Most of us have heard the two words ‘feng shui’ uttered at some point in our lifetime. If you’ve been living under a rock, it’s a traditional practice originating from ancient China. It claims to use energy forces to harmonize us with our surrounding environments. If we go a step further, the practice discusses architecture as it relates to “invisible forces”. The binding of the universe, earth, and humanity together – otherwise known as Qi.
Using this ancient practice, we are able to influence our well-being and our mental health. That relationship is most important, now more than ever. Read on as we dive into various reasons why feng shui improves our mental health.
Less Clutter = Less Stress
It’s not difficult to see we live in a consumerist society. Humans have a tendency to gather and horde more than they need which is why we’ve seen a huge boom in various storage companies over the past decade – it’s big business. For us humans, it’s a psychological and emotional connection that we attach to belongings that forces us to not let them go. When we do this, it can have dramatic effects on our mental health.
A study conducted by UCLA on 32 families from the Los Angeles area found some troubling details. Of the families that participated in the study, the mothers all exhibited a spike in their stress hormones when they had to deal with their material possessions. Additionally, a majority of the families had so little space available in their garage that they were unable to park their vehicles inside. They had turned their garages into their own personal storage units filling it with things they no longer need nor use.
The stress of crowding surrounding your daily existence has shown to trigger high levels of anxiety. Left unattended, that can lead to serious mental health problems. The best way to fix it is to approach the problem head on.
While the traditional concept of feng shui doesn’t touch on clutter, de-cluttering has inserted itself into a more modern form of feng shui. It all goes back to that rise in consumerism we touched on earlier. The less clutter we have around us, the better we feel inside and out. A noticeable calmness washes over us and we can live our lives rid of anxiety induced stress.
A Good Night’s Rest
Poor sleep can be both symptom and cause of poor mental health. Several studies and statistics have been published highlighting this very thing including one by the Harvard Medical School. In the study, it showed that patients who suffer from conditions like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder experience insomnia along with their other ailments.
The study goes on to show that not only do people who suffer from mental health issues end up losing nights of sleep, they have been proved to be four times more likely to develop depression than their counterparts who were well rested.
Where you choose to sleep is one of the most important principles of feng shui. For most of us who live in urban environments, selecting a bedroom that is free from outside noise and agitation can be difficult, yet doable. Try and select your bedroom in the quietest part of your home. Place your bed against a solid wall with no doors or mirrors facing it. These small touches can help improve your sleep and your wellbeing so that you can approach each day as a happy, well rested human.
One of the most basic teachings of feng shui is the principle of the five elements. The Five Elements are wood, fire, earth, water, and metal and each has its own corresponding color. The goal is to find the proper balance between them in your home or office space. This is possible through the right chromatic design and once achieved, it’s believed to bring harmony into your life.
This concept of the five elements also applies to brain function. With the right uses of color in our surrounding environments, we’re able to enhance our moods and affect our emotions in a positive way. Don’t take our word for it, its been proven.
When we look at the five elements, each has its own associations. Wood with green and brown while earth means light yellow, brown, and sandy tones. Fire is red, orange, bright yellow, pink, and water is blue and black. Last but not least, metal is white or gray. When you introduce the right set of colors in the right places, your spectrum of emotions will benefit.
Items for Improvement
One of the easiest ways to incorporate feng shui into any environment is through the placement of key objects. As long as the guidelines for placement of the objects are respected, the objects are said to improve the energy flow within the space. As you may have guessed, the proper placement can bring forth a better quality of life, better energy, and improved mental health.
These feng shui inducing objects include coins, crystals, bamboo trees, or money plants. Although the objects have limited effects and are more of a ritualistic practice, placing these objects within your environment help us humans feel more connected to the unseen forces guiding our lives.
By focusing on improving our physical existence in ways that promote the onset of positivity, it leaves us with a peace of mind. Our state of being can then tackle the challenges of the world with a clear head and a positive outlook for the future.