Activating The Heart Chakra (Anahata)

The heart chakra, also known as the ‘Anahata,’ divides the seven chakras of the spiritual body into two halves. The chakras below the Anahata are associated with survival and wellness in the material (physical) realm, whereas those above Anahata are associated with spirituality and higher consciousness.

The heart chakra is one of the most beautiful chakras of the spiritual body and is said to be the seat of unlimited love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. It is located near the heart, in the center of the chest. In this article, we shall learn all about activating the heart chakra.

The heart chakra is the residence of ‘Atman’ (divine self) or the soul. And our soul is nothing but unlimited love. That’s the reason why the heart chakra is said to be the seat of unlimited love.

Anahata chakra is associated with the air element. However, it’s important to note that we are not talking about the air composed of gases here. The ‘air’ element mentioned here refers to the vital energy which flows inside the body.

In the Hindu traditions, it is known as the ‘prana,’ whereas in Chinese traditions, it is called ‘chi.’ This prana has a tremendous influence on our body and mind. The steady flow of prana through the body ensures a calm and restful mind.

The heart chakra is linked to the Thymus gland of the physical body. The thymus gland is located in the neck region above the heart, and it generates T lymphocytes (white blood cells) that help the immune system fight off diseases. These white blood cells also fend off pathogens (microorganisms that cause diseases).

A balanced Anahata or the heart chakra enables us to experience unlimited love and compassion. It allows us to feel compassion not only towards ourselves but also towards other people, and it also allows us to express ourselves freely and with high confidence. It helps us to accomplish our material as well as the spiritual goals in life.

Before we get to the causes of heart chakra blockage and steps to heal, let’s understand what the heart chakra symbolizes.

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Chakra Alignment Worksheets PDF (Instant Download)

Includes the seven chakra worksheets along with information sheets and chakra affirmations printables.

Understanding the Symbolism of Heart Chakra

Anahata chakra is symbolically shown as a lotus with twelve petals. The color is light blue. It consists of two triangles, one pointing up and the other is pointing downwards. The triangles intersect and form a six-pointed star or a hexagon.

The downward triangle represents the downwards flow of energy of the heart chakra towards the lower three chakras. The downwards energy flow is dominant when you work towards worldly passions such as earning wealth, fame, and physical health.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing these worldly passions. Your body itself is material, and its health is directly connected to your mental well-being and vice-versa.

The only thing one needs to take care of is that these ‘worldly passions’ and material needs should be pursued ‘consciously.’

For example, there is nothing wrong with earning money or fame. When you do it unconsciously, you will give rise to negative ‘vrittis’ (or tendencies) such as lust, jealousy, envy, anxiety, possessiveness, arrogance, discrimination, sadness, despair, etc.

If you operate unconsciously, you will give rise to a feeling of emptiness within you, which will grow bigger with time. You might be able to achieve all the wealth and fame you desire, but you will never be content. You will never be happy.

When you act consciously, you will experience energy flow from Anahata to the lower three chakras, making you fearless, building high confidence and self-esteem, eliminating doubt and anxiety, and lots more.

Before you open the heart chakra, your lower three chakras should be well balanced as well. You need to first work on the lower chakras before you attempt to work on the Anahata.

If you want to know more about the lower chakras, you can refer to my articles on healing:

The triangle facing upwards represents the upward energy flow, which becomes dominant when pursuing high consciousness and spiritual progress. This energy flow indicates your pursuit of awakening and liberation.

When you pursue higher consciousness, you give rise to ‘vrittis’ such as love, understanding, bliss, clarity, purity, empathy, compassion, unity, peace, harmony, kindness, and forgiveness. These vrittis are shown as the twelve petals of the heart chakra.

The animal associated with the heart chakra is Antelope. Antelope characterizes grace and innocence. At the same time, it is most vigilant to perceived threats. It knows what to do in a particular situation. Therefore, the heart chakra gives the ability to discriminate.

7 Symptoms of Heart Chakra Blockage

The heart of a child is pure, but as we start growing up, we start interacting with all kinds of energies present in this world, and because of that, a lot of changes occur within us.

In this section, we will explore some of the reasons why your heart chakra gets blocked in the first place. The next section will discuss ways to balance your energies and open up the heart chakra.

