How To Open Your Heart Chakra – A Beginners Guide
When you first looking into chakra exercises and consider how they might help you, it’s hard to know where to start.
Any beginner's guide to chakras will tell you that it’s important to work with all 7 chakras, and that’s true. However, choosing which one to start with is partly a matter of personal preference.
If you particularly want to improve your emotional life, understand your feelings, and become happier, it’s well worth focusing on the heart chakra.
Whether you’re sad in the wake of a breakup, battling wounds inflicted in the distant past, or feeling lonely due to a lack of social connection, you likely have a blocked heart chakra.
Learning heart chakra exercises can go a long way towards removing that block, opening you up to a new stage of personal development.
This guide will communicate the basic facts you need to know about the heart chakra and introduce you to heart healing.
What Is a Chakra? Heart Chakra Meaning and Location
So, what is a chakra? In the simplest terms, it’s one of your body’s major energy centers.
It is only when all of these chakras are open that you can feel your best in both body and mind.
However, we can save the question “What are the 7 chakras?” for later. Let’s begin with one chakra, and you can work forward from there.
The heart chakra is positioned directly above the heart. So, slightly to the left at the center of your chest. Sometimes called the Anahata, it both responds to and helps to shape your capacity for compassion, affection, and love.
Heart Chakra Information Summary
- Physical Location: Directly above the heart.
- Color: Green.
- Element: Air.
- Associated Animal: Antelope.
- Emotional Issues and Behaviors of Blocked Heart Chakra: When the Heart Chakra is blocked or misaligned, you’ll struggle to relate to other people. You will be less compassionate than usual and may be impatient. You’ll commonly find it harder than usual to trust, and you won’t feel at peace. Rather, you’ll feel restless and disgruntled. A blocked Heart Chakra can also manifest physically. Some Chakra experts think such misalignment may be linked to issues like high blood pressure and low immune system function.
Balancing Chakras: What Is The Root Chakra Responsible For?
Experts view the Heart Chakra as a kind of bridge between thought, emotions, and spirituality, meaning the Anahata or heart chakra is sometimes the most important of all.
The heart chakra is connected to all of the following:
- Your capacity for empathy
- The intensity with which you can care for another person
- Your emotional openness
- Self-reflective capacities
- Your inner peace
You feel loving and calm. This doesn’t mean that you focus all your efforts on others, however.
Having an aligned heart chakra is also about knowing where to draw boundaries in your emotional life.
This includes identifying and separating from toxic relationships.
Openness in the heart chakra also allows you to make sense of your own feelings, fully experiencing them and yet also seeing their rational roots.
On the other hand, a blocked heart chakra can develop in response to anything in life that is emotionally hurtful, or that drains your emotional resources.
Symptoms Of A Blocked Heart Chakra
Every chakra moves out of alignment at times or develops blockages. These blockages can be minor or major, but will always lead you to feel physically or emotionally off-balance.
Blocked heart chakra symptoms include the following:
- Difficulty trusting others
- Impatience and irritability
- Lack of empathy
Some of the physical symptoms of a blocked heart chakra can include these (though note that these issues can, of course, have purely biological roots):
- Increase in blood pressure
- A decrease in immune system function
There will be times when you don’t know exactly what has gone wrong with your heart chakra.
Healing doesn’t require that you know the cause. That said, there are some common reasons why you might need to work on healing the heart chakra.
Difficult relationships are the main cause. These need not be romantic. Toxic friendships are just as capable of blocking the heart chakra.
You might be dealing with the end of a relationship, or with an imbalanced relationship where your love doesn’t seem to be reciprocated. Any kind of grief or loss can also mean you need to practice heart chakra healing exercises.
In addition, if you’re struggling to accept a truth about yourself, this type of emotional repression can also push the heart chakra out of alignment.
Heart Chakra Healing: How To Open And Unblock Your Heart Chakra
Opening chakras can become second nature after you learn simple exercises that facilitate healing. Once again, you’ll be best off knowing techniques for each chakra, but for now, we’ll stick to looking at what you can do to influence the heart.
By going through these exercises, you can boost your self-knowledge and replenish your emotional resources.
An opened heart chakra allows you to better understand and meet your needs, and to give love to others. You may also find that intense emotions gradually become less frightening to you. You can develop new ways of accepting and moving past your emotions without having to repress them.
