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The fourth chakra is the Heart Chakra, often called the Anahata. This chakra is not located where the physical heart is found, but rather in the chest’s very center. The chakras run centrally along the body. We often refer to our hearts in everyday life. We say things like, ‘I love you with all my heart,’ when we want to communicate love. If you are lacking in motivation or feeling a little lost, you might say, ‘My heart just isn’t in it,’ whereas when you are throwing everything you have at a task and feeling passionate, you might say, ‘I put my heart and soul into it.’ After a traumatic time, we call the sense of grief ‘heartbreak.’ Language is important, and it can often offer insight into our inner lives in unexpected ways. The Heart Chakra is about all of these things; love, emotion, motivation, and grief.

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What Does the Heart Chakra Do?

The Heart Chakra has several important purposes;
silhouette of birds making heart shape on pastel background
Love: Love is more than simply an emotion that we associate with those closest to us. We know that there are many forms of love, from romantic love that you feel with a partner to familial love that you experience with your family. The Heart Chakra is the source of love. It enables you to bond with other people, to form connections, and to relate to others. It is also where love and respect for yourself come from. It is the source of your love and respect for your outer and inner worlds. This leads to our sense of compassion and guides us in caring for other people and the world around us.
Fake Dictionary, definition of the word empathy.
 

 

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to relate to the feelings of another person; to experience their emotions. The Heart Chakra enables you to ‘put yourself in their shoes’ and refrain from harsh judgment. This energy center is also strongly associated with respect; the respect you have for other people is closely linked to this sense of empathy. From all of this comes kindness, compassion, and care.

Husband trying to comfort his wife at a graveyard
Grief: The Heart Chakra is also the part of us that grieves. If you have ever been ‘heartbroken,’ you will understand that grief can actually feel like a physical pain. When grief feels overwhelming in our most desperate times, it is this chakra – the center of love – that enables us to move through this process. When energy is flowing through this chakra, we are able to grieve. Remember that to grieve is a natural, healthy, and often very necessary process. The Heart Chakra also enables us to move past grief to a place of acceptance. Acceptance must follow grief if we are to be able to move on and live our lives to the fullest. If this process cannot happen or is disrupted, we can feel trapped in an endless grief cycle.
Inspirational motivational quote-Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. With a young plant in hand on a blue sky background
Forgiveness: Forgiveness is sometimes part of the cycle of grief; it comes along with acceptance. The Heart Chakra is a deep wellspring of love, and it is here that you will find your ability to forgive. This does not just mean forgiving those who have done wrong by you or caused hurt or harm in your life. It also means having a spirit of understanding and empathy. Self-forgiveness is just as important as forgiveness of others, and often trauma and feelings of guilt are held for far longer than they should be. The Heart Chakra has the power to free you from these negative feelings and enable you to love according to your higher purpose.

The Way of the Heart

watercolor painting of a human on a spiritual journey
Following your heart is a well-known concept. We often think of this in terms of having to choose between our head – logical and sensible – and our heart – passionate and emotional. This is not what we mean when it comes to following the way of the Heart Chakra. Following this way is a spiritual journey that means appreciating the way in which all things are connected. We are all part of a more extensive, interconnected web of all things, and understanding our place in this and approaching this with loving-kindness is the key to healing hurt and harm and creating positive energy.

The Heart Chakra and the Physical Body

Balancing the heart chakra concept. Hand drawn design in ethnic Indian style.
This energy center is strongly linked to the heart itself, and subsequently to the blood and circulatory system. Chest issues are also linked to this energy center. Imbalance in this chakra is considered to have an impact on the lungs as well, with breathing issues and vagus nerve issues arising from a blockage of healing energy.

There is also a connection between this chakra and emotional and mental wellbeing. As we have already identified, we often use language related to our hearts to describe our emotions. Feeling sad (‘broken hearted’), afraid (lack of courage and the need to ‘take heart’), and demotivated (disheartened) can all be part of the spectrum of anxiety and depression. These are physical, measurable conditions that should be considered alongside physical health problems. They show us that our physical health and our emotional, mental, and spiritual health are inextricably linked in so many ways.

Working with the Heart Chakra
Spread loving-kindness to all people,Beauty inside out
The Heart Chakra can become blocked and cause all kinds of problems. If our happiness comