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9 Simple Feng Shui Life Hacks

Patrick Kim | October 31, 2016 | | 0 Comments
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Feng shui (风水 fēngshuǐ) is based on the idea that we are affected by everything in our environments through a universal force called “qi” ( qì). The idea that we are affected by everything in our environment is empowering because it means that there are relatively cost-free options to make simple but significant improvements in our lives. For instance, feng shui teaches that beds are best placed facing southeast in the direction of the sunrise as this is beneficial to the body's natural clock. Feng shui also recommends perhaps more superstitiously that we keep mirrors out of our bedrooms, as they bounce negative energy around and disrupt our rest. While some ancient feng shui practices are seen as superstition only backed up by anecdote, others are rooted in common design sense.  Let’s take a look at nine (the lucky number in feng shui numerology) of the most practical and applicable feng shui solutions for your room or house. 

Related: What Is Feng Shui And How Does It Work?

Separate Work and Rest

Feng shui focuses on the functionality of the bedroom as a place for rest, and recommends that we give our minds a break by leaving work-related items out of it. Things like desks, file cabinets, or even workout equipment should stay away and out of view from your bed. If there are a lot of books you have not read but have been wanting to get to, feng shui practice encourages you move them away, as anything that is still a work in progress can preoccupy your mind when you are trying to sleep. If you have to keep your work desk or exercise equipment in your room, it is still possible to improve your feng shui with a folding screen or ceiling mounted curtain rod. 

Get rid of clutter  

Feng shui emphasizes simplicity, as good qi flows when you get rid of what you don’t need (Shaolin monks live austere lifestyles to harness the qi). Starting with the front door, clear out all the stuff you don't need. The front door is crucial to maintain because it is the entry point of qi in the house, and you don't want the good qi to flow in with you rather than get stuck on the messy front porch. However, as qi is universal, every part of your house is important to clear out. If your closet has you feeling overwhelmed when you open it, it is probably because you are keeping a lot of things you don't need, and have left things disorganized. Get rid of old clothes, things you don’t need, as well as items from a negative experience or past relationship that you are holding onto. These objects carry their symbolic weight, and will hold you down if you aren't able to let go. 

Make Use of Natural Light

It feels good to wake up with the sunlight in the morning, which is why beds are best placed facing southeast, across from a window rather than under one. Sunlight has a positive effect on serotonin levels that lasts throughout the day, and natural lighting is generally easier on the eye. Feng shui stresses flexibility in lighting as to avoid corners that are too dark. Using curtains provides a variety of options, as light can be in during the day, softened during the afternoon, and made ambient in the evening. If you can't get enough natural light, you should invest in diversified fixed lighting that reaches each corner of darkness in your room.  Try to have overhead, table, and wall lighting as to create a varied and calming effect on your room’s atmosphere. A balanced lighting system has a softer effect, and significantly impacts mood levels.

Use Warm and Soft Colors  

The best colors for a house are earth tones and skin tones, followed by light blues and greens. Earth tones provide a psychological boost because they feel warm, but are not overly bold like reds and oranges, which are too stimulating. Meanwhile, blues and greens can make you feel calmer, so they could be good for the bedroom. Along with light and subdued lavender, they are believed to have a healing effect on our qi. Couples can benefit from pink and red encourage a healthy romantic relationship, but these colors should be limited to choice items around the room, such as pillows, curtains, or furniture.

Situate Your Bed Carefully 

In addition to optimally capturing morning sunlight, your bed should ideally be as far away from your bedroom door as possible, yet in view of the door in the “commanding position.” It gives us a sense of security to be able to see who comes in and out of the room. However, the best location for the bed is diagonally across from the door in the room's opposite corner, rather than directly across from it. Doorways create a path of qi that could interfere with your rest if you lay directly in it. On the superstitious end, don’t have your feet pointing towards the door while you sleep, as this echoes the way bodies are carried during Chinese funerals. Feng shui traditionalists also say you should avoid placing your bed under a downward sloping ceiling or beam, as this would allow depressing qi to impair your sleep. However, it is good feng shui to have a solid wood headboard, as it prevents negative energy from getting to us while we are sleeping. Feng shui suggests couples should avoid king size beds altogether because too much space between partners will put a strain on the relationship. However, there should be enough space around both sides of the bed so that both partners can get up with ease in the morning. 

Arrange Furniture Symmetrically 

If your bed has only a single nightstand, feng shui mythology recommends you get another one to avoid encouraging too much “lonely” energy. Single people are prone to having singular items of furniture, which according to some experts only serves to encourage more loneliness through the bad qi they have. If your room is to be a reflection of what’s going on inside your head, you should make room to accommodate two of everything in your living space to become mindful of your significant other (or prepare yourself to find one!). Symmetrical arrangements are inviting to couples because they give a sense of balance and fairness. Start working towards those relationship goals with simple steps like moving your bed so that there is room to get out on both sides, and make sure there are nightstands on both sides of your bed. 

Add A Piece of Inspirational Art

Whatever your goals may be, feng shui experts advise that you place art or pictures that depict what you would like to see happen in your life in your room. If you are passionate about staying fit for example, put a picture of an athlete you admire on the wall, or a palatable painting of vegetables if you are motivated by living a healthy lifestyle. Your room should be a sanctuary where you can refocus yourself on your core objectives. It makes sense that if you wake up in the morning being reminded of what your goals are, you are more likely to be motivated. Then at night when you get ready for rest, you can reflect on what you did in the day to achieve them. The bedroom is the most important location in a relationship, so it is a good idea for couples to develop an environment that celebrates mutual love. This could be in the form of a vase of flowers (fresh), a souvenir from a honeymoon, or pictures of the couple themselves. However, pictures of the whole family should be avoided, as they detract from the functionality of the bedroom as a place for a relationship between two people. 

Plants Are Good Qi

Plants are a great cost-effective way to get rid of bad qi. Their innate life-stimulating properties are ideal for any part of your house where bad qi needs to be removed such as a dark, unused corner of your house, or nightstand that tends to accumulate too much clutter. If you are finding that your living space feels a bit empty after you have gotten rid of all the unnecessary things, feng shui recommends you fill up those spaces with plants. Here, feng shui demonstrates some down-to-earth wisdom, as greenery has proven psychological effects of reducing stress and promoting positive mood balance. Tending to plants in our living spaces can also manifest in improved awareness of one's own wellbeing and care for one's health. Feng shui experts believe bamboo has a strong life force, making it the plant of choice for restoring energy to the body, and promoting growth, both for physical and personal. Bamboo can also symbolically encourage the growth of a company if it is placed in an office setting. 

Avoid Pointy Corners

Perhaps because we are psychologically disposed to see them as dangerous, sharp corners have a distressing effect on our mentality, especially in an area of rest. Feng shui furniture is soft and curved to direct the flow of good qi, making you feel relaxed, rather than tense, at night. However, if you don’t want to replace your sharp furniture, you can just drape a cloth over any areas of pointiness.

Sharp objects pointing towards your body, door, or home are referred to as “poison arrows” in feng shui tradition. If your house is at the end of a cul-de-sac or a T-intersection, you might be subject to the more serious poison arrows, which are believed to have implications for your life and not just about your bodily comfort. Feng shui recommends you put up a barrier using trees, walls, stones, or even a wind chime to counteract the exposure to bad qi.  

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Patrick Kim

Patrick Kim

Patrick Kim is an editor at TutorMing. He has a B.A. in East Asian Studies from UCSB, and has worked in China for 3 years. His hobbies are soccer, being outdoors, and studying Chinese.

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