How Feng Shui Can Make Your Life Great

Life can be great.

Feng Shui is about achieving harmony in your home. Mysticism aside, there is scientific evidence that it positively affects behavior and does improve your life.

Feng Shui Means Wind-Water

Feng Shui in form.

Rooted in Chinese culture, Feng Shui is an art that aims to create harmonious environments to promote well-being, balance, and positive energy. Pronounced “fung shway,” literally translates to “wind-water” in Chinese, signifying the importance of these 2 elements in shaping the flow of energy, or Qi. 

Dating back over 3,000 years, Feng Shui emerged from ancient Chinese wisdom and philosophy. It was first applied to determine good burial sites but soon evolved to encompass all aspects of life, including architecture, interior design, and city planning.

The core belief behind Feng Shui is that the environment we inhabit has a profound impact on our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. By arranging our surroundings in alignment with the principles of Feng Shui, the flow of positive energy is theoretically enhanced, which is said to invite abundance and foster a harmonious atmosphere.

Balancing Energy Is the Basic Principle

Feng Shui in action.

The foundation of Feng Shui lies in the concept of Yin and Yang, two complementary forces that represent what the art perceives as dualities in life. Yin is associated with darkness, passivity, and stillness, while Yang embodies light, activity, and movement. Achieving harmony involves balancing these opposing energies in our spaces.

Feng Shui incorporates five elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water – each associated with specific qualities and attributes. According to the practice, these elements interact with one another, either enhancing or weakening their energies. A well-balanced space includes a thoughtful arrangement of these elements.

Here is a summary of those elements.

  • Wood: Symbolizing growth and vitality, Wood nurtures creativity and new beginnings.
  • Fire: Representing passion and transformation, Fire ignites energy and drives ambition.
  • Earth: Grounding and stabilizing, Earth fosters stability, security, and nourishment.
  • Metal: Reflective and precise, Metal enhances clarity, focus, and efficiency.
  • Water: Fluid and adaptable, Water stimulates intuition, communication, and emotional flow.

The Bagua Map is a fundamental tool in Feng Shui, resembling an octagonal grid that maps out various life aspects, such as wealth, health, relationships, and creativity. Placing the Bagua map over the floor plan of a space helps identify which areas correspond to specific life areas and guides the placement of objects accordingly.

Feng Shui emphasizes the importance of intentional furniture and object placement to optimize the flow of Qi. Clear pathways, clutter-free spaces, and purposeful positioning of furniture enhance energy circulation.

There Is Scientific Evidence For Feng Shui

Studies in science and its findings

While the concepts of Qi and “energy flow” may not be objectively repeatable, there are scientific studies that have explored Feng Shui principles on human behavior and the environment. One study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that participants working in a Feng Shui-designed office reported reduced stress levels and increased job satisfaction compared to those in a conventionally arranged space.

Another study in the journal, Home Cultures, investigated the effects of Feng Shui on sleep quality. The results indicated that participants who slept in bedrooms adhering to Feng Shui principles reported better sleep and improved overall well-being.

Some Proof Supports Claims To Harmonize Energy

Objects symbolizing energy and harmony

At the core of Feng Shui lies the concept of Qi (pronounced “chee”), often referred to as life force or energy. Qi is believed to be the invisible energy that permeates everything in the universe, including our living spaces. The primary objective of Feng Shui is to harness and optimize the flow of Qi within our surroundings to promote balance, prosperity, and overall harmony.

Though not directly provable, there does appear to be related evidence in agreement with those claims. 

Studies have shown that environments containing sharp or angular objects can evoke feelings of tension, anxiety, and unease. A research study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology (1988) investigated the psychological effects of different types of architectural design elements. The study found that spaces with sharp or angular designs were more likely to induce negative emotional responses compared to smoother and more rounded environments.

Confining and crowded spaces can lead to feelings of claustrophobia and psychological distress. A study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, published in the journal Science (2015), found that spatial constraints can impact cognitive functioning and emotional states. Participants in a cluttered and confined environment showed increased stress levels and reduced cognitive performance compared to those in more open and spacious settings.

Inadequate or poor lighting can have detrimental effects on mood and mental health. A research study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology (2016) examined the impact of light exposure on well-being. The study found that individuals exposed to natural light during the day reported better mood, improved sleep quality, and reduced symptoms of depression compared to those exposed to artificial lighting.

Cluttered environments can contribute to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. A study conducted by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute (2011) investigated the effects of visual clutter on the brain. The study found that visual clutter in the environment competes for the brain’s processing resources, leading to increased stress and reduced ability to concentrate and relax.

While not explicitly identifying the outcomes as a result of how Qi is used, or referencing energies in particular, the studies do demonstrate measurable effects environments do have on human well-being. It could be interpreted that the energies mentioned in Feng Shui are psychological responses.

Effective Feng Shui Comes From Understanding Where To Put Your Things

Out of place and worried.

According to the practice, strategic placement of furniture and objects is vital in promoting the smooth flow of Qi throughout a space.

Clutter and obstacles are said to obstruct Qi, leading to stagnation and disharmony. Open pathways and thoughtfully arranged furniture are said to facilitate the circulation of positive energy.

Positioning the bed, desk, or dining table in a “commanding position” — a spot that allows you to see the entrance and provides a sense of security— is a common Feng Shui practice. Moreover, using mirrors in certain ways can enhance the perception of space and supposedly amplify positive energy.

The Bagua Map acts as a blueprint to align your home’s spaces with different life aspects. The octagonal grid is superimposed over the floor plan, with each section representing an essential life area such as wealth, health, love, and career.

