A Convincing Case for Decorating Your Home According to How You Feel
Seven easy feng shui tips.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:04 AM
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Have you ever woken up from an eight-hour slumber and instantly wanted to fall back asleep? While you may want to point your finger at your mattress for your lack of energy, your decor could actually be to blame.
According to the ancient Chinese tradition of feng shui, the placement of the items in your home influence the energy flow within your space, which can—ding, ding, ding—also affect your mood. Feng shui remedies those stale home vibes and instead provides positive energy by rearranging, adding, or eliminating certain furniture or decorative objects. While it’s possible that you may be feeling anxious, sad, lonely, or stuck because of uncontrollable forces, giving your home a good feng shui run-through by removing or reorganizing some pieces might just make you feel better.
“By now, everyone knows about the cognitive importance of decluttering, but it’s so true: When you pare down, you feel lighter, more productive, and less overwhelmed,” says holistic lifestyle expert and author of The Holistic Home, Laura Benko. “Try to dovetail an undesirable attribute about yourself to whatever you are releasing. Visualize that your anxiety, anger, or self-doubt is in the broken chair you are giving away or in the bag of clothes you are donating. Release it and let it go. By pairing the physical to the mental, you are creating a surefire way to a lasting transformation.”
If you’re thinking of trying this tried-and-true method to combat those vampire-sucking vibes but don’t know where to begin, check below to see how Benko would redecorate a home to flush out specific negative emotions. Good news: None of these tips require leaving your house or buying a single thing…unless, you know, you want to.
If you’re feeling uninspired…
“Examine your artwork. Is it dull and lifeless? Do you have a deep connection to it? Did you buy that framed image just because it matches your couch? Ideally, you want to surround yourself with objects, collectibles, and artwork that hold meaning, that motivate and inspire,” says Benko.
Don’t let history stop you from building a home that invigorates you. Benko emphasizes that you may be feeling the spark because the items in your home no longer reflect your current self. “Even if [an item] felt important to you years ago, you’ve changed since then and your artwork should, too! Fresh visuals lead to an inspired mind-set,” says Benko.
If you’re feeling stuck…
“If you feel stuck or stagnant in your life, first make sure that there is proper air circulation throughout your home. Either crack some windows or add an air purifier,” says Benko. Just like the air quality in your home, your decor could feel a little stale if some items have been there for a hot minute.
Change is an inevitable part of life, and if your home doesn’t reflect that every now and then, you may be afraid to change your own life. “Assess when you last updated your decor. If you haven’t refreshed in years, chances are your stale environment is not creating a fresh outlook,” says Benko.
If you’re feeling tired…
While feng shui highlights the importance of bringing in natural light to make for a happier, healthier home (aka more vitamin D, please!), Benko recommends using essential oils through a diffuser, body wash, or cleaning product: “Give your subconscious a directive by tapping into the power of essential oils. Citrus scents like lemon, grapefruit, and orange are immensely [mood-]boosting and energizing.”
However, if essential oils aren’t your cup of tea, be mindful of how much “low energy” items you have in your home. “Get rid of stacks of newspapers and junk mail. Be sure to tuck away shoes that are lying around and create a system for paperwork so that it is not accumulating on your surfaces,” says Benko.
If you’re feeling angry…
Even though clutter can increase your stress and anger, warm tones, like reds and oranges, can invade your positive mind-set and make you feel hostile. “These [hues] are strong, yang colors that can bring on aggression if they are [used] too much in your space. Bring in more white and neutral tones with lots of texture. Make sure all your artwork is peaceful and serene. Think: placid water scenes instead of crashing waves,” says Benko.
Holding onto items because you think you have to is also a no-go, according to the philosophy of feng shui. “Don’t hold onto objects that you feel obligated to keep; you’ll just end of up feeling resentful and won’t know why,” says Benko.
If you’re feeling stressed…
While it’s inevitable to feel anxious in your home because of an influx of clutter or natural disagreements between you and your housemate, stressful feelings can be eliminated by incorporating water and hues of black or blue.
“The water element diffuses tension and can be an effective way to diminish it. [Decorate with a] water fountain, artwork, or asymmetrical shapes,” says Benko. If fountains are not an option, mirrors are a great substitute to help bring in wealth, fluidity, and abundance.
If you’re feeling sad…
It’s natural for your home to swell with negative energy, especially if you’ve been through an unpleasant experience. Similar to old items that no longer serve a purpose, memories and bad energies can linger longer than they need to—but a bit of energy work can fix that.
“Just as you would clean the dirt, dust, and grime from the surfaces in your house, you also need to clean the atmosphere. Your home can get energetically overloaded by all the emotions that occur there—particularly sorrow, grief, fear, and regret. By burning sage every now and then, you let go of any negative emotions and open up your home to more joy and light,” says Benko. Pro tip: Make sure to open all your windows to help let the negative energy out. Keeping the windows closed will prevent you from clearing the space.
If you’re feeling lonely…
You may begin to feel out of touch with your home because it doesn’t reflect the size of the space that you’re currently living in. Loneliness can creep in when rooms begin to feel bare or, according to Benko, there’s an imbalance of scale. “Dwelling in a large home with dollhouse-size furniture can make anyone feel lonely,” says Benko.
At the end of the day, your home should be a reflection of your current story. If you feel like you’ve grown within the past year, your home might not share this sentiment because you’re not highlighting the new you. Ask yourself if your home accurately heralds you and tells your story. Are your accomplishments displayed? Do you have pictures of your loved ones around you? Are the decor choices your own or that of a persuasive interior designer? A home that showcases your own voice builds confidence and diminishes a sense of isolation,” says Benko.
See more tips on creating better energy: This DIY Blood Red Rose Bath Will Restore Your Energy The Right Crystal to Energize Every Room of Your Home The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Feng Shui