Feng Shui Your Home Reprint from Wellness Times
By Melaina Juntti
You go, go, go from morning until night. To maintain your sanity, you have to be able to wind down and tune out once you return home after an action-packed day. But in today’s world of smartphones and Facebook, it’s tough to relax and let the world’s hubbub melt away.
To help check workplace and other stressors at your front door, experts say you should make sure your home is a place you like to be. Do your living quarters evoke calm and allow you to rest and recharge? Or are they cluttered and chaotic, just like everything you’re trying to escape? If the latter is more akin to your abode, it may be time to feng shui your home.
An ancient Chinese design philosophy, feng shui—which translates literally to “wind” and “water”—purports that balancing the energy, or chi, of a living space and its inhabitants greatly enhances well-being.
“You want a constant, mutual interaction between your chi and that of your environment—each constantly affects and shapes the other,” says Sherry Ways, a feng shui expert and principal of Kreative Ways & Solutions, a Washington, D.C.–based interior design firm.
According to feng shui principles, elements such as colors, sounds and symbols of nature—along with how you arrange furniture and other items—are instrumental in creating a pleasing indoor environment.
Although scientific evidence backing feng shui’s health benefits is lacking, its supporters swear by the benefits of balanced chi. “When you inhabit a living space that has healthy chi, your own life force is enhanced and preserved,” Ways says.
Here’s how to feng shui your home into a healthier, calm-inducing place.
De-clutter your space
Clutter is a primary obstacle to positive chi. Whether it’s an ever-mounting pile of mail or a shelf full of disorganized, dust-caked CDs, clutter constantly reminds you that you’ve left something—or several things—unfinished. The result? For many, anxiety and restlessness, feng shui experts say.
So straighten up messes, stow away or get rid of infrequently used items and don’t let your kids drop their backpacks in the doorway. Ways suggests you also fix any damaged items in your sight lines.
“If you have broken windows, pipes, vases, anything, chi circulates and then sits there,” she says. “This has the same negative effect as clutter because it does nothing to uplift the space or its occupants—it’s negative feng shui.”
Choose calming colors
Research shows different colors evoke different feelings. “Colors vibrate at various electromagnetic frequencies, which can make people feel either energetically harmonious or dissonant,” Ways says.
According to feng shui, bright reds and yellows can cause agitation and anxiety, while blues, purples and greens are calming. Therefore, Ways recommends painting walls and decorating with cool shades to create a stress-squashing interior.
“Green stimulates feelings of harmony, peace, hope, growth and healing,” she says. “Blue is excellent for bedrooms and rooms where meditation is practiced, and purples are equally soothing because they’re tied to psychic awareness and intuition.”
“To achieve balance within a room, incorporate each of the five Chinese elements: earth, fire, metal, water and wood,” Ways says. “These can be represented through textures, shapes and colors.” For instance, to personify water without literally bringing it in, she suggests incorporating dark, shiny, reflective surfaces and fabrics with wave-like patterns.”
Symbols of nature provoke inner harmony and allow you to achieve your desired mood. To cultivate calm, complement a predominantly blue living room with sand-colored throw pillows or an end table fashioned from unfinished wood. Plants, too, bring life and positive chi to a room—just avoid ones with spiky stalks and leaves, which can engender chaotic energy.