#1 – You Can’t Let Go of the Past

Let me admit. Letting go of the past is not easy. Talking about myself, it took me a very long time to overcome what happened in the past. Clinging onto the past is a clear indication of a blockage in the heart chakra.

We keep dwelling in the past and blame others for our own faults. Living life unconsciously is a direct result of this. Traumatic incidents in life such as the death of a loved one, betrayal by someone you trusted (or loved), physical or mental abuse by people close to us leave deep negative impressions on our minds.

The problem is that we keep visiting these incidents again and again until they get embedded in our subconscious minds.

Just imagine how we would feel if we were forced to watch a movie you hate over and over again. That’s what we do to ourselves. We keep playing the incidents of the past over and over again in our minds.

You try everything like talking to your friends and family, going to therapies, consulting a mental health professional, but nothing seems to work. That’s because your Anahata is blocked or deficient in energy flow.

I’m not saying that doing things I mentioned above is useless. No.

I highly recommend that you talk to other people or seek whatever help is possible. But at the same time, also pay attention to your heart.

Once you open your heart chakra, you will be in a much better position to express yourself much better. Your recovery from the wounds of the past will be much faster.

#2 – When You Have Trust Issues

People with blocked heart chakra have serious trust issues. It happens especially if, in the past, they encountered a situation where they were betrayed by someone very close to them.

For example, this could be a friend who turned their back on you looking for support. Or a partner who cheated on you.

Even narcissistic parents or family members can, through their bad behavior, cause you to lose trust in them. They snub you when you need them most, and the next thing you know is that you don’t trust them anymore.

However, having trust issues will cause you to turn your back even towards the people willing to guide and help you. The fear will cause you to build very strong boundaries, and you may miss out on many good folks out there.

The positive energies will have no way of reaching you, and your personal and spiritual growth will be affected.

#3- When you are Dependent on Others

Dependency of any type gives rise to expectations and desires, and when those expectations are not met, they give rise to negative vrittis such as hatred, anger, anxiety, and depression.

If for your happiness, you are dependent on your environments, such as your colleagues at the workplace, close friends, and family, you will have certain expectations from them. Your relationship with them will be based on how they fulfill your needs.

For example, if you get angry with your friends or relatives when they don’t wish on your birthday, or you feel jealous when one of your colleagues gets a promotion or an appraisal over you.

Do you have the heart to congratulate that colleague who got something that you had hoped for? In such a situation, if you give rise to negative tendencies like jealousy or hated, the blockage in your heart chakra will only increase.

While it’s okay to feel bad under such circumstances, don’t take such incidents to heart. Remember that you have no control over what happens in life. Life does not have any obligation towards you. It’s you who have to go according to what life offers.

Being dependent affects your heart chakra and the lower chakras, such as the solar plexus and sacral. It impedes the downward flow of energy from the heart chakra to the lower chakras.

#4 – When you Suppress your Feelings and Emotions

Suppressing your feelings and emotions blocks not only your heart chakra but also affects the other chakras of the spiritual body.

You won’t believe this, but it’s much harder to suppress emotions than talk about them and release them. All this while you have been hard on yourself. It may result in your feeling tense, agitated, anxious, or even depressed.

Another problem is that when you suppress your emotions, people around you get the brunt of it. For example, say your spouse said something about you, which made you feel terrible about yourself.

It’s very typical to be angry or agitated at that moment. But if, for some reason, you don’t confront your partner about what they said, don’t keep that emotion bottled up inside you. Talk to someone about it. It can be your friend, family, or even a therapist.

Suppressing your feelings and emotions will cause you to outburst in unforeseen moments and on unexpected people.

Have you heard the phrase ‘lion heart’? If you have a lion’s heart, it means that you are not afraid to communicate your true feelings. You are fully receptive. It means you are expressive in your communication. Opening up the heart chakra will give you the lionheart.

#5 – When you are Bound by Feelings of Anger, Resentment and Revenge

When feelings of anger and resentment bound you, your heart chakra will not allow the energy to pass through.

If something terrible happens in your life, like losing a loved one or facing physical and mental abuse at the hands of your spouse or parents, it’s very typical to feel angry and get revenge.

