Feng Shui is both an art form and an ancient Chinese philosophy that is almost religious in nature.
It operates on the principle that every person, place, and thing in our world is surrounded and connected by energy. Not just the energies that western science has measured and labeled, such as kinetic, potential, gravitational, thermal, thermonuclear, electromagnetic etc., but rather the “life force” or “living energy” known as Chi.
The idea is that this chi energy flows throughout an environment and there are ways to design a space that allows positive energy to flow in, negative energy to flow out, and harmony and balance to encompass the area as a result.
Feng Shui focuses on placement and arrangement that utilizes the balance of chi, the interactions of the five elements (earth, wind, fire, water, and metal), and yin and yang polarity.
It all sounds very superstitious, mystic, and even pseudoscientific, however there are principles of Feng Shui that are based on real science that have very pragmatic uses in fields such as architecture and interior design.
Here are three practical uses of Feng Shui principles, based on real science, that can enhance and transform your home or workplace into an environment that is optimized for your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.
1. The Front Door
In Feng Shui, the front door is referred to as “the Mouth of Chi” because it is the gateway through which energy enters your house. Therefore, the area surrounding your front door is considered one of the most important places focus on for the cultivation of good energy.
From a practical standpoint, the front door is the very first impression that others have of your house and it is a reflection of you yourself as its keeper. And first impressions are often times the most important.
First impressions are made using two parts of the brain—the amygdala and the posterior cingular cortex. Why is this important?
Because the amygdala is one of the only parts of our brain receives information from all of our senses, making the data that it compiles complete and complex enough to process social stimuli. And the posterior cingular cortex is the part of our brain that is active when we assign value to objects and it also plays a large role in our spatial memory.
When we meet someone for the first time, these two parts of the brain are working in unison to form a first impression. Within the first 3 seconds, we have subconsciously assigned a value and a status to a person based on their demeanor.
In a similar fashion, the first moments that people spend at your home (in front of the door) play a major role in their overall impression of your home and of you as a person.
Feng Shui Tips
1. Make sure your front door is visible from the street and unobstructed. Clear any obstacles or distractions that are in the way, like overgrown plants, boxes, workout equipment, bikes on the lawn, etc.
2. Make sure the area stays clean and fresh-looking. You want it to appear well cared for, so that people will expect that they will welcomed and cared for as they enter your home.
3. Make sure the doormat is clean and welcoming. Don’t use mats with negative terminology on them.
2. Color Theory
In Feng Shui // Red is the fire color—a strong color, representing excitement, power, courage, passion, desire, luck, and happiness. It is said to be the color of divine energy giving it the potential for both creative and destructive elements.
In Psychology // Red is confident, powerful, intense, and exciting—raising the heart rate. It can indicate danger and threat or increase a sense of appetite or passion. It makes things stimulating and resonant.
In Feng Shui // Green is associated with the wood element and symbolizes regeneration, growth, renewal, and internal change.
In Psychology // Green is calm, relaxing, clear, fresh, and soothing. It reminds us most of the harmony of nature but also of concepts like health and wealth.
In Feng Shui // Blue is the expression of the water element, symbolizing calmness, tranquility, and peace. It is a representation of the sky and works to nourish wood elements.
In Psychology // Blue is cool, tranquil, serene, and quiet. It gives a sense of honesty and a peaceful atmosphere. It decreases the senses that red excites like appetite or danger.
In Feng Shui // Yellow is the more gentle representation of the fire element working and is considered the color of “earth energy”. It represents sunlight and brightness. It is active, cheerful, sunny, happy, nurturing, etc.
In Psychology // Yellow is bright and optimistic—it stands out.
In Feng Shui // Orange is also a more gentle representation of the fire element. It is more neutral and reserved than the other fire elements—not as powerful as red and not as bright as yellow, but rather open, social, and optimistic.
In Psychology // Orange is warm, optimistic, and fun. However, research shows that some people devalue something that is in this color.
In Feng Shui // Purple represents royalty, wealth, spirituality, nobility, wisdom, insight, etc. As the fourth fire element, it symbolizes connection with the spiritual realms and is strong vibration color.
In Psychology // Purple is luxurious and expensive and can give a feeling of mystery in the more blue shades. The more red shades indicate power or royalty. Also gives off feelings of mystery, wisdom, respect, and exoticness.
In Feng Shui // Pink is a gentle and soothing color in Feng Shui, representing the energy of love and marriage. It is the fifth color that represents the energies of the fire element.
In Psychology // Pink is gentle, feminine, and fresh. It soothes and comforts and represents sweetness.
In Feng Shui // Black represents the energies of the water element, symbolizing depth, the unknown, infinite, absorbing, mystery, and sophistication.
In Psychology // Black is deep and formal—the color of bold elegance.
In Feng Shui // Brown is the earth element color, meaning strength, stability, grounding. It is a nourishing energy. It is also the combination or balance of all the other elements.
In Psychology // Brown is natural, neutral, and pleasant. It makes us feel comfortable, secure, stable, and at ease.
In Feng Shui // Grey is the color of the metal element. It is detached, neutral, clear, crisp, and creative.
In Psychology // Grey is refreshing and neutral, without being boring, depressing, or conservative. It is the color of subtle elegance.
In Feng Shui // White is another metal element color, representing innocence, purity, freshness, and new beginnings.
In Psychology // White is refreshing, clean, pure, and fresh.
Feng Shui Tips
1. For spaces like the living room and bedrooms, use more neutral, muted colors like earth tones and light sages. They are calming and promote rest and rejuvenation. They make us feel secure and grounded—safe and comfortable. Don’t use dark colors—they are too depressing. And bright colors are too exciting to promote rest.
2. In active rooms like the laundry room, play room, garage, and exercise room, brighter colors can be used to promote cheerfulness and excitement.
3. White is a great color for the kitchen because it gives a feeling of cleanliness
4. For office spaces, use lighter tones of bright colors like soft green, blue, or lavender. They promote a feeling of calm and mental clarity. Lavender, which is a lighter purple tone (which designates mystery and the unknown) is great for promoting imagination and creative thinking in the workplace.
3. The Spathiphyllum Wallisii Plant
Plants and gardens play a significant role in Feng Shui. There are some plants that are said to bring wealth, others good family relations, and they are used often to block the effects of a poison arrow (an obstruction that metaphysically harms humans because it directs chi towards them too fast).
And then there is the Spathiphyllum Wallisii Plant (also called the peace lily). It’s a gorgeous deep green with white blooms that are said to bring peace and prosperity to humans when placed in the home.
Science agrees with this one. According to research done by NASA, the plant actually neutralizes common pollutants that are found in our households like the formaldehyde found in carpets and paint. It also cleanses the air of benzene, carbon monoxide, and cigarette smoke.
Improving the indoor air quality can help to ease or prevent headaches, asthma, allergies, chronic illness, etc., which in turn does increase the peace and prosperity of humans.
Feng Shui Tips
1. Place peace lilies in bedrooms so that you’ll have a full night’s rest breathing in clean air and wake up refreshed.
2. **WARNING** — All parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested. Keep away from small children or animals that may try to consume or chew on the plant.
Andrew Lowen, author for Next Level Web.
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