How to feng shui your workspace: Experts’ guide to bringing positive energy into your home

By Tracy Marasigan, Echo Magazine

Courtesy of Tracy Marasigan
Editor’s note: This article is one in a series of stories from the Communication Department’s award-winning Echo magazine,  featured this summer on the Chronicle site.

We’ve shifted our careers into our homes; there’s no longer a separation of space to ease that work state of mind into relaxation. Your space may even seem clustered, leaving us stressed and unmotivated in the space that was originally meant for downtime.

Feng shui translates to wind and water — it is an ancient Chinese philosophy of arranging furniture in order to create a positive energy flow within your living space, and who doesn’t want more of that in their life?

About 42% of Americans have shifted to working from home after the pandemic, according to a case study done by UpWork. found that school districts for grades K-12,

74% of the 100 largest school districts chose remote learning only as their back-to-school instructional model, affecting over 9 million students. To adapt to this change, you can utilize a few principles from feng shui to bring balance and harmony into your space.

Feng shui dates back to more than 4,700 years ago in ancient China. According to Sergio L Yang, owner and consultant of Luminous Feng Shui in Los Angeles, the emperor at that time employed architects, mathematicians and astronomers to collect data of the cosmos, weather patterns and landforms.

They took all that information to determine how our environment and outer space affects our emotions and overall well being. Thus, feng shui was born and is still used today in homes, offices and architecture to attract the right energy.

“It’s meant to improve your quality of life and to bring forth your intentions,” says Hannah Yang, clinical psychologist and feng shui consultant based in Chicago “It is using the energy of your home or your space to be of benefit to your life. That’s kind of what it’s all about.”

“Feng shui is not about yes or no, it’s not about black and white, it’s about the possibility, what possibility you can have,” Sergio L Yang says.

Now is the time to create your ideal workspace. Here are three ways you can implement feng shui to have a functional and focused work area within a peaceful home environment.

Decluttering is the first and most time consuming thing you have to do, but also the most rewarding. B.J. Gorman from Space Harmony Feng Shui suggests starting in one section and separating your things into three piles: things that bring you joy and you use every day, things you haven’t looked at in a while and have no use for, and things you’re unsure of.

For that last pile, put all those items in a box, seal it up, set a date for when you revisit (it could be a few days or even a month), and hand it over to a friend. When you revisit it, try naming all the things in that box. You may be able to recall a few, but of course you’re going to forget some of the things that are in there. These are the items you should finally let go of.

“You want to live with what you love,” Gorman says. “Clutter can build up in the home, and that’s an important piece in laying the groundwork and changing the energy so that the home feels better,” Hannah Yang says. Once you get this step done, you’ll feel more fresh, more energized, and you’ll ask yourself why you haven’t done this before.

“The importance of keeping your space clear, clean and tidy is crucial practice in feng shui because we want to make sure our immediate environment is under control, and that will give us the more immediate energy feedback physically, spiritually, and simply [you will] just feel happier,” Sergio L Yang says.

Hannah Yang suggests having a “mountain at your back” in arranging your desk space. “When you think about your work, we think about you as an authority and being able to think clearly, focus and communicate,” she says.

This feng shui furniture arrangement will make you feel more protected and calm because your subconscious will be at ease knowing that nothing can disturb you from behind. If you’re limited with space, try investing in a high-backed chair to bring forth that same authoritative power to you.

For those who have moved their workspace into their bedroom, Sergio L Yang suggests it is always better to have a separation of work. You want to have an area in the room that “serves the purpose of working, and when you are going to rest that it serves the purpose of resting,” he says.

At the end of your workday, when you’re ready to finally get up from your desk, make sure to turn off all of your electronics and lights around the space. This will remove distractions and allow for a calming energy to enter.

Another way to create separation of energies is through natural plants. Take a trip to your local nursery, flower shop or even a home improvement store like Lowe’s to pick one, or a few, for your workplace area.

“Plants in feng shui are considered young, active and alive,” Sergio L Yang says. He suggests placing plants in areas where you want to be more active.

The 2021 issue of Echo will be available this summer on newsstands across campus, and PDFs of all issues are available online.