Self

What It Means If You Have A Blocked Heart Chakra — And How To Open Yours

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woman meditating

Chakras are points of energy on our body, with each representing a lesson we are here on earth to learn. Dating back to 1500 BC, a blocked or unhealthy chakra can equate to mental or physical issues.

While it's essential to make sure your chakras are balanced and open, the first thing to understand is what each one represents.

Following the root chakra, sacral chakra, and solar plexus chakra is the heart chakra, the fourth primary chakra, which was divinely designed to help you love.

RELATED: How To Open Your Chakras: A Comprehensive Guide

What is the heart chakra?

The heart chakra is the center of love and compassion. It's where your joy, warmth, and love extend, so it's one of the vital energy centers of your body.

It’s located, of course, at the heart or the center of the chest. The Sanskrit name for the fourth chakra is "Anahata," and its colors are green and pink. Associated with the element air, this also relates to the lungs, which hold grief; therefore, issues with this chakra include forgiveness.

The fourth chakra is where you learn the divine healing power of love. It's a vital part of the chakra system because it lays in the middle of them all; it's the link between the lower and upper chakras, so it should always be in balance.

Photo: Atarax42 via Wikimedia Commons

What does the heart chakra represent?

The heart chakra, or Anahata, teaches us how to love ourselves and others in balance. It's the center of love for others, love for oneself, empathy, compassion, and forgiveness.

Though we all want love, we spend most of our time working through the issues of the “lower triangle” before we can fully open our heart chakra. The lower triangle consists of the first three chakras and summarizes feeling safe in the world, having healthy attitudes about sex, power, money, and knowing your self-worth.

As you mature spiritually and work through your issues, you can then become more expressive through your fourth chakra — your heart center. The heart chakra is about the healing power of love. It's about having compassion for yourself when faced with all of the lower chakra issues.

When your heart chakra is open, you're able to be gentle and kind with yourself and your relationships.

The fourth chakra is also about forgiveness. Forgiveness is a powerfully transformational and healing experience. When you can truly forgive someone who you feel has done you wrong, you’ll feel a tremendous amount of lightness in your heart. Your heart will open.

How do you know if your heart chakra is blocked or imbalanced?

If you're struggling with money, don't feel emotionally safe, and are generally stressed out, it's hard for you to slow down and come from your heart. Using sex to control another isn’t a heart connection. If you have a low sense of self-worth, you're not loving yourself, either.

These are all issues of the first three chakras. You need to address them in order to access the full power of your heart.

Imbalanced heart chakra behaviors include blind loyalty, codependency, guilt, hatred and revenge. Physically, a blocked heart chakra can cause heart palpitations, low and high blood pressure, and very poor circulation.

Other signs to look for include:

  • Pain in your chest and sometimes your upper back
  • Tightness in your shoulders
  • An inability to accept or receive love of any kind
  • Lack of self-compassion

What causes a blocked heart chakra?

In most cases, when a chakra is blocked it is because of three big key factors: stress, anxiety, or emotional upheaval. Emotional conflict could also be the culprit because of how the heart chakra deals a lot with forgiveness.

When you hold on to the past and refuse to forgive, it's a negative expression of the heart chakra. Holding onto anger or resentment toward another will only shut your heart down.

This is a self-destructive expression of the heart chakra. You hurt yourself and your health with this negative expression.

How do you know if your heart chakra is healthy and balanced?

Allowing yourself to be open to another, and move through any negative emotions you’re feeling towards them instead of shutting down, is a positive expression of the heart chakra.

Understanding that we're all connected is a positive expression of the heart. Being compassionate with yourself when you make mistakes, as well as having loving inner dialogue, are other positive expressions of the heart.

Additional examples of an open heart center include forgiveness, dedication, inspiration, and the ability to heal.

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How To Open & Unblock Your Heart Chakra

Learning how to open your heart chakra is an important part of your overall emotional, physical, and spiritual health. And there are quite a few ways to unblock this chakra to let your energy flow more freely.