Yes. It is okay to feel that way. The problem is when you harbor these feelings for years altogether. For example, when I lost my father, I was very angry with him for leaving us like that. For about two years, I could not come to terms with it.

If feelings of resentment and revenge consume you, you are doing more harm to yourself than to the other person. Even if you get revenge, you will not experience even an ‘iota’ of happiness.

#6 – You are Spending Too Much Time in a Negative Environment

If negative people always surround you, you will unconsciously absorb their negative energy. You may enjoy that very moment but will feel bad later on.

For example, gossiping and talking about people behind their backs creates bad karma and starts a vicious cycle that keeps you trapped in this negative energy. Eventually, you begin radiating out negative vibes, and people don’t feel comfortable around you.

If you are in a relationship where you are constantly judged and mocked, you need to eliminate all negative energy you absorb.

We can’t get out of a hostile environment because of the imbalance of energy flow in the heart chakra. We fear the idea of being alone and independent. And as a result, we start seeking validation from the wrong people.

If you’re always taking abuse from people (no matter who – family, friends, spouse, or even your children), you will further block your sacral and root chakra. And there will be no possibility of any spiritual development from that point onwards.

#7 – When You Experience Fear And Anxiety All the Time

Anxiety is something I have struggled with for an extended period. In my particular case, it was because I was working in a job that I didn’t like. I hated getting up in the morning and going to work. Moreover, people around me reinforced the idea that this is normal and what life is.

But a point came in my life when I confronted my fears head-on. Since that time, there has been a significant change in my life. I’m much happier, and I’m content. Now I don’t let anybody tell me ‘what is normal’ and ‘what life is.’ I live the way I want to, and I uniquely experience life.

There can be lots of reasons for your anxiety. It could be work pressure, dysfunctional relationships, the pressure to achieve success and fame, and much more.

It’s important to note that most of us unconsciously get influenced by media reports and people around us and believe the reality they project as our own.

When you continuously operate in fear and anxiety, you severely block your lower chakras, including the heart chakra.

10 Ways To Open The Heart Chakra

I’m not going to sit here in this comfortable cafe and tell you to renounce the material world and go to caves in the mountains to perform unending ‘sadhana’ (meditation). I don’t believe that you have to torture yourself to open up your heart chakra.

I’m going to tell you some of the practical ways to enhance energy flow through your body. It will help balance the heart chakra and affect (positively) the other chakras of the spiritual body.

#1 – Learn To Be In The Present

Your thought is the energy that you generate through your mind. If you create too many thoughts ruminating about the past or worrying about the future, you will always experience stress and anxiety.

Training yourself to stay in the present moment will not allow your mind to waste this precious energy. As a result, you will feel more present and be more creative and productive in your day-to-day work.

#2 – Take out Time for Activities You Like to do

We are generally so busy in our day-to-day life that we consciously choose to ignore things we like to do. Some of these activities include painting, singing, dancing, listening to music, etc. Take out time from your busy schedule to do these activities.

I like listening to music and also dance sometimes. Practicing any form of art helps in releasing the negative energies from the body. They activate your prana and help in removing blockages from the heart chakra.

#3 – Learning to Live with Awareness

The modern lifestyle has virtually turned human beings into robots. We go to work, come back home, eat dinner, watch television, and go back to sleep. The next day again, the same thing repeats, and the cycle continues. We keep living like this without pausing to see what life has to offer us.

The only thing we look forward to is the weekends when we get to spend quality time with family and friends. But how many of us get to spend that quality time? Our mind is working 24×7, we hook on to our smartphones, and we rarely pay attention to what’s happening around us.

Living without awareness is a poor way to live. When we live with awareness, we get rid of our fears, and our heart is full of joy. We manifest fears by either dwelling in the past or the future.

#4 – Avoid Negative Behaviors

I know this is easier said than done. But you can learn to consciously change your behavior such that good habits are ingrained in your subconscious mind.

For example, stay away from office politics, avoid people who engage in gossips and say bad things about other people, avoid getting into arguments and blame games, and avoid any activity that lowers your vibrations.

