It's so easy to become consumed by responsibility. The goal of Feng Shui, however, is to lead a balanced life. That means making room -- physically and symbolically -- for happiness.
If you feel overwhelmed, using these 10 Feng Shui adjustments in your home and work spaces can alleviate stress and restore your zest for life.
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1. Make a toy box
Creating a stash of items that give you pleasure will remind you to make time for your favorite activities. Paints, freshly sharpened pencils, paper, modeling clay, photography equipment -- whatever your materials, devoting a space to art supplies will prompt you to become more creative. Ideally, your toy box should be kept in the center portion of the right side of your home. This area governs joy.
2. Improve your outlook
If your desk faces a wall, work could consume your life. Reposition your desk so you have a more inspiring view. This will remind you to balance responsibility with fun. In the event you can't change the location of your desk, hang a picture of people having a good time at eye level. That way, you'll remember you have a life outside of the office.
3. Color your world
Avoid a monochromatic color scheme if you are prone to depression. If you like white walls, hang a colorful painting on one of the walls to serve as an uplifting focal point. If the natural world gives you joy, choose a neutral color palette of taupe, gray, brown and honey. Warm colors like red, yellow and orange are ideal for people who take pleasure from artistic activities. Cool colors like blue, green and purple are more suited to people who are happiest when relaxing.
4. Become an empty vessel
Happiness can't take root if there's no room for it to flourish. If your home is overflowing with things you don't want, use or need, it's time to have a garage sale. Donate anything you can't sell to charity. It's especially important to keep the right side of your home airy and spacious. If energy flows freely in this area, you'll approach life with an open and happy heart.
5. Open up
Displaying open jars, containers and vases in the center portion of the right side of your home signals a desire to be filled with happiness. Resist the urge to fill these containers with possessions -- remember, they are symbols of your ability to receive gifts.
6. Shine on, Harvest Moon
Symbols of the harvest can attract the happiness you desire. That's because the harvest represents humankind's ability to rejoice after a period of hard labor. If you have difficulty switching gears after work, place a picture of a ripe bowl of fruit on the right side of your home. Other good symbols include trees covered with autumn leaves, as well as family photos from Halloween and Thanksgiving.
7. You must have been a beautiful baby
Displaying pictures of yourself as a child can remind you to reconnect with the joyful, spontaneous spirit associated with youth. Choose only photos that evoke happy memories, though. If you had an unhappy childhood, you might opt for photos of baby animals.
8. Add Earth energy
In order to be happy, you need to feel safe, secure and supported. Therefore, it's a good idea to incorporate lots of Earth energy on the right side of your home. Low furniture, mellow colors, soft textures and square shapes will let happiness enter your home.
9. Make the rainbow connection
Hang a faceted crystal from a window that gets lots of light. The rainbows your prism creates will dissipate any depressing energy that lingers in your home, allowing you to move forward with a light heart.
10. Set yourself free
Feng Shui treats your possessions as an extension of your inner life. If you are surrounded by furniture and artwork that make you sad, you need to make a change. Get rid of family heirlooms that fill you with grief. Replace them with items that are an extension of your taste and personality, because honoring your own sensibilities is the fastest route to happiness.