How To Use The 5 Feng Shui Elements Better

The five elements represented in Feng Shui.

Like with color and furniture placement, evidence supports the use of 5 Feng Shui elemental factors as a foundational guide that improves your life.

The 5 Elements of Feng Shui Provide Direction For Furniture Placement And Color Application

Feng Shui is a philosophical system that helps harmoniously arrange your environment through the arrangement and orientation of objects, such as furniture and surrounding space. 

The foundation of the system is comprised of 5 elements that are considered fundamental forces in nature. These forces have specific qualities and interactions that are said to produce specific results. Each element is associated with several colors, shapes, and seasons meant for specific areas of the home.

Those elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. 

The Wood Element Is Associated With Growth

The wood element represented by brown and green.

The Wood element symbolizes growth, vitality, and flexibility. It is associated with the color green and represents plants, trees, and other wooden objects. It is also tied to shapes that are columnar and rectangular. The Wood element is also considered to be an aspect of the Spring season. 

Feng Shui claims that incorporating the Wood element can promote creativity, personal growth, and a sense of renewal. This element is traditionally located in the Family / Wealth area of the home, as defined by a Bagua Map.

The Fire Element Represents Passion And Transformation

Fire representing red and orange for passion.

The Fire element is said to be that of passion, enthusiasm, and transformation. It is associated with the color red and is represented by actual fire, candles, or electric lights. Fire is believed to bring warmth, energy, and inspiration into a space, making it an ideal element for enhancing motivation and ambition. Triangular and pointy shapes tend to represent this element, as does the Summer season.

The Fire element is said to be best used in the Fame area of the home.

The Earth Element Is Linked With Stability And Nourishment

Brown colors are for the earth element, being grounded.

The Earth element represents stability, nourishment, and grounding. It is associated with the colors brown and yellow and is represented by earthy materials such as clay, ceramics, or stones. Flat and square shapes are representative of this element. Incorporating the Earth element in your surroundings is supposed to create a sense of stability, balance, and connection with the natural world. Seasonally, it represents transitions from one season to the next.

The Health / Knowledge / Partnerships area of the home is generally where the Earth element is located.

The Metal Element Is Tied To Efficiency And Clarity

Silver representation for knowledge and thinking.

The Metal element symbolizes clarity, precision, and efficiency. It is associated with the colors white and gray and is represented by metallic objects or materials, often circular or spherical. Metal is believed to promote mental sharpness, focus, and organization. It can also be used to introduce a sense of elegance and sophistication to a space. The Autumn season is represented by this element.

According to most Feng Shui. the Helpful People / Children area of the home is where the Metal element is to be located.

The Water Element Represents Abundance And Flow

Blue for abundance and creativity.

The Water element represents flow, abundance, and purification. It is associated with the colors blue and black and is represented by actual water, mirrors, or reflective surfaces. The principle claims that water enhances the flow of energy, promotes relaxation, and attracts wealth and abundance. It can also symbolize clarity and adaptability. The winter season is tied to this element.

According to a Bagua Map, the Water element is best used in the Career area of the home.

There Is Science Supporting The 5 Elements Of Feng Shui

In Feng Shui, the 5 elements are derived from observations of the natural world and its various components. For example, Wood represents trees and plants, Fire symbolizes sunlight and warmth, Earth signifies soil and stability, Metal represents minerals and rocks, and Water represents rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water. Proponents argue that these elements and their qualities can be harnessed to create balance and harmony in living spaces.

There are scientific studies that support how the environment affects behavior. Further studies also demonstrate the positive effects of being exposed to nature, as the article titled, How Connecting With Nature Affects Our Mental Health. Considering modern life has taken most of us out of the natural world and into an artificial one, Feng Shui can help bridge that gap through the 5 elements.

Psychological research has been conducted that found strong relationships between color, shapes, seasons, and behavior. The National Library of Medicine archives the exploratory paper, Color Psychology: Effects of Perceiving Color on Psychological Functioning in Humans. It describes how colors can affect behavioral conditioning and more. The digital marketing firm, NYX, published an article that explores the mental relationship between shapes and their meaning.

When it comes to seasons, most of the data suggests there are definite emotional connections to the time of year. Positive Psychology describes how Summer is associated with happiness, Autumn with peace, Winter is closer to sadness and despair, and Spring is recovery and growth. 

There Are Psychological Studies That Agree With Feng Shui and The 5 Elements

The study of the mind and how it coincides with Feng Shui.

Interestingly, much if not all of these scientific findings coincide with Feng Shui.

Environmental psychology explores the relationship between individuals and their physical surroundings. It recognizes that the environment we inhabit influences our mood, behavior, and cognitive processes. The 5 Elements align with the principles of environmental psychology by creating a harmonious space that supports well-being. 

For example, research has found the color green, including rectangular shapes, has been closely linked to improving concentration, cognitive functioning, and reducing stress levels. Introducing a Wood element decor, such as plants or wooden furniture, as per Feng Shui’s guidelines, is a way to intentionally bring about those behavioral effects. 

Here is a chart that illustrates the marriage between Feng Shui’s 5 Elements and Psychology.

The five shapes in alignment with Feng Shui Elements

Applying The 5 Elements Enhances The Right Conditions In Your Environment, Which Can Change Your Life After 40

Use energy properly through Feng Shui.

Life after 40 is a time of changes, yet once again. For many, it’s often a negative experience. The National Bureau of Economic Research shares a survey-based research article that demonstrates how most people are unhappiest after 40. Documented biological transformations into the next phase of life also contributes to it. Best Life published 40 Incredible Ways Your Body Changes After 40 describing the effects of those alterations. Generally speaking, most people don’t feel nearly as great as they did 10 years or more ago.

Yet, in contrast, Age And High-Growth Entrepreneurship, a research paper, found that people after the age of 40 are more likely to be successful at new ventures than those many years younger. Why? Accumulated experience and wisdom. 

The problem is the other attributes that come with age interfering with accomplishing meaningful change. The way you feel plays a huge part in how you live your life. The worse your mood, the less likely you’ll be willing to do something for the better.

This is why altering your environment becomes a relatively simple and easy way to turn all that around. Thoughtful uses of color, shapes, and placement, relative to your surroundings, help to generate positive behaviors. The better you feel, the more likely you’ll spend your time achieving your goals.

For a deeper look at colors, you can read that article here.

This is why I like Feng Shui from a practical perspective. While I have yet to unearth consistent, repeatable mystical qualities, the effects of a healthy, nurturing environment on how we conduct ourselves are enormous. It’s almost like magic to the uninformed person.

Results come so much faster when Feng Shui and the 5 Elements are treated like a working instrument.

Until next time, cheers!

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