Feng Shui to Beat Anxiety, Fear and Depression

Hay House Radio Episode Recap

  • Episode Name: “Feng Shui to Beat Anxiety, Fear, and Depression”
  • Live Broadcast: January 22nd, 2018 at 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Episode Replays: Tuesdays at 9:00 pm Pacific Time / 12:00 am Eastern Time, Saturdays at 2:00 pm Pacific Time / 5:00 pm Eastern Time, Sundays at 4:00 pm Pacific Time / 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Episode Summary Re-cap

Learn some easy room-by-room changes you can make to feel better fast!
Winter is a time when depression, anxiety, fear, and stress skyrocket. Chinese medicine has many answers for naturally going with the flow of the winter season to boost your mood. Heather’s guest, best-selling Feng shui author and teacher, Terah Kathryn Collins, returns to reveal how the simple art of making small changes in your environment can eliminate sleep problems, anxiety, depression, stress, health problems, and more!

Terah Kathyrn CollinsSpecial Guest: Terah Kathyrn Collins

Terah Kathryn Collins is a best-selling author and the founder of the Western School of Feng Shui®. She is also the originator of Essential Feng Shui®, which focuses on the many valuable applications Feng Shui has in our Western culture while honoring the essence of its Eastern heritage. Her 6 inspirational books on the subject have sold over a million copies worldwide.

With a passion for transformational education, Terah founded the Western School of Feng Shui® in 1996. Thousands of people from 26 countries around the world have taken her live and online training programs.

Featured on the PBS Body and Soul TV series, Terah has spoken on Essential Feng Shui® at many special events, including the Magical Mastery and Today’s Wisdom Tours in Australia, and the Women of Wisdom, I Can Do It® Hay House, and Empowering Women Conferences throughout the United States.

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The Real Reason Why Millions Experience Anxiety, Fear and Depression

Studies show that stress, anxiety, and depression are on the rise. Debates in science, social science, and spirituality have varying theories ranging from gut issues and chemical imbalances to lifestyle pressures and lack of self-care. All of these can come into play when it comes to your mental and emotional health.

Let’s take a look at lifestyle pressures for a moment. The oldest forms of medicine, like Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and Native American medicine all focused on patterns in nature as a pathway to understand health. The idea is that we humans are a microcosm of the macrocosm, Mother Nature. When we understand how nature works, we understand ourselves. In nature, there are patterns and seasons. When we go against the patterns, imbalance is the result.

The winter season, a time when stress, anxiety, fear, and depression rise dramatically, is a good example of such a pattern. Many will blame the lack of light, which absolutely contributes to deficiencies in vitamin D and serotonin, two hormones necessary for good moods and self-esteem. However, there’s more than that. Our ancestors knew that winter’s pattern was to slow down, rest, and renew. It was a time for reflection, meditation, and extra sleep. How many of us take time for this kind of extra self-care in the winter? Going against the flow of the season can heighten stress, contributing to mental and emotional challenges.

To make things worse, instead of seeing health issues as imbalance, the way our ancestors did, we often move directly to fear and self-blame.

Think about it – how often do you blame yourself when you experience fear, stress, anxiety or depression? These emotions often have a stigma, as if you should be able to control how you feel or convince yourself to let it go with logic. None of this works. Because emotions aren’t logical – they come from your primal brain, or your subconscious.

Your subconscious mind is below consciousness and it runs about 90% of the show when it comes to your life. Trying to use logic on this primal part of your brain is a recipe for failure.

Creating Balance by Working with Energy

Einstein said everything is energy. And working with energy can be a great way to create wellness. Ancient medicine cultures hold many keys for how to work with energy and the subconscious mind and alleviate emotions like fear, anxiety, depression, and stress.

Today, we look at feng shui, a branch of Chinese medicine that correlates your health and happiness by working with the energy of your environment. According to best-selling author and Feng shui expert, Terah Kathryn Collins,

“Feng shui is the study of the many ways you can improve your life by working with your environment.”

Expert Feng Shui Tips to Eliminate Fear, Anxiety and Depression

Terah revealed 6 of her top tips and resources to end fear, anxiety and depression, along with some free resources you can use at home and work!

Feng Shui Tip #1 – Don’t Push Yourself

The key to feng shui and Chinese medicine is balance. In particular, feng shui is a constant invitation to become more aware of natural flows in life, so you can work with them to create balance in your life.

In winter, or any time you feel pressured to push yourself, feng shui tools can help you bring more ease into your life and go with the flow of energy. When you go with the energy, instead of resisting it, your body feels safe and nurtured.

Feng Shui Tip #2 – Bring the Five Elements to the Rescue

The five elements are patterns in nature that describe all of the seen and unseen patterns in nature that are available to you for health, happiness, and wellbeing.

Water, wood, fire, earth, and metal are the five elements. Understanding how to work with the elements can support your wellbeing.

Chinese medicine has many answers for naturally going with the flow of the winter season to boost your mood.

“When you look at the five elements, depression is a watery emotion,” Terah tells us. The characteristics of the water element are deep, dark, cold, and mysterious. This energy is very powerful and during times of challenge, can feel overwhelming.

“Think of a dark, deep body of water,” Terah says. “Now imagine what it would feel like to be drowning. That’s what fear or depression can feel like. The key is to reach for the elements that support you in watery times, like wood and earth – like reaching for a log or the shore for safety.”