Engaging in negative behaviors may make you feel good for a moment, but you will be hit by guilt later on in your subconscious. The person who talks negatively about other people behind their back will do the same thing to you behind your back.

If you cannot avoid such negative people altogether, try to keep your interaction minimum with them. Maintain distance and set firm boundaries. Avoid hanging out with such people after work and speak to them only on a ‘need to’ basis.

#5 – Learn to Forgive

Let me explain a little about what I mean by the word forgiveness. For example, let’s say that someone was mentally and physically abusive towards you. So much so that it caused you to lose your mind.

Can you forgive such a person?

By forgiveness, I don’t mean that you let this person go scot-free for the crime they committed. No. Such people should face the consequences of their actions as per the law.

Forgiveness means that we don’t spend time on the negative incident (abuse) that took place. If we keep contemplating and hating this person, we will never be able to forgive.

Feelings of hate and resentment will hurt you more than the other person. You will keep reliving the incident and develop psychological issues. Forgiveness works more for us than for other people. It allows us to heal ourselves.

Also, it takes time to develop forgiveness, and that’s completely okay. You will go through a rough patch and experience emotions like anger, frustration, and resentment before you can forgive someone. That is entirely normal.

Forgiveness is empowering. It allows us to let go and move on in life. Opening the heart chakra gives us the strength and ability to forgive.

#6 – Improve Your Lifestyle

Developing a healthy lifestyle is extremely important for your physical and mental health. If you adopt a healthy lifestyle, your heart chakra will heal much faster.

Some of the ways in which you can improve your lifestyle are as follows:

  • Eat fresh, healthy, organic, and wholesome food. Avoid unhealthy, junk, and sugary foods.
  • Workout every day (you must sweat) and release toxins from the body. Do cardio, strength training, HIIT, or yoga.
  • Get good quality sleep.
  • Avoid spending too much time working sitting on a chair.
  • Avoid watching any type of screens at night before sleeping.
  • Spend quality time with family and friends.
  • Develop gratitude for life.
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation.
  • Listen to music.
  • Pursue hobbies like sports, drawing, paintings, singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, etc.

#7 – Practice Heart Chakra Affirmations

Affirmations are very effective in opening blocked chakras. I practice affirmations every day, especially before bedtime, so that the message passes on to my subconscious mind.

Some of the affirmations for opening the heart chakra are as follows:

  • I am worthy to receive love and support.
  • I open my heart to receive unconditional love.
  • I open my heart to give unconditional love to others.
  • I love myself.
  • I have the capacity to forgive others.

#8 – Some ‘Easy to Do’ Yoga Postures

I’m going to list some easy-to-do yoga postures that will help you to heal the heart chakra. It would be best to practice these postures while on an empty stomach, preferably at least 2 to 3 hours after a meal.

These poses help in relieving stress and stimulate the energy flow in the heart chakra.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

  • Face lying down on the mat.
  • Keep your hands close to your chest and press into the floor.
  • Inhale and lift the head, chest, and ribs, and position the shoulders away from your ears.
  • Hold up to 3 gentle breaths and then slowly exhale and bring your chest and head back to the ground.
  • Repeat this exercise 3 to 4 times.

Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)

  • Start by placing yourself on your hands and knees. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders and knees aligned with the hips.
  • Inhale and reverse arch (like a cow) your lower back, and at the same time, raise your head to look upwards.
  • Hold this position for three gentle breaths.
  • After that, do the reverse, curl your spine (like a cat) such that you get a good lower body stretch.
  • Again hold this position for three breaths.
  • Repeat the whole exercise 4 to 5 times.

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

  • Lie down on your back and bring your feet close to the hips.
  • Inhale as you raise your hips and place your hands below the hips with fingers interlaced.
  • Hold for about 10 seconds as you take deep breaths.
  • Now slowly bring your hips to the ground.
  • Repeat the pose 2 to 3 times.

Childs Pose (Balasana)

  • Kneel on the floor. Sit on your heels and separate your knees as wide as your hips.
  • Now exhale and move your torso down between your chest.
  • Let your hands rest on the floor, stretching outwards.
  • Stay in this pose for about a minute or two and breathe gently.

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

  • Kneel on the floor and bring your hips to the level of your knees.
  • Take a deep breath and arch backward, and try to touch your ankles with your hands.
  • Stay in the pose for about 30 seconds or so.

