The term feng shui typically conjures up images of lucky gold coins, bonsai trees and trickling fountains.
However, applying the founding principles of the philosophy might actually help you navigate your way through modern life.
A 3000-year-old Chinese philosophy, feng shui is based on the notion our environment has a significant impact on the way we live, from our financial success to our health and relationships.
Sacred Feng Shui Design consultant Carol Partridge says most of us go through life on “autopilot”, unaware of how our surroundings can affect our mood.
“When we become aware of our environment, we can become proactive in creating a better life,” Ms Partridge says.
Additionally, Healthy Living Spaces feng shui consultant Narelle McDonald says some things in our environment have negative positive energy attached to them.
“When we’ve got dirty dishes that we didn’t do before we ran off to work or dirty clothes on the floor, we’re automatically coming back into a house that drains us,” Ms McDonald says.
Why and how feng shui works
There are serious psychological upsides to cleaning your home and ridding yourself of unnecessary possessions.
Psychotherapist Jane Milton says holding onto things you don’t need can create stress and immobility.
“People get stuck,” Ms Milton says, adding that anxiety and procrastination are consequences of a cluttered home.
“Immobility within itself can prevent successful relationships and career advances.”
Organising your home and office can therefore immediately improve your productivity levels.
Embracing feng shui can also be useful if you are buying or selling a home.
Things like dead flowers, peeling paint, rubbish and darkness all create negative energy, and put off potential buyers, Ms Partridge says.
Keeping your front garden clean, weed-free and well-watered can also entice potential buyers.
Alternatively, when buying a property she advises checking the building has no structural problems, a harmonious surrounding environment and a sunny front face.
“For potential buyers, if they can identify any of these problems before they purchase a property, they will save a lot of money,” Ms Partridge says.
How to use feng shui in your home
1. Brighten up your interiors
Throw open those curtains! Allowing more natural light into your house will improve your mood and encourage you to become more active.
2. Remove clutter
Getting rid of the things in your home that are broken or unneeded will clear space for new things to come into your life, Ms McDonald says.
3. Bring the outside in
Having a pot plant on your desk at work will add warmth to your working environment, and help offset the impact of harsh artificial lighting.
4. Choose material wisely
Be selective about what your home is built and furnished with, avoiding fabrics and materials that may carry toxins and affect your health, says Ms McDonald, who is also a building biologist.