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Dress for Healing: How Color Psychology Can Boost Your Mood

We may not always feel happy when healing from cancer, but smiling and wearing an influential color can help.
PUBLISHED June 04, 2018
Tamera Anderson-Hanna is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Addiction Professional, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and became a Registered Yoga Teacher while coping with breast cancer in 2015. She owns Wellness, Therapy, & Yoga in Florida where she provides personal wellness services and coaching and she is a public speaker on wellness-related topics. You can connect with her at
Recently, we have been experiencing several weeks of almost constant rain in South Florida. The sky has been grey, dark and gloomy. It has disrupted normal routines like going outside to enjoy something as simple as a walk or gentle run. This reminds me of when I could hardly get out and move around when healing from cancer. But carefully choosing what I wear has made a difference. To boost my mood, I have purposely been trying to wear bright and cheerful colors and prints, while avoiding darker colors.

The colors we choose to wear and surround ourselves with can make us feel better. It is suggested that colors can influence mood. Color psychology considers how color influences behavior, mood and stress levels. What do you think of when you think of green or blue? I know when I think of yellow, I related it to feelings or thoughts of joy, positive energy and vibrancy. I encourage you to think about how color can help in your healing. When I need to rest or relax, I prefer more calming colors and soothing textures and will stay away from bright colors, but if I feel I need a boost of energy or something to uplift my mood, I choose a bright color.

Maybe even having a colorful water bottle and combining it with an inspirational quote can also help to offer a mental boost. I have had clients who share with me that prior to getting chemotherapy or other treatments, they name their medication. To me, this seems to have a similar effect. Giving your medication a healing name can potentially be as effective as wearing a pleasant color you think could positively influence your mood. We may not always feel happy when healing from cancer, but smiling and wearing an influential color can help.

I also use this approach with clients when discussing imagery or personal affirmations. Once you pick a personal affirmation such as "I am healing," or "I am healthy," I ask what color could be associated with it. Many of my clients choose yellow or green when they think of healing. I may then lead them through a meditation or guided yoga nidra session, where they focus on their affirmation and color for healing.

But even if you don't believe in yoga or meditation, you can still be influenced by color. Consider your wardrobe and attempt to bring some colors or positive textures into what you are wearing. Maybe even take it as far as wearing the bright scarf on your head and red lipstick. Be vibrant while healing to see what impact it might have on your health, wellness and mood.
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