One of the most important precepts of modern science is its open-mindedness and ability to take ideas from non-scientific fields and incorporate them into their approach to modern life. This is especially true of psychology and has been since the beginning with Freud and Jung. Freud commonly looked to literature for examples of his theories in action, such as his notion of Oedipus and Electra complexes. Jung was one of the great commentators on religion and mythology of his time, using them in part to fuel his theory of a “collective unconscious,” which informs our tendency to share certain “archetypes” in stories from around the world.
The same holds true with modern psychology and Feng Shui.
So, what is Feng Shui, and what can its classic precepts contribute to modern psychology?
Feng Shui 101
For those not in the know, Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese precept which holds that the arrangement of certain items in the home and, by extension, our lives have the potential to release and control an “energy,” Qi. The nature of Qi in your life can help dictate your mood.
Feng Shui and Psychology
Obviously, modern psychology and the sciences as a whole do not find evidence for the existence of “Qi” or any other unproven “energy source.”
That said, the idea that your surroundings can have a powerful impact on your mood and psychological state is an idea which is not only plausible, but seems all the more probable with further research being done in that field. As we continue to learn about the impact that one’s surroundings have on psychological development, the ability to manage those surroundings becomes all the more important, and the possibilities are intriguing for psychologists.
Here again, Feng Shui can help. The whole point of Feng Shui is to achieve a sense of balance. Even without the existence of “Qi,” achieving a balance in environmental factors such as space and noise can help cut down on stress, which can, in turn, improve patients’ psychological development early in life and help them maintain healthy mindsets later on.
For as old an idea as it may be, Feng Shui-influenced environmental psychology may become a new wave in psychological discourse.