Turn your crib into Zen Central with these feng shui fundamentals.

You meditate en route to work, dab your pulse points with lavender essential oil and sneak in some gratitude journalling on your lunch break. In theory, you’re the ultimate #zenboss – so why do you find it impossible to unwind when you’re at home? According to Jane Langof, founder of Feng Shui Concepts (fengshuiconcepts.com.au), it might have something to do with your house’s qi.

“Qi – pronounced ‘chi’ – is defined as life-force energy,” explains Langof, and it can have an impact on your body, mind and overall prosperity. “Positive energy within a home creates a supportive environment and helps you feel more balanced, while negative energy creates an environment where stress and anxiety can easily manifest,” she continues.

If you feel as though your crib’s overflowing with the bad vibes, it might be time for a little feng shui. Known as the art of balancing elements within a space to promote the optimal flow of energy, feng shui can help rid your home of negative qi and up your zen feels. Keen to give it a try? Here are the expert-approved tips to get you started.

RULE #1: KEEP IT CLEAR

If you’re about five years overdue for a spring clean, it’s time to ditch the mess. “Clutter reflects worry, ties you down, prevents energy from flowing freely and leaves little room for new opportunities,” says Langof. And while hanging onto your fave magazines is one thing (WF isn’t clutter, FYI), storing love letters from your primary school boyfriend does nothing but boost bad juju.

“Hoarding too many items increases stress in the home, so make a plan to remove the mess,” advises Langof. Start with one drawer at a time and ditch the items you no longer need, use or love, and break out the surface spray while you’re at it. “Unclean living spaces increase anxiety, so keep on top of your chores to up your wellbeing.”

RULE #2: DECORATE WITH LOVE

Your mum might get hella mad if you take down that hideous painting she gifted you last Christmas, but your stress levels will thank you. “Avoid displaying things that arouse negative thoughts or decorating with things you don’t like,” says Langof. Spotting unwanted items will only spike your cortisol, so keep calm and surround yourself with things you love. “Think peaceful imagery, your favourite colours, beautiful plants, fresh flowers and music as these promote calmness and relaxation.”

Hot tip: If you can, avoid items with the colour red, since they can stir up stress-inducing energy. Instead opt for more calming shades (such as blue) or neutral tones (like beige and cream).

RULE #3: FIX WHAT’S BROKEN

What can zap your tranquillity faster than your neighbour’s car alarm? That’d be a leaky tap or a broken toaster – basically anything that isn’t working the way it should. According to Langof, leaving broken items, uh, broken, invites neg feels into your home (since you’re more likely to get annoyed at the objects that aren’t working), which can in turn increase stress and anxiety. To keep your abode (and therefore, you) in a constant state of serenity, fix the things you can and replace those you can’t.

RULE #4: BE HOUSE-PROUD

If the first thing you see when you pull into your driveway is a messy yard, give the front of your home a little more love. “Ignoring the street appeal of your home or having an untidy front entrance brings negative energy into the house,” warns Langof, not to mention it’ll have you feeling on edge from the get-go.

To create a more serene space, spend one weekend reviving your front garden (if you have one), get that door painted and put out a welcome mat. If your hallway’s looking more like a thrift store than a grand entrance, invest in some baskets or drawers to pack the mess away. “A welcoming front entrance with beautiful artwork or flowers also helps you to feel good and brings positive energy into the home,” adds Langof.

RULE #5: GO WITH THE FLOW

Up your living room’s zen factor with a splash of H2O. Nope, not talking about an indoor sprinkler – just get a water feature. “The soothing sound of water can bring a sense of relaxation and calmness into your home,” explains Langof, and the negative ions water produces can also help you feel refreshed. Since water can amplify energy, the more relaxed you feel, the more relaxed you’ll become – so buy a fish tank, stat!

RULE #6: GET SOME (FRESH) AIR

When you find yourself feeling tense 24/7, open a window. “Stale air is stagnant energy, so open windows and doors daily to bring fresh air and natural light into the home,” suggests Langof. To banish anxious feels even more, grab yourself an indoor plant such as a peace lily or place fresh flowers on your countertop. As Langof points out, they’ll help recycle the air and up the presence of calming negative ions, plus they’re pretty to look at.

Follow Langof’s dos and don’ts for bedroom styling 

SLEEP SOUND(ER): “Position your bed so that its head is along a solid wall, diagonally opposite the door. Since you’re able to see who’s entering the room, this position provides you with support and protection and allows you to feel more calm and secure.”

DITCH THE TECH: “Minimise the use of electrical equipment in the bedroom. Clock radios and mobile phones have high electromagnetic fields and should be placed away from your head, since these fields can adversely affect sleep quality.”

KEEP IT SIMPLE: “Avoid placing objects such as mirrors, plants, TVs and water features in your room as they encourage active yang energy.”

This story originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Women’s Fitness

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