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#9 – Essentials Oils for the Heart Chakra

Essential oils are used extensively for activating the chakras. Some of the oils that help in opening the heart chakra are as follows:

  • Rose Essential Oil
  • Jasmine Essential Oil
  • Pine Essential Oil
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Neroli Essential Oil

#10 – Practice Heart Chakra Meditation

Meditation is a practice that helps in restoring the energy balance within the chakras. You can get started in the comfort of your home. As a beginner, start by practicing only 10 minutes a day (anytime), and subsequently, increase the time as and when you feel the more comfortable.

To get started, wear comfortable clothes, sit in a cross-legged position (or on a chair if you feel uncomfortable sitting on the ground), close your eyes, and bring awareness to your breathing.

Maintain this state for about 2 to 3 minutes, and then slowly bring your awareness to your heart area. Imagine green-colored energy radiating out from the center of your heart towards the petals of the heart chakra and spreading throughout your body.

Your mind will wander away from your thoughts many times during meditation. Don’t worry about it. Whenever that happens, bring your awareness to the breath.

If you wish to chant a mantra, then the mantra for opening the heart chakra is ‘YAM.’ Keep repeating this mantra (in your mind).

After about 10 minutes or so, gently open your eyes and end your meditation.

For complete information on Meditation, benefits, breathing exercises, how-to’s, and more, check out – The Ultimate Meditation Guide eBook.

Chakra Alignment/Healing Worksheets

If you’re serious about working on your energy body, I have a fantastic resource that can greatly help in your endeavor of clearing your energy blockages. It includes information sheets, alignment worksheets, and chakra affirmations printables.

You can check out the 7 Chakra Healing Worksheet Bundle (With Free Chakra Information Sheets)

Final Thoughts

When you open your heart chakra, you develop love, empathy, and compassion. It forms the foundation for further spiritual growth. If the heart chakra is blocked, the possibility of opening the higher chakras is low.

You will easily be able to heal your heart chakra if you adopt a positive attitude towards life. Let go of the past, don’t hold hatred and grudges towards people, learn to forgive, and do things that raise your vibrations.

If you open higher chakras such as Vishuddha (throat chakra) or the Ajna (third eye chakra) without opening the heart chakra, the energies from these chakras can play havoc on you.

Therefore, the role of the heart is very significant, and it’s crucial to open the heart chakra before you move on to the higher chakras of the spiritual body.

If you enjoyed this article, please do share it in your circle. Also, if you have any queries regarding the heart chakra (or anything related to chakras and meditation), feel free to leave a comment below.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Emma

    That was awesome! Is it important to open heart chakra before the third eye chakra?

  2. Jagjot Singh

    Yes ! Heart chakra is one of the important chakras of the spiritual body. If you open third eye chakra before opening the heart chakra, you might not be able to handle the energy flow. As mentioned above in the article, heart chakra forms the foundation of the spiritual development.

  3. Pauline

    In this article, many important issues were discussed that affected my daily living. Negative thoughts, fear, anxiety, self neglect and my association with negative people.
    Thank you for this information. I will start to practice some of the suggested self help tips to keep a healthy mind and spirit.

    1. Jagjot Singh

      Thanks for the kind words Pauline. I’m glad that you liked the article 🙏

  4. Alex

    I wanted to start here, working on my heart chakra, but then I saw in the article how important it was to work on the lower chakras, so I hopped over to the root chakra article and saw that I had many issues there! … so I’ve started root chakra work. I do see that perhaps I can do both at the same time, that the heart chakra work would reinforce what I’m focusing on with my root chakra. Like sending endless compassion to the parts of me that are in survival mode and afraid and feel unsafe. It makes sense to me anyway as these issues which hurt my heart stemmed from childhood, a time when I should have felt more safe, loved and protected… Any thoughts on working on two at once?
    Thanks! Your articles are so lovely!

    1. Jagjot Singh

      Thanks Alex. I would suggest you to continue whatever practices you’re following. In addition, just spend a few minutes practicing meditation everyday. Meditation is one practice that heals all the chakras because it stimulates the flow of energy in the body.

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