Introducing the Heart Chakra or Anahata

The health of your heart chakra is one of vital importance to not only your own body and spirit, but to the whole world!

The heart chakra is a portal. It’s a doorway that moves us from the physical world concerns of the lower chakras, and into the spiritual world of the upper chakras.

It’s the bridge between self and other. It’s the connection point that unites all of humanity. It’s where we feel, where we heal, and is the chakra that opens us to compassion, acceptance, and grace when it is open and flowing.

The journey through the heart chakra is where whole body healing can happen on every level. It’s the place where you can find balance and harmony from within, and broadcast that out into the world!

What is the heart chakra responsible for?

The heart chakra is responsible for our emotional connection with others and our sense of connectivity with the world around us.

It encompasses not only the organ of the heart, but also the chest, breasts, and lungs. It’s where our thymus gland lives, which plays a huge role in our immune system and overall body health.

The heart chakra is where we take in life itself. It’s the pulse of our being. It’s the zero-point of balance between all extremes. 

The heart center is all about relationships and how they affect us—those we have with others, with the world around us, and with ourselves.

It’s where we develop patience, empathy, compassion, acceptance, and trust.

It’s like a mirror where we reflect our emotions out to the world around us, and the lens through which we see ourselves.

The energy center at the heart is an emotion generator and receiver. It broadcasts emotional energy into our biofield and beyond.

It’s the energy that speaks first when you meet people, when you look into their eyes, when you enter a room. How your heart chakra is feeling can give you a good sense of how you’re interacting with and experiencing the world. 

What does an open heart chakra feel like vs a blocked heart chakra?

When you have an open heart chakra, it feels like a river of compassion, acceptance, and love flowing through you. You are able to fully give and express yourself with love and are open enough to fully receive love as well.

When your heart is open, you can tap into a sense of presence and balance from within yourself, no matter what experience you’re having. 

But as you can tell from that description, a balanced heart chakra is hard to come by in our current society. You may experience fleeting moments of an open, balanced heart chakra, but most often our precious Anahata chakra is closed off, barricaded, protected, and preserved from being broken again. 

A blocked heart chakra feels like resistance to showing love and compassion to others, but it’s also a resistance to loving yourself.

It feels like self-criticism and a lack of self-acceptance. It can be an endless sense of grief and sadness from past pain and loss you’ve experienced.

It feels like self-protection, like closing yourself off to keep yourself safe. 

A blocked heart chakra can be cold and defensive, in constant victim mode and blame.

It can feel like tears that you clench and swallow down, or those that won’t seem to stop flowing.

It can feel like seething rage and hatred, or deep depression and shame.

An imbalanced heart chakra makes you lose a sense of balance in your whole life, leaving you with a sense that your heart is not full or happy, like you just can’t find joy in your present experience.

What causes a heart chakra blockage?

All sorts of emotional experiences can create a heart chakra blockage, mostly any painful feelings that we encounter in relation to others.

The heart chakra is all about how we feel about others and how we feel about ourselves.

When you have experiences with others that make you feel less than the truth of your powerful, awesome, abundant self, they can dim your heart’s light, in a sense, dulling your ability to give and receive love in the fullest ways possible.

Anything that strikes the heart or lungs as a shock, fear, or grief, will create a big impact on your heart chakra’s ability to flow the energy through.

When emotional energy like hate, anger, blame, sadness, or trauma surge through your heart space without being able to express it fully and safely, it can become lodged there, creating a blockage.

All of those cold, hard, and negative emotions you feel are actually some of the most common blocked heart chakra symptoms.

In my energy clearing sessions, I often see a blocked heart chakra represented as many tangled vines of thorns.

These vines are the unexpressed emotions, the lingering pains and hurts, inscriptions left anytime you’ve experienced a broken heart and didn’t fully feel into the weight of the pain of it.

Unexpressed emotions are the blocks that litter our entire chakra system, and the heart houses many of these tangled vines that ultimately need to be sorted out, pruned, and composted- energetically!

What can help create a balanced heart chakra?

In my experience, a balanced heart chakra can only be accessed through witnessing and accepting all those heart-breaking emotions.

It takes self-work, self-reflection, and a commitment to dive into the depths of what you’re feeling to be able to release all the blocks and tangled vines of pain that you may be carrying in your heart chakra. 

This can happen in many ways, it can happen swiftly or slowly, it doesn’t have to be dramatic or painful, but those emotions must be felt and released.

There are many ways to productively move through your blocked heart chakra emotions, such as EFT tapping, chest opening yoga poses, heart chakra meditation, self-reflective and emotionally expressive journaling, qi gong, heart chakra affirmations or mantras, energy work and reiki, and so much more.

Also, just crying and feeling all the tears you haven’t felt. Writing out all the hateful angry thoughts and memories you’re holding onto. Screaming into a pillow, punching the bed, free dancing, jumping, running, physically exerting yourself to get your heart pumping and move the emotions OUT of your body is what helps clear and bring balance back to your precious heart chakra.