As a bonus, an open heart chakra is actually useful for all forms of chakra healing. When your mind, body, and spirituality are working together, it’s easier to create harmony in your whole body.
So, how to unblock chakras, and realign the heart chakra in particular? Try the following four approaches.
1. Use Heart Chakra Stones And Jewelry For Healing
Chakra stones are very easy to use. Sometimes, all you need to do is wear them on your person (e.g. in a necklace or earrings). You should also consider holding one in your hand during a heart chakra meditation, too (we’ll look at how to do that type of meditation in a moment).
The heart chakra colors test indicates that green is the color most closely associated with this chakra.
Consequently, many of the following heart healing stones are green:
- Jade: This semi-precious heart chakra stone is linked to balance, and to emotional healing. You can benefit from focusing on this stone when you are dealing with a loss or an emotional injury.
- Green calcite: Traditionally used to absorb negativity, this is an excellent choice when you are finding it hard to feel empathy. This stone can help you focus on recovering from compassion fatigue.
- Green aventurine: This stone is liked to have energy, vitality, and inspiration. It is said to soothe difficult emotions, and to assist in bouncing back from emotional roadblocks.
- Rose quartz: Heart chakra crystals aren’t always green. This pink stone is sometimes called the “heart stone” and is said to help you regain balance.
2. Heart Chakra Meditation And Yoga Techniques
If you want to learn how to balance your chakras, it’s very wise to have a daily meditation practice.
Simple mindfulness exercises like deep breathing and body scanning all promote alignment in the chakras. That said, there are also specific heart chakra meditation techniques you can use when you sense a blockage developing. Here is one of the best heart chakra meditation techniques for beginners:
Here is one of the best heart chakra meditation techniques for beginners:
- Find a comfortable, relaxing place where you won’t be disturbed.
- Sit and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth for a few minutes. Feel your body relaxing as you do this.
- Imagine that you’re drawing green energy up through your body towards the heart, starting at the base of the spine and moving upwards.
- The picture of that energy solidifying into a bright ball of green energy sitting at the level of the heart chakra. As you inhale and exhale, see that ball becoming bigger and brighter.
- Focus on turning into feelings of love for yourself and others, letting the green energy radiate through your whole body. Emerge from the meditation after 3-5 minutes.
Further, note that all forms of yoga are good for healing chakras. Just adding 10 minutes of yoga to the start or end of your day promotes openness and alignment.
3. Chakra Foods List And Diet Suggestions
While diet may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of working with chakras, what you eat actually has a huge influence on these energy centers.
As you can probably guess, all healthy and fresh foods are good chakra foods. However, beyond this general advice, you can also tailor your diet to suit a particular chakra that is causing trouble.
Here are some of the best heart chakra foods to consume when you feel blocked or unsettled:
- Green foods: Anything green is linked to the heart chakra. This means you can’t go wrong with ingredients like kale, limes, green bell peppers, spinach, and green apples. All of these can help balance your heart.
- Warm soups: A hearty and rich soup can help to replenish your emotional stores and help you recover from difficult experiences. There is also anecdotal evidence that soups can promote recovery from illness, and the immune system is often at low capacity when charkas are misaligned.
- Foods rich in vitamin C: Finally, orange juice, strawberries, and other fruits that contain plenty of vitamin C can help the heart chakra. You can combine these fruits with green vegetables to create a super healthy smoothie.
4. Heart Chakra Affirmations To Use
You may already be using affirmations, as they are wonderful for getting rid of old, limiting beliefs, and to build confidence. Even so, it’s worth adding some new affirmations to your routine or adjusting some of your old ones.
This is because you can get the heart chakra to directly respond to affirmations by using certain words and phrases. You can say them every day to ward off potential blockages, but you can also repeat them if you think you can feel the heart chakra closing up.
Here are some good examples:
- “I choose joy, compassion, and love.”
- “I love myself unconditionally, and offer the same love to others.”
- “My heart is free from all the wounds of the past.”
- “I know my own emotions, and I accept whatever form they may take.”
- “I forgive others, and I forgive myself.”
- “Every day, I fulfill my heart’s desire.”
- “I am open to love, and receive more of it every day.”
- “I give love freely, and it brings me joy.”
- “My heart chakra is open, and I am well.”
- “I create supportive, loving relationships that are good for me.”
Continue your Chakra journey! Read the next article and learn all about your Throat Chakra (and how to balance your fifth chakra).