green were associated with the lowest values of anxiety and fear in the young patients. While high levels of anxiety were detected in the presence of colors such as black and red. It is believed that these two colors cause a stimulation by the visual system of the nervous system, which will proceed to the release of cortisol, the stress hormone, and to an increase in blood pressure levels.
Admiring a plant, sitting in the middle of a garden, getting lost in the sky, choosing furnishings or curtains in light colors and shades of green, blue, pink and yellow, are all small gestures that fill life with colors but which can also help us to counteract anxiety, fears, stress and pain. You just have to try!