Feng shui can destress dorm living

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    With homework, meetings, activities and friends, college life can be crazy. It’s hard to share a dorm room and find time to keep it clean. It is possible, though, that the state of your dorm room has an effect on the state of your mind. That theory is one of the principles of feng shui.

    Feng shui, which literally means wind and water, originated in ancient China but still has principles that are relevant today.

    Image and feng shui consultant Keiko Couch said feng shui is about creating a positive, comfortable environment. There are simple ways to begin incorporating it into your own life, even in a dorm room. The effects, Couch said, will reach far beyond having just an organized room.

    That said, here are seven ways to incorporate feng shui in your dorm room:

    1) Reduce clutter. Use organizational materials like plastic storage containers and over-the-door hooks to lessen clutter in your dorm room. Couch said the way a space is kept can be a reflection of one’s mental state. She said it’s important to try to achieve a mutual harmony and balance between roommates’ space and belongings.

    2) Create a personal space. Make guidelines about things like music and TV. Also, add personal touches to the room. For example, put pictures or artwork on the ceiling or mattress above your bed. Try to make a space that is your own away from everyone else.

    3) Decorate with mirrors. Mirrors have energy, bringing light into a room and making it feel bigger.

    4) Use power positioning. Try to keep the furniture away from the door, Couch said. Bunk the beds to create more space for a seating area in the room. Also, position mirrors away from the bed and use them effectively, like putting them above your desk to be able to see who is coming in the door behind you.

    5) Choose colors wisely. Decorate with soothing colors like beiges, light browns and teals. Couch said it’s important not to lose self-expression in the room. Have fun with accents like the bedspread, using patterns and brighter colors.

    6) Add water. The power of water is great, Couch said, and it’s quietly energizing. Although it’s difficult to do much with water in a dorm room, you can buy a small fountain to put on your desk to help create a soothing environment.

    7) Incorporate art. Incorporating artwork with flowers or nature into your room can help you feel more relaxed.

    Couch said the principles of feng shui help to create a feel-good environment that has a relaxing effect.

    “You like to come back to the space more often,” she said. “You can cope with stress because nothing else will be stressful.”