Our bodies are fascinating catalysts that pour energy into every thought and emotion we manifest. Chakras, the source of this ebb-and-flow of different energies are found at seven distinctive points in our body and link different parts of it to our spirit, feelings and even health. All of our chakras play an important role in our immediate and long-term vitality, but our main focus here is on number four – your Heart Chakra.
Located in the center of the chest, your Heart Chakra balances the three lower Chakras with the three upper Chakras and is responsible for love, compassion and empathy for others. The unconditional love a mother experiences for her child, for example, comes straight from the Heart Chakra.
We as humans are designed by nature to connect with one another, and this natural instinct can be severely disrupted by an unbalanced Heart Chakra. If this energy center is closed off, you could experience overwhelming self-pity, find yourself shutting out new and existing relationships, or become frightened of rejection or criticism. Remember that chakras can be flooded with too much energy, and if your Heart Chakra is receiving excess, you could be feeling unusually aggressive, possessive and controlling over existing relationships. Navigating your way into balance for this can be tricky, so read on to learn five ways you can open your Heart Chakra.
1. Open Up to Your Emotions
Opening yourself up to your emotions allows you to be vulnerable and authentically feel, and hopefully let others in. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, as it can be a daunting task requiring you to really face the fears and insecurities you have with yourself. How is this accomplished? Write your thoughts out in a journal; ask yourself relevant questions such as why is this bringing me pain? or what about this situation am I really afraid of?
You might be surprised to find that the answers were within you all along, you just have to pinpoint the source of your discomfort. If writing doesn’t work for you, try bringing your emotions to the surface by singing, screaming or exercising. Don’t hold back if it is coming from the heart it may be painful, because only healing can come from this, and you’ll realize just how much of a warrior you are.
2. Practice Acceptance
Stress, as we’ve previously discovered can come in positive and negative forms. We need both in our lives to function property, but consider shifting your mindset focus on what you can control, such as choosing forgiveness over a grudge with a loved one, or doing things that bring your joy to brighten your mood so you can bring that same vibrant energy to your loved ones.
Remember that love is the greatest healer. Love yourself first and then you will open your heart to love others. To work on this self-love, practice heart-opener poses in yoga, such as camel pose, eagle pose, wheel or warrior 2.
3. Eat Green Foods
The Heart Chakra is associated with the color green so eating green foods can ramp up this Chakra’s energy. Add more dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, kale, spinach into your diet to release the powers of love into your life.
Green foods aren’t just limited to just vegetables, though. Consider noshing on green apples, grapes drinking green tea with honey or mashing up an avocado with lime juice, garlic and salt for a helping of guacamole!
4. Let it Go
For some, holding onto negative emotions is a defense mechanism that makes us feel safe at first. Unfortunately, this does more harm than good, as it can fester and cause us to lash out at loved ones in seemingly random, aggressive outbursts. Practicing yoga helps because yoga helps you find yourself in the present moment. Encourage yourself to not regret the past, and instead acknowledge the role it had in bringing you to this very moment.
Address it, reflect on it, see what you can learn from it, and then let it go. This will allow you to express gratitude for right now, which will ultimately quell your pangs of anxiety for the future. It truly will all fall into place before your eyes.
5. Breathe with Awareness
Conscious, deep-belly breathing is like a massage for your heart. When we are aware of our breath, we can then breathe with intention, filling the tissues in your muscles, and helping blood circulate to all of your organs. Focus on your breath and guide it to specific parts of your body, such as the base of your spine, your fingertips and heart.
If you’re new to mindful breathing, start by practicing just two minutes a day. See how you feel, and try to clear your mind in the process, working it into a mediation. With every exhale, you’ll feel your body gently releasing tension, slowing your heartbeat and your Heart Chakra balancing.
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