By identifying which life aspect corresponds to a specific area of the space, practitioners can make targeted adjustments to influence aspects of that life positively. For instance, placing a water feature in the “Wealth” area can symbolize the flow of abundance, while using earthy colors in the “Health” area of the home is claimed to promote well-being and vitality.

Feng Shui, Like Any Tool, Needs To Know What You Want

Not understanding what you want.

While Feng Shui is arguably rooted in mystical practice, there is a growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that performing Feng Shui can improve various aspects of our lives. However, when combined with specific goals or intentions, the effects can be even more profound.

Without Intention or Focus, Your Life Still Gets Better

According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers found that individuals who implemented Feng Shui experienced reduced stress, increased overall well-being, and reported higher levels of life satisfaction compared to those who did not incorporate these principles into their lives. This suggests that aligning our surroundings with the principles of Feng Shui can have a significant impact on our emotional and psychological well-being.

According to another study published in the journal Behavioral Sleep Medicine, participants who incorporated Feng Shui in their bedrooms experienced improved sleep quality and duration. By creating a peaceful and balanced environment, stress levels decrease, promoting better sleep patterns.

In Knowing What You Want, Feng Shui Becomes A Tool To Help You

A well-organized and balanced environment can positively influence our cognitive abilities, including productivity and creativity. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology demonstrated that participants working in an office designed with Feng Shui principles reported increased productivity, improved concentration, and enhanced problem-solving skills. 

By arranging our workspace with intention, we can optimize our mental capacity and achieve better results.

Intention is a powerful force that can amplify the effects of Feng Shui. Setting specific goals and intentions while applying Feng Shui principles has been known to attract opportunities. This phenomenon has been known as the Law of Attraction, which suggests that like attracts like. 

Though there are no peer-reviewed scientific studies that have directly validated the Law of Attraction, some research in psychology and neuroscience discovered interesting connections. Studies have shown that maintaining a positive outlook can have benefits, such as reduced stress levels and enhanced resilience. Individuals who approach challenges with optimism and positive thinking tend to be more likely to seek out opportunities and take actions that could lead to positive outcomes. 

Social psychology research has demonstrated the existence of self-fulfilling prophecies, wherein individuals’ beliefs and expectations about themselves or others can lead them to act in ways that align with those beliefs, thus influencing outcomes. This concept aligns with the idea that our thoughts and attitudes can influence our actions and, consequently, the results we experience.

If Over 40, Using Feng Shui Can Make You Feel Younger

Young and full of energy.

After the age of 40, people may experience various physical, emotional, and lifestyle-related challenges. While everyone is different and not everyone will encounter all of these issues, some common problems you may face are declining physical fitness, weight gain, joint pain and stiffness, menopause, erectile dysfunction, memory, and cognitive changes, sleep disturbances, emotional challenges, and midlife crises.

Some experts believe that Feng Shui can have positive effects on our health and well-being, especially for those after 40.

According to a study by Forbes, creating an environmental sanctuary for the body to rest, relax, and restore allows the limbic system to reset, as well as the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems to become balanced. This can lower chronic stress, which can lead to better blood sugar balance, a stronger immune system, lower depression and anxiety, and improved sleep quality.

Stress is one of the major causes of many diseases and disorders, especially for people over 40.

Stress can affect your immune system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, and mental health. Feng shui can help you create a more peaceful and harmonious environment that can lower your stress levels and calm your mind. 

For example, you can use soothing colors such as blue or green, add natural elements such as plants or water features, or declutter your space to reduce visual noise and distractions.

The Better You Feel, The More You Experience The Kind Of Life You Want

Live life unafraid.

As the saying goes, “Life begins at 40,” and it couldn’t be truer. In another article I address whether or not life is over after 40, touching upon similar subjects.

While some may approach this age with trepidation, there are numerous advantages and benefits that come with reaching this stage in life. It’s a time of self-discovery, newfound confidence, and a chance to embrace the joys that come with experience and maturity. 

By the time you reach 40, you’ve likely encountered a plethora of life experiences, both triumphs and challenges.

These experiences contribute to a greater level of self-awareness, helping you better understand your strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. With this newfound emotional intelligence, you can navigate relationships with more empathy and compassion, leading to deeper connections with family, friends, and colleagues.

You’ve likely faced various challenges, made mistakes, and celebrated accomplishments. This wealth of wisdom and experience allows you to approach new situations with a calmer demeanor, making better-informed decisions and guiding others through their journeys.

Incorporating Feng Shui principles into your living and working spaces can significantly impact your emotional well-being and improve your health. By cultivating harmonious environments, you uplift your spirit.

Research has shown that there is a strong link between our emotional well-being and our physical health.

When we feel better emotionally, our bodies respond positively, and our immune system functions more efficiently. This means that when we take care of our mental health, we are also contributing to a healthy mind and body. The better we feel, the easier it is to face challenges, tackle tasks, and accomplish more in our daily lives.

We become more focused, alert, and better able to concentrate on our tasks. This heightened focus leads to increased productivity, allowing us to complete tasks more efficiently and with greater accuracy. Positive emotions open up our minds to new possibilities and alternative solutions. When we feel better, our brain becomes more flexible and creative, leading to innovative approaches to problem-solving. 

Additionally, a positive mindset reduces anxiety and fear, allowing us to think more clearly and objectively when faced with obstacles. 

It allows us to really enjoy life.

Until the next time, cheers!

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