Feng Shui is a household term known around the world, having originated from China and crossed over to the West over the past century.
It is, in a nutshell, the art of arranging one’s physical environment to bring about positive change.
That’s because Feng Shui is rooted in the idea that the elements of our environment affect us through the energetic force known in ancient Chinese spiritual practices as “qi”.
If you’ve ever practiced Tai Chi, you’re already well aware of qi. It has sometimes been translated as chi and it’s believed to be the basic current of energy that flows between all living things.
By adjusting our environment, Feng Shui teachers say, one is able to bring about real changes in the body and mind that can potentially affect every other area of our life.
When we throw out the physical clutter, we clear our minds. When we throw out the mental clutter, we clear our souls.
– Gail Blanke
Fortunately, practicing Feng Shui isn’t nearly as “out there” as it sounds when explained. In fact, its practicality is part of why it’s become so popular.
Here are some simple ways to practice Feng Shui in your own home or office.
1. Reduce clutter
One of the simplest and most straightforward ways you can practice real Feng Shui is simply to reduce, or completely get rid of, clutter.
Physical objects are said to inhibit the flow of qi in things, so by reducing physical clutter, you are, presumably, able to improve the flow of qi in your living and working spaces, thereby improving your own well-being.
In a very real way, you can experience how clutter makes you feel when things get really out of hand. How do you feel when you have a bunch of clothes lying around on the floor in your bedroom? If you’re like a lot of people, excessive clutter makes you feel frazzled and stressed, like the objects around you are actually blocking your cognitive flow.
2. Use art to encourage dreams and desires
Like a more artistic version of a vision board, Feng Shui speaks of adding inspirational pieces of art within your home that remind you of the things you’d like to have happen to you.
Examples include a setting you’d like to visit such as France or Japan or a painting of a movie set or a studio lot if you’d like to be a director.
For the same reason that a vision board works, having a constant reminder of the things that you’re working towards is a powerful tool.
3. Lots of real light
Natural light is also encouraged in Feng Shui and this, again, has grounds in modern knowledge.
Lighting can affect mood, so work to get as much light in your bedroom, living room, and office during the day.
This is entirely up to the structure of your home and/or office. However, the more natural light you can bring in the better.
4. Keep work out of the bedroom
Another useful piece of Feng Shui wisdom is to keep work and rest in your home separate (if it must come home at all).
Your bedroom is a place designed for rest and Feng Shui talks of the importance of maintaining an optimum environment so you can get the best rest possible.
Keep everything from your computer to desks and any other work-related items or furniture out of the bedroom. Also, silence notifications while sleeping and don’t keep your phone too close to you while you sleep.
5. When in doubt, add plants
Plants are said to be a simple and easy way to improve the flow of qi.
In Feng Shui, plants are often used to remove bad qi, especially dark areas of a household where energy is said to get “stuck”. Even something as simple as sticking a plant in a dark corner is supposed to cleanse the area of bad qi.
Plants have been shown to reduce stress and improve mood, so it’s no surprise that they’d be connected with removing negative energy.
And if you’re interested in knowing which plant is best, Fen Shui generally suggests bamboo because it’s said to have a strong positive energy.