Ah, February. The month that celebrates love and everything to do with the heart. It’s also a time when mainstream media and health awareness marketing campaigns ramp up their efforts to highlight heart health. And rightfully so. Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in adults in America. Heart Healthy diets, cardiovascular exercise are all methods we’ve heard of when it comes to keeping your heart in shape, but there is another facet of heart health to consider that often gets looked over by Western Medicine; the energetics of health.
Societal norms condone us when we suppress our feelings for fear of men being seen as too soft or women being seen as too emotional. But if we aren’t free to express ourselves in the moment, all that energy has to go somewhere. And many times it gets stored in the heart. Years of repression can build up like the steam in a pressure cooker and at some point our physical body will begin to break down under the weight of all that undealt with grief.
The Heart Chakra
There are seven major energy centers within our bodies, called chakras. When we are emotionally healthy, our chakras maintain a constant flow of energy around the body systems in which they are associated. When there is an emotional blockage to the area the movement can slow down and become stagnant, leading to a breakdown of the physical body. If we can recognize some of the symptoms of an imbalance in the heart chakra, and correct it, then we are more able to prevent manifestation of physical heart issues.
The heart chakra is the center of love, balance, and connection. Located right in the center of the chest and is responsible for regulating the energy associated with self-acceptance, self-love, compassion, and unconditional love of others. When the heart chakra is balanced you feel receptive, forgiving, accepting, and connected to both yourself and other people. But when its out of balance you can be withdrawn, find it hard to forgive and hold grudges, can get stuck in victim mode, feel a constant sense of heaviness in your chest.
There are many causes of a blocked, suppressed or stagnant heart chakra. Some of the most common life experiences include experiencing physical or emotional abuse as a child, being raised by an emotionally cold or narcissistic parent, being denied affection and love growing up, adopting unhealthy societal beliefs surrounding love, and developing self-destructive habits that block the giving and receiving of love.
Heart Chakra Healing
Heart chakra healing is the practice of opening, clearing, supporting, and strengthening the heart chakra within our bodies. Heart chakra healing involves using a number of holistic remedies to bring the body, mind, and spirit into alignment. Here are just a few heart chakra healing practices which will help you balance this energy center:
Establish Clear Personal Boundaries. Examine where in your life you are permitting other people to overstep your boundaries. At what times do you say “yes” when you desperately want to say “no”? In which areas of your life do you feel anxious and ungrounded? Develop the habit of drawing the line and respectfully letting people know where your limits are.
Practice Empathy by Asking “What If?” It can be easy for the mind to make rash, judgmental, and unloving conclusions about other people. The next time you find yourself feeling angry towards another person, ask the question “What if?” For example, if someone is rude to you, ask, “What if that person just lost their job?” Or if you struggle to get along with someone else, ask, “What if that person’s childhood traumatized them so much that they can’t relate to others?” Remember that there is always a story behind the behavior of others.
Allow Yourself To Receive Love. Often times we tend to ignore or downplay expressions of love from other people out of low self-esteem and fear. Instead of denying affection or compliments, experiment with accepting them graciously. You might feel a little bit awkward at first, but this simple change in behavior can open up your heart more.
When you have a clear, strong and harmonious heart chakra, you will firstly feel open and receptive. Not only will you develop self-love, but you will begin to release old toxic behavioral patterns that came to define your relationships. You will feel loving, expansive, and forgiving toward both yourself and other people.