QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I read about “yin” and “yang,” and understand it has do to with balance, but don’t really understand how to apply it at home. I feel quite out of balance at times, and do have anxiety and stress. Is there something I can check at home in regard to this?

Check to see if your environment is in “gender balance.” If the male and female elements are energetically unbalanced, the home’s unseen energy still can contribute to your feelings of imbalance, anxiety and stress.

The yin-yang principle

In any environment, for the space to “feel” good, male (yang) and female (yin) elements should be present to create and experience balance. Gender balance in your environment promotes relaxation and calmness. If the environment has predominantly male elements, the space will feel “like a box” — limiting, hard and overactive. Yet, if the environment has predominantly female elements, the space will feel “like a marshmallow” — without structure, substance or strength. Lethargy is a common side effect of a feminine-dominant home.

To determine if your environment reflects one principle more than another, look around to see what predominates, based on the following examples. If you find one dominant element, bring your home to gender balance by adding something from the complementary, opposite grouping.

Male element examples:


• Straight lines and paths
• Boxy-shaped sofas
• Hard floors
• Square or rectangular tables
• Empty corners
• Florescent and bright lighting
• “Cool” colors
• Vertical or horizontal blinds
• Furniture placed in alignment with the wall
• Textures that include smooth and shiny
• Lack of personal or sentimental items

Female element examples:

• Curvy lines
• Rounded paths
• Enveloping soft sofas
• Carpeted floors
• Round tables for cooperation, conversation
• Filled corners
• Incandescent or warm lighting
• “Warm” colors
• Curtains and drapery
• Angled furniture
• Textures that include soft and silky
• Sentimental items

Temper the extremes

Creating balance in your environment helps support you in living a more balanced path. We all know what it’s like to overextend ourselves, winding up sick in bed. Your body always is trying to bring you to balance, so take a few moments to use your environment to support that endeavor.

Send questions to Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness U, a friendly educational establishment, where you’ll find inspiring classes geared toward personal growth and self-development. Visit