Heal an imbalanced heart chakra and learn to love yourself with this heart healing meditation guide!
About the Heart Chakra
Heart chakra in Sanskrit, or anahata, means “unhurt” or “unbeaten”. Unsurprisingly, this chakra is located at your heart center, right in the middle of your chest.
The heart chakra’s most important job is to connect us to everything going on in the world around us. It is what helps us bond with our family, build friendships with our neighbors, and even helps us to develop that sixth-sense that we feel when we spend time with our pets!
This continual outpouring of love is what makes forgiveness possible, healthy relationships probable, and in my personal opinion, retains balance within our entire chakra system.
The energy of our heart chakra is of course, more feminine in nature, and is also closely connected with the air element, which means we have a loving breeze of compassion available to us at all times.
The other day, I was thinking how easy it is for us to believe there is air all around us, even though we can’t see it... But sometimes love can feel so impossible to find. But love is not elusive, it’s not withholding–it is in us, constantly surrounding us, it is absolutely a part of us. I try to remind myself of this each time I am feeling cut off from love (although sometimes that is easier said than done, I know).
Anyways, when meditating on or with the heart chakra, you can imagine this energy center as a bright green, glowing light. A technique I like to recommend when connecting with your heart chakra is to sync it up with your breath. Imagine that ball of green light growing with each inhale, getting bigger and brighter, then narrowing back down to size with each exhale.
The Higher Heart Chakra
Maybe green's not your color? If you’re like me, then sometimes the color green just doesn’t seem to vibe with the way you’re feeling in your heart. There’s a reason for that!
In some chakra systems, two different heart centers are recognized, with the second one lighting up a pretty pink color and living a bit higher in the chest, just below our throat chakra.
Now, we are focusing on the 7-chakra system in this series, for simplicity’s sake. But, I just thought I would mention that, as sometimes the pink light is a lot more resonate with me, personally, than the green. So if this is also true for you, just know that this is totally normal and makes a lot of sense, based on what kinds of emotions you are dealing with.
The Heart Chakra in the Physical Body
Our heart chakra governs our chest area and also our arms, hands, and fingers, which are obviously kind of growing out of our chest. When imbalanced, we may experience heart or blood circulation issues, have trouble breathing, or become susceptible to different bronchial infections.
Of course, just because you contract bronchitis, does not automatically mean your heart chakra is blocked, but it may be an interesting avenue to look down.
Chances are, if you find yourself on this page, you are probably a super open-minded and curious soul (same). If you have never explored the world of “alternative medicine”, I encourage you to do some research. I believe that the more we learn about our energetic body, the better we can understand our physical.
The Heart Chakra in the Energetic Body
From an energetic perspective, signs of an imbalanced heart chakra could show up as an inability to trust others, feelings of unworthiness, isolation, and even depression. These are all signs that your heart chakra is under-active.
On the flip side of that coin, an overactive heart chakra may leave you feeling jealous, clingy, and co-dependent. Another indicator that you may be experiencing an imbalanced heart chakra is just a basic numbness, or inability to feel your emotions.
Here are three specific things that happen to me when my heart chakra is asking for attention:
I avoid writing. Journaling about my emotions is my favorite way to check-in with myself and gain clarity about whatever is going on in my life. When I find myself avoiding my journal, I know my heart needs some love.
I lose my patience with my pets and partner. I chalk this up, not to rage, but passion. When we don’t allow love to flow freely, we become frustrated and we take things personally, instead of simply accepting them as is. Getting angry when my dog barks at the mailman isn’t a sign he’s a bad dog (he’s the sweetest, good boi, honestly), it’s a sign that I have misplaced passion that would be better served as connection to My Self.
I don’t know what to talk about in therapy. Here’s that numbness to emotions coming into play. If I feel like I don’t have anything to talk about OR I feel I have way too many emotions to process, I always know that I need to check into my heart first. Does anyone else feel this way? I have a ritual I do each week before therapy to prepare my heart for each session. If this interests you, please let me know in the comments and I will share in a separate article!
Heart Chakra Cleansing
I think all of us have probably had at least some experience in healing the heart. Whether that be grieving the loss of a loved one, or bouncing back after a painful break-up, there are so many different ways to set your heart on fire once again.
The practice that works best for me is writing down what I call a “Gratitude Check”. Basically, it’s just a page-long list of all the things I can think of to be grateful that day. I don’t put too much thought into what comes up, but once I start writing things down, they tend to snowball. Most times, my list tends to spill onto a second page.
On days where gratitude doesn’t come easy, start with just thinking how lucky you were to wake up that morning. Remind yourself of the little things that may get taken for granted, like the first sip of a pumpkin spice latte, the sun pouring golden light onto the kitchen floor, or a sleepy yawn as your cat stretches her paws above her head. Once you let Love in, it tends to spread.
Yoga is another great way to source some self-love (duh). Backbends are great, as are cobra pose, upward-facing dog, and bridge pose. For more on this, I’ve listed an excellent free practice you can find on YouTube in the Heart Chakra 101 Workbook. Spoiler alert, if you haven’t practiced along with a Yoga with Adriene video yet, this is an excellent introduction to her work.
Meditation, as always, is another powerful way to heal the heart chakra, especially if you add in positive affirmations. Right now, I’m playing around with “I am special” and “I am loved”. Try alternating each affirmation with the turn of your mala beads, or just set a timer for 10 minutes while you breathe in “I am special” and breathe out “I am loved”.
BONUS: My girl Adriene also has a Self Love Meditation on her YouTube channel! It’s a quick, 13-minute guided meditation that I can almost guarantee will put a smile on your face–she’s the cutest.
If you’ve been following along with my Chakra 101 Series, by now, you’ve probably noticed a trend in healing foods as they color-correlate with each chakra. I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that green veggies are good for your heart… HOWEVER, I’d like to challenge you to think of the veggies as an act of self-love, instead of a form of punishment or obligation.
If you’re one of the pink-hearted chakra girlies, like me, show yourself some love with a rose tea latte from Starbucks or a lavender tea before bed. Chocolate is also AMAZING for your heart chakra, believe it or not, thanks to the chemical, Phenethylamine, which is known for its euphoric sensation in the body and its ability to relieve symptoms of depression.
Of course, pinks and greens are what you’re looking for when choosing a crystal to support your heart chakra. Here’s a quick list of common crystals and stones to look for:
Healing the heart is serious business and can be extremely difficult to navigate, especially to those who have suffered immense trauma in this area. If you take anything away from this lesson, let it be that love is ALWAYS available to you. I don’t even know you and I love you!
In the Heart Chakra 101 Workbook, I’ve provided a journal prompt, yoga practice, and guided meditation to take you deeper into the heart. As always, please let me know what you thought of this little lesson!
So much love,