Can you have an overactive heart chakra?

The flip side of a blocked heart chakra is one that is overactive and feels too, too much.

I’ve seen this in many empathic clients I have, people who are so concerned about the welfare of others and the world around them and they absorb and carry the weight of all the problems that can’t be solved, all the crises from around the world, all the pain that can’t be healed from those around them.

It feels like many new age practices focus on an opening of the heart space—open, open, open up that heart! This is wonderful in the context of a safe environment and in an experience with others who also have their hearts wide open, but taking that wide-open heart out into the normal everyday world around you is not such a good idea.

That’s when you become a receiver, like a satellite dish, tuning into all the people’s emotions all around you. This is when you can become so flooded with feelings that you don’t know which ones are yours, or how to even feel, and it can be very up and down and overwhelming.

The key to the heart’s power lies in its balance. In that gateway between self and other. How much love energy are you giving away vs. how much are you giving back to yourself?

Many compassionate and caring people in the world (lots of us moms!) tend to give, give, give away all of our heart’s energy to others, worrying about and caring for everyone else, so much so that we leave little to no heart energy to turn back towards ourselves through self-care, self-love, self-adoration, or self-acceptance.

Instead, we tend to rely on others to give us that loving feeling we so want, and this is where a lot of co-dependent relationships come in. When you become reliant upon others for your sense of self, or sense of feeling loved, then when you feel like you’re not getting it from them, that’s when blame and rage victim mode takeover and flip-flop right into a blocked, self-protective heart chakra. 

How is your heart chakra connected to the other main chakras?

The heart is at the center of the chakra system, and right in the center of you.

It’s the fourth chakra, providing structure and a point of balance between the lower more physical chakras, and the upper more spiritual chakras.

The heart chakra is where we both give and receive emotional energy. It simultaneously pulls it in from, and pushes it out into, the energetic field around us, and also circulates energy upwards and downwards through our entire chakra system.

The heart center supplies energy to both our human and our soul, to our body and our spirit.

It’s the middle ground, the place of union and harmony. It’s the zero-point field in our energetic system, between upper and lower extremes. It’s where peace, presence, and this moment right here and now can be found and felt within our bodies.

Heart chakra healing practices

To start paying more attention to your heart chakra health and begin the deep work of heart chakra healing, here are a few practices that can help.

Color therapy:

The heart chakra colors are a vibrant life-giving green, and also all shades of pink, from soft rose quartz to vibrant fuchsia.

These colors help you connect energetically with your heart center, so eating your greens becomes doubly important!

Eat these colors, wear these colors, imagine these colors all around you holding you in a protective auric shell.

Look for healing crystals that are in these colors to wear, carry or work within your life. More on that below!

Crystal healing:

Heart chakra crystals are an essential and fun tool to help you start to work with releasing and clearing the tangled web of emotions that may be hiding in your heart, and also bringing in the good healing energy to balance it out again.

Heart chakra stones in shades of green, like jade, emerald and aventurine can bring you vibrant, fresh energy and vitality.

Pink healing crystals like rose quartz, rhodonite, or pink tourmaline offer strong vibrations of love and acceptance to help in all your relationships, including the one with yourself.

Deep red stones like garnet and ruby offer deep healing for a blocked heart chakra, clear pain around childhood traumas and past hurts, and aid in forgiveness and relief from subconscious patterns.

Yoga and meditation:

Each practice is good in its own right, but yoga and meditation are meant to work hand-in-hand to help support one another.

You can start with some heart-opening yoga poses like camel pose, triangle pose, warrior pose, and backbends. Be sure to breathe deeply and consciously.

After your body feels limbered up and flexible, then you can sit or lie in meditation and focus on that heart space.

Feel if any emotions have been stirred up or released by the yoga practices beforehand and let the feelings flow through you.

Don’t be afraid to feel the waves of anxiety, boredom, worry, fear, or sadness that may come up. Acknowledge them all, feel them all for the moment and let them melt away.

During a heart chakra meditation, you want to focus on letting the emotional energy move through you, whatever comes up, so that it may be released from your body.

You can also gently tap on your thymus gland, in the center of your chest, as you experience heavy emotions to help them clear on out.

This is just an introduction to the beautiful bounty of abundance, joy, and wisdom that your heart chakra holds for you.

The heart is the energy center you can focus on to help heal your entire energetic system, to find forgiveness, relief from stress and anxiety, and a sense of balance within your body, mind, and soul.

When you help restore a balanced heart chakra for yourself, you will radiate that harmony, peace, and joy into every relationship you have, and into everything you touch.

This is what it means to BE love and act from love. You have to start with truly loving and accepting yourself, all parts and pieces of you, so that you may begin to express true unconditional love into the world.

External Resources

What are the 7 Chakras? A Comprehensive Guide to the Energy Centers and Their Effects
Heart Chakra Affirmations to Heal The Fourth Energy Center
9 Most Powerful Crystals and Stones for the Heart Chakra
Anahata Chakra: Healing Through the Heart