Nature is filled with beauty, and color plays a huge role in what attracts us to it. Nature’s hues can trigger a sense of awe and wonder in us. Some colors make us feel more energetic and happy like yellow, orange, and red. There are also incredible combinations of colors found in nature that wow us, such as peacocks, parrots, and some types of fish like the emperor angelfish and rainbow parrotfish.
We can also find calm by gazing at nature. In fact, the most calming colors stem from nature. Creams, tans, pale blues, and pale greens help create a quiet atmosphere. According to color psychology experts, blue calms the mind and body, lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. It also minimizes feelings of anxiety and aggression and creates a sense of well-being.
Interestingly enough, blue is overwhelmingly chosen as a favorite color by people around the world. The color green promotes a serene and calming environment and is associated with health, healing, and well-being; soothes the body and mind; and reduces anxiety. Neutral colors—tan, beige, ecru, cream, light brown, taupe, and gray—manifest an organic, earthy feeling.
Mindfulness Color Activities
Color is all around us, but how often do we simply stop to enjoy it? We can help our kids enjoy the many colors found in nature by practicing mindfulness. Here are some simple ways for your family to be more mindful by enjoying nature’s colors:
- Go on a walk or bike ride and take time to look at and discuss the attractive colors you find all around in nature.
- Visit a garden or flower shop and soak in the beauty of the colorful flowers and plants.
- Observe the many colorful foods in your vegetable garden, at the grocery store, or right inside your refrigerator.
- Draw or paint a picture of a vivid nature scene.
- Focus on the colors around you as you relax in your sit spot, a favorite place in nature to visit regularly to cultivate awareness of your surroundings as you expand your senses and observe local plants, birds, animals, and other nature elements.
Nature Color Meditation
You can also guide your kids in some fun nature meditations using color. I once took a restorative yoga class in which the teacher led us in a beautiful, relaxing color meditation. She asked us to envision natural dust in different shades that coordinated with our chakras, which are the wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven chakras from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. To give you a sense, purple is for the top of our head, green is for our heart, and red is for our root or the bottom of our body.
During that meditation, I became totally immersed in the visuals within my mind. The teacher asked us to sense the smell and temperature of each color. Red felt warm to me and yellow smelled like lemons. Imagine what your kids will experience when they try it!
Here are some activities to bring nature’s colors into your family’s meditation time:
- Think how each color corresponds to a fruit and how that fruit tastes, smells, and feels.
- Visually paint or draw a picture in your mind using a variety of colors. Try painting a rainbow or a nature scene with a yellow sun, green tree, blue pond, etc.
- Link each color to a flower and imagine smelling each one. What does a red rose or a yellow sunflower smell like? You could enhance this practice by using essential oils.
- Try the Rainbow Breath meditation, which asks us to breathe in each color and provides an emotion to feel along with each one.
- Practice a nature lovingkindness meditation by focusing specifically on the colors of the natural elements where you are sending your love.
As you can see, adding mindfulness color activities focused on nature into your children’s day will not only help calm them down, but it will also open up their world and stimulate their curiosity and creativity.
Sandi Schwartz is an author, journalist, and mother of two. As the founder and director of the Ecohappiness Project, her mission is to inspire and educate families to build a natural habit to feel happier and calmer. Both her parenting book, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, and children’s book, Sky’s Search for Ecohappiness, are available now. Learn more at www.ecohappinessproject.com.
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