The heart chakra is the center of giving and receiving love. Its colors are green and pink, and healing it can resolve loneliness, social anxiety, heartbreak, fear of opening up and trusting, lack of self-care, and difficulty receiving love. People with a healthy, balanced heart chakra are open-hearted, loving, joyful, and take good care of themselves and the people around them. They are resilient, compassionate, forgiving, and can let go when the time comes.
The Sanskrit name of the heart chakra is Anahata and it is the fourth of the seven traditional chakras.
Where is the heart chakra located?
The heart chakra is located at the center of your chest, at your heart. Some of us were taught that the heart is to one side, but it is actually in the center, between your lungs.
What does the heart chakra represent?
The heart chakra is the home of our vulnerable desire to love and be loved, and the courage to face a world full of unknowns with an open heart.
When we experience heartbreak, loss, deep disappointment, or betrayal, those feelings can linger in the heart and make us unwilling or afraid to risk being hurt again. This actually blocks our ability to receive love.
The truth is that there is no ability to love without a willingness to experience pain. Loving and being open is always a risk. That is why it is so important to work on healing and strengthening the resilience of your heart, so you can handle the inevitable bruises you will experience as part of a life well lived.
What are symptoms of a blocked or weak heart chakra?
A heart chakra that is in need of care can show up as a tendency to be overly critical and harsh with oneself or others, stinginess, guardedness, negativity, pessimism, lack of empathy, difficulty trusting other people, paranoia, trouble forming or keeping relationships or friendships, and difficulty receiving or accepting gifts. It can also show up in a lack of self-care or self-love. Sometimes the pain is so great that it leads to numbing, avoidance, and addictive behaviors.
Without the ability to feel connected to others, there is a tendency to withdraw and feel isolated or alienated. You might avoid social interactions out of anxiety because you don’t feel confident that you can connect.
The heart chakra is also our connection to Divine love and the wisdom of our heart. Not having this connection can leave you feeling lost and make life feel meaningless.
In the other direction, being too open or not having balance can leave you feeling torn apart by all the sorrow in the world. This can lead to depression and overwhelm. If you find yourself giving and giving until the point where you are drained, you may have an overactive heart chakra and need to learn how to step back and care for yourself first.
An imbalanced heart chakra can also manifest as clinging or demanding behavior, feeling like a victim, or being unable to let go of a loss. There is a refusal to accept reality and fully grieve out of fear that the pain will be too much. Strengthening your heart chakra can help you face the losses in your life so you can move through them, let go, and be open to new experiences.
Physically, you may experience high blood pressure, shallow breathing, asthma, or repeated respiratory infections. You can feel drained, exhausted, or end up stuck in repetitive relationship patterns.
What does a healthy heart chakra feel like?
A healthy heart chakra feels open and flowing. This is where we give and receive love energy, the most important energy in the Universe. When that flow is strong, it feels like life is good, and there is an overall positive vibe as you go through your day. There is a background sense of being worthy of the unconditional love of the Divine Universe, and a daily experience of simply enjoying being alive.
People with a healthy fourth chakra feel loved and nurtured by the people in their life. They are part of their community, willing to lend a hand, and also willing to ask for and receive help as needed. They are trusting, generous, and truly connect to the people around them. While everyone expresses love differently, there is a sense of warmth, kindness, ease, and flow in whatever form it takes.
Not everyone will gush with overflowing love for everyone they meet–in fact, too much of that could mean your other chakras are out of balance and you are ungrounded or lack boundaries. It’s about feeling connected to life, not floating through life on a cloud.
A healthy and strong heart chakra will give you the space to feel compassion and let your heart be touched by the world around you, while still being able to manage your boundaries and care for yourself. You can accept that life is not always easy, but you are still grateful for the chance to live it.
Which crystals help heal, clear, and balance the heart chakra?
Rose quartz is the most important stone for healing the heart chakra. It helps us resolve old hurts and open to love again with a warm, gentle energy that is nourishing to the heart.
Kunzite is a stone of Divine love specifically, and can help when you feel disconnected and unsure of your place in the Universe.
Emerald activates the heart chakra, especially around compassion and abundance. It can help you stay centered in your heart and open to the love available to you as you go through your day.
Aventurine helps us live in the joyful state of a happy heart, and brings a lightness to life even when you are dealing with difficulties.
Besides crystals, how can I support the heart chakra?
The heart benefits from regular check-ins. Simply place your hands over your heart, close your eyes, and tune into your feelings. Take deep, gentle breaths and simply make space for yourself to be exactly where you are. As you go through your day, you can touch your heart for brief moments of self-connection.
If the source of your pain is rooted in past events, having someone to talk to and go through the grief process with can help unburden your heart. Especially if you grew up in an environment where love felt scarce, or the people who were supposed to care for you were actually hurtful to you, having models of healthy relationships is very important.
Try creating an altar to healing your heart, using green and pink fabric, statues, and candles. Wear green and pink clothing. Practice gratitude with a journal. Volunteer. Tell people around you what they mean to you. Have the conversations that clear up your relationships and bring you closer; don’t put them off for another day.
Yoga can be very heart-opening, especially poses like cobra. Just opening your arms wide and smiling can help you shift into a more open-hearted state of mind.
Practicing metta (loving-kindness meditation) is an excellent way to heal the heart chakra.
Grief is a crucial part of allowing the flow of life while not getting stuck resisting its impermanence. Our culture does not teach us how to grieve well or teach how to do so in an everyday way, not just for big losses. Even positive transitions can inspire a need to consciously feel our ambivalence about letting go of the past–especially letting go of any unfulfilled wishes, or simply acknowledging the continual passing of time that we can’t get back.
Heart Chakra Affirmations
- I am loved.
- I open my heart to receive love.
- I allow myself to grieve and let go of any hurts my heart is holding onto.
- I allow myself time to fully grieve.
- However I currently feel is OK, even if it doesn’t make sense!
- I can balance care for myself with care for others.
- My heart is open and willing.
- I let myself enjoy life!
- I hold others and myself with compassion.
- I forgive others their flaws and mistakes.
- I let go of the past with love.
- I accept people and allow them to be themselves.
- I am grateful for all that is.
- It is safe to be close to others.
- It is safe to receive.
- I let go of judgments.
- I am gentle with myself.
- I embrace myself, warts and all.
- It is OK to want to be loved.
- I forgive myself.
- I allow myself time in nature.
- I give my friendships time and attention to blossom.
- I practice everyday kindness and gratitude.
- I am an essential part of an interconnected Universe.
- I am at peace with the impermanence of life.