The earth element and wood element can bring nourishment and stability to balance how you’re feeling. Using the chart above, you can bring in art, fabrics, decorative items and other features into your home and workspace representing the elements of earth (e.g., ceramics, tile, brick, stucco, colors like earth tones and yellows, and shapes like squares and rectangles) and wood (e.g., colors like greens and blues, plants, flowers, wood features, and columns). Decorating your space with these features can shift the energy and your moods! Terah also suggests getting out into nature to get a healthy dose of earth and wood elements.

Let’s look at anxiety. Terah reveals that anxiety is often a metal element emotion. Metal element signifies mental thought and heightened sensitivity. One of our callers asked about anxiety after work and how to stop using substances, like wine, for relief. This is a common issue for highly sensitive people and when metal element energy is excessive, a sensitive person can feel out of balance.

Terah suggests looking at your environment and seeing if you have too much metal element items. Workplaces are a hotbed for too much metal, such as pastel colors or white, grey cubicles, and fluorescent lights. You can balance too much metal element by bringing in more water element and fire element items. In particular, water features like fountains, dark colors, crystal. For fire element, you can use candles, fire places or full spectrum light bulbs (or a desk lamp with full spectrum bulbs) in place of fluorescents.

When you get home, before reaching for a glass of wine, try a large glass of water for physical water element energy! Here’s a stress and anxiety-busting adrenal cocktail recipe to take your water to the next level. If you’ve had long-term anxiety, add 1-2 drops of Ionic Zinc to this recipe and have it first thing in the morning and again around 4:00 pm.

Getting a massage can also bring in the aspect of touch, which can relieve anxiety.

Feng Shui Tip #3 – Honor the Goldilocks Principle

Like Goldilocks, we don’t want anything to be too hot, too cold, or too much of anything. Feng shui is stellar at promoting balance! Look around your home and office. Is there too much of anything? If you find yourself angry all the time, look around and see if you have too much fire element (see above chart and look for too many of those aspects in your space). If so, you can bring in balance with earth element self-care (like putting your bare feet on the ground or making pottery) or bringing in some fabrics and art features.

If you don’t have enough fire element to promote inspiration, motivation, or joy, bring in more wood element features! Use Terah’s five elements chart to determine how to bring balance into any situation.

Feng Shui Tip #4 – Look Around with Feng Shui Eyes

To Terah, developing feng shui eyes is really about looking around and noticing items in your environment that work or don’t work for you.

Ask yourself these questions as you look at your space:

  • Is it nourishing my soul?
  • Are my things uplifting?
  • Is there anything here holding depression, anxiety, fear, stress or overwhelm?
  • Have I been tolerating anything for too long (like a sharp corner that injures you or something you constantly have to squeeze by)?

Take time to look around and notice. Feel into your body for a physical reaction.

Terah says that most of her clients actually know what’s not working for them, they’ve just gotten used to it. Once they begin asking themselves these questions, they have major ah-ha’s.

If you’re not sure, bring your sensitive friend into your space and ask them. Friends sometimes notice things that we’ve gotten too used to. Or maybe you or a significant other are always getting hurt or having an emotional reaction in a certain room – that’s a good sign that something is off!

If you don’t like the space you’re living in – your home or your city – consider bringing in the feeling you want as you decorate your home. This is a form of nourishment and self-love. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel!

Here are some free resources Terah offers as DIY feng shui resources. You can also get her book, which is a great DIY resource, The Western Guide to Feng Shui Room by Room.

Feng Shui Tip #5 – Get Comfortable

Remember those uncomfortable chairs in school? Most of us grew up learning to deal with discomfort to the point where we’ve forgotten the importance of creating comfort in our lives. We tolerate uncomfortable work chairs or couches at home. We get used to that dresser that juts out in the bedroom so much that you have to squeeze by it. Or the table with the sharp corners that constantly bruise you.

The problem with getting used to discomfort is that your nervous system is constantly firing off, while you learn to ignore it. Think of this as a low-level danger signal in your body. This is exactly the kind of habit that contributes to inflammation, the root cause of disease, depression, and anxiety.

Terah recommends prioritizing your comfort. Splurge on that comfortable office chair. Some companies have ergonomics support, so take advantage of this and look into an ergonomic chair, desk, keyboard, or other office options. At home, look for bedding, pillows, and other items that make you feel wonderful. You’re worth it and what’s more, your sending your body messages that you love yourself.

Feng Shui Tip #6 – Go for the Joy

Feng shui always asks you to focus on what brings you joy. In this way, you fill your home with only those things you love, letting go of anything that you don’t love. When you fill your home this way, you tend to avoid accumulating clutter. Even better, you feel good in an environment filled with love.

For the Chinese New Year (the year of the yin earth pig), those of you who faced big challenges in 2018 have the opportunity to feel rewarded for your deep inner work. Take advantage of this rewarding energy by focusing on joy. Terah says you can remind your nervous system to hone in on joy by putting something that makes you feel happy in every room in your house and in your workspace. Bring a few personal effects that you love into work. Put something wonderful in each corner of your home. In this way, your home and workspace will be a physical affirmation of the happiness that is always available to you!

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Dondi Dahlin PortraitTune in Next Week

Tune in next week to 21st Century Medicine Woman, we take time out to clear your chakras, nourish your adrenals, boost your moods and improve your vitality with Dondi Dahlin, Eden Energy Medicine, and the five elements!


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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!