1. Clear your mind.

Interestingly enough, a neutral mind creates an open heart. Clearing your mind of fear, judgments, and anxiety-producing thoughts and becoming neutral will help to open your heart.

If you suffer from overthinking or have a critical nature, it’s hard to also have an open heart. Of course you can do it, it just takes extra effort to keep your monkey mind at bay and not fall prey to believing everything your mind is telling you.

Trust the intelligence of your heart and not always the intelligence of your mind. Your fourth chakra's "superpower" is compassion, love, and forgiveness.

2. Practice heart space meditations.

A heart space meditation exercise can keep your heart chakra open and flowing with love if done regularly. This exercise is effortless, and you can do it anywhere and anytime, even while driving.

All you have to do is begin to become aware of your heart space. Put your attention on your heart. Breathe into your heart. Take time to notice the quality of the energy emanating from your heart.

Let your heart space area expand as you bring more awareness into it. This is a wonderful exercise to do when you're in a challenging discussion.

Stop talking and bring all your awareness to your heart space. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how effective this technique is. The challenge is to remember to do it.

3. Use essential oils and crystals.

Using these elements while meditation can help open your chakra.

Rose quartz, kunzite, and peridot are good heart chakra crystals and gems to use while doing any exercise or simply meditating.

You can also use essential oils that promote feelings of comfort. Try adding frankincense, geranium, neroli, rose, sandalwood, or ylang-ylang oils for aromatherapy.

4. Spend time self-reflecting.

Self-reflection is always a good route to take when trying to open your heart chakra. As always, you can't begin to fix something without knowing what is causing the issue.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How is your heart chakra expressing itself in your day-to-day life?
  • What is love?
  • Do you love yourself? What does it mean to love yourself?
  • Do you love others?
  • Can you forgive those you feel have wronged you?

5. Say affirmations.

Add heart-opening affirmations into your daily routine. Say them while you meditate, on your car ride to the office, or in the mirror as you are getting ready.

Examples include:

  • "I am worthy of love."
  • "I direct love toward myself."
  • "I live in harmony with all other beings."
  • "I forgive myself for my mistakes and I grow from them."
  • "I am open to giving and receiving love."
  • "I love myself unconditionally."

6. Do yoga backbends.

This one is for the more flexible people who enjoy yoga. Start out with smaller, easy poses like Cobra Pose, also known as Bhujangasana, then work your way up to the difficult ones like Upward-Facing Dog Pose, also known as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.

The back bend puts you in positions that physically open your heart to the world. There are no barriers in front of you and you are letting your chest area where the heart chakra is located be vulnerable.

Other backbend yoga poses include Bridge Pose, Fish Pose, Wild Thing Pose, Camel Pose, or Bow Pose.

7. Keep a gratitude journal.

Being grateful can help you open up your heart chakra. Get a journal that is dedicated to the things you are grateful for. Try to write down at least three things every day you are thankful for and see how it makes your heart feel.

Doing this can help shift your mindset, allowing your heart chakra and Qi to flow freely.

8. Practice breathwork.

Breathwork can be a great path for opening your heart chakra considering that its element is air. Doing the simplest of deep breathing will help your heart chakra be vulnerable and open up to the world and yourself.

Combining this with visualizing a peaceful place can help bring calmness to your heart and rid you of bad or negative energy attached to your chakras. This will allow you to balance the heart chakra.

Remember: Your heart center wants to be open. When you open your heart chakra, you let love in. Your relationships, including the one with yourself, will heal.

RELATED: What Is Chakra Meditation And How To Do It Effectively

Anna-Thea is an author and Certified Divine Feminine Educator. She educates people on how to claim their bodies as sacred. If you’d like to open and balance your chakras, check out her Guided Chakra Meditation for beginners.

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This article was originally published at Anna Thea. Reprinted with permission from the author.