Lesson 5 - Blue and Green
Putting it into practice
a). Go and play outside. Do this for 30 minutes each day.
b). See a sunrise. Enjoy the morning light, it will lift your mood for the entire day.
Blue and green should often be seen
Immerse in an uplifting physical environment
What we see can trigger instantaneous emotional responses.
The limbic system (limbo) is constantly receiving cues from the sights, sounds and smells other systems in the body detect. This means that the environment we choose to be in affects our emotional state.
There are a number of significant senses:
a). Sight. Signals travel from the retina to the limbic system and then to the Leader group of cells. This means there is an emotional response before we have a thinking response. Scenes of the natural environment exert a positive effect on our emotions in contrast to city scenes, which are associated with stress and perhaps threat. Better performance is observed in people stimulated by the natural environment. The colours influence emotions too. Red is associated with danger and anger. Blue is associated with peaceful and creative emotions.
Countries at high latitudes, where there are short days and poor light, lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder where people may become depressed and even suicidal. Exposure to full sunlight for 30 minutes a day allows a person to feel upbeat emotionally. This is especially true of morning light that has more light of shorter wavelength (blue).
b). Sound. Sound is capable of stimulating a range of emotions (e.g., siren vs. running water). Different types of music influence our emotional state. Music does more than this. It can motivate us (e.g., gymns use music to do just that). Relaxing music calms us down, as before surgery in the dentist’s chair. Music enhances our memory. We can remember the words of many songs in contrast to other memory tasks. Music also alters autonomic body processes. For example, the heart rate and blood pressure can be lowered and the immune system stimulated by the right type of music.
c). Smell and taste. The olfactory nerve at the back of the nose leads directly to the limbic system. Smells are able to bring memories flooding back. Smell is related to taste. We are all aware of the influence of the smell and subsequently the taste of food and its motivating influence. Comfort eating to relieve boredom or depression is a good illustration of the relationship of taste and smell to the emotional state.
The great outdoors is great.
It is no secret that experiences in the natural environment lift us emotionally. This is because the limbic system is wired to the sights, sounds, and smells experienced in these environments. The result of such exposure is a more positive attitude. Individuals are happier. Green areas near our dwelling place, or better still, the ability to observe the natural environment while at home or work has a positive effect. Deprivation, on the other hand, leads to Nature Deficit Disorder. Also, unnatural exposure to long sessions of screen-based devices can lead to depression.
Air quality and the ability to feel the earth or sand of the beach with our feet have a calming influence on us.