Are your relationships—platonic and romantic alike—going through rough patches? Are you feeling obsessive and clingy about your crush? According to energy healers, your heart chakra might be a little out of whack.
What’s the Heart Chakra?
Deep in the center of your chest is a glowing, green orb of energy called your heart chakra. At least, that’s what practitioners of energy healing, an Eastern tradition, believe. The heart chakra is one of the body’s seven natural energetic junctions, points where your life force is extra concentrated. Each chakra rules the surrounding organs and a host of spiritual functions—the throat chakra, for example, energizes the vocal cords and airways, but it also supports our metaphorical voice. An energy healer who is working with a client who struggles to speak up, or who can’t stop dominating conversations, would give her throat chakra extra attention. The heart chakra is associated with cardiovascular health but also our ability to give and receive love freely.
What Does a Compromised Chakra Feel Like?
Because everyone’s energy profile is different, there’s no absolute rule to tell that your heart chakra is in need of a tune-up. But there are a few signs. For example, your chakra might be clouded or compressed if you’ve been experiencing:
• Feeling tense and impatient with the people you love, even after you’ve had alone time to recharge.
• Being especially critical of yourself and others.
• Self-loathing and incessant negative self-talk. (“I’m just the worst, no one will love me.”)
• Self-destructive behaviors, like reverting to addictive on-again, off-again relationships.
• An inability to feel happy for your friend or partner’s achievements.
Sometimes, the opposite problem can occur—you might have a bloated, inflamed heart chakra if you’ve noticed:
• Unrelenting obsession over a love interest that starts to interfere with your other relationships and work.
•“Stalking” behaviors, like frequently checking up on other people’s Facebook pages or sending heaps of text messages to people who don’t answer.
• All-or-nothing feelings. (“If we break up, I have nothing!”)
Testing Your Heart Chakra
There’s a quick and easy way to give your heart chakra a check-up. Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes, and imagine a sphere of green energy in the center of your chest. Focus on it without trying to change what you observe. What hue of green do you see? Is it as vibrant as a freshly mowed golf course, or does it look sickly? Does it feel tight and cramped, or sore, or open and relaxed? If your chakra doesn’t feel comfortable and bright, it could use a little work.
How to Balance Your Heart Chakra
Energy healers know that there are lots of ways to bring a wayward heart chakra back into alignment. What works best will vary from person to person, so consider trying a few approaches:
• Visualize white light from the universe entering your heart chakra and revitalizing it. Can you feel it soften and spin? In the world of energy work, simply imagining change can have real effects.
• Certain yoga poses that stretch and relax the muscles of the chest can open a clouded heart chakra. The camel and cobra poses are two such exercises, and you can do them at home or with a yoga instructor.
• Jasmine is the scent associated with the heart chakra, so take a quiet break with a cup of jasmine tea or light some incense in your home.
• Loving-kindness meditation can heal a heart chakra from the inside. This Buddhist practice is performed by reciting a mantra: “May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be safe.” You might visualize being surrounded by warm, loving energy, too. After you’ve meditated on self-compassion, consider going a step further—recite the mantra for someone you care about.
• Get your emotions out. Often, a compromised heart chakra is a result of feelings that haven’t been expressed. Write them down, draw a picture, or share them with a good friend.
• Exercise! No, it doesn’t have to be heart-pumping cardio aerobics. But any exercise, from a walk to rock climbing to swimming, will shake up the tension in your body. Plus, it’s something you’re doing for yourself—an act of self-compassion.
• Are you clinging to a grudge? Are you stuck replaying a past hurt on an endless loop? Moving on is a conscious choice, but refusing to take the path of peace can hurt you in all sorts of subtle ways. Even if you’re not okay with what went down, you can forgive. Forgiveness isn’t for the other person; it’s for yourself.
• Consciously step away from relationships and habits that are addictive and painful. Decide on your boundaries and stick to them. That means that, while you can’t stop someone from stringing you along in love, you can choose not to engage in games that leave you (and your heart chakra) drained.
Your heart chakra is what gives your life warmth and love. That’s why it pays to take care of it. Even if yours isn’t in crisis, it’s wise to check in periodically and tune up with meditation, visualization, and self-care.
Do you have questions about your love life or heart chakra? Advisors at KEEN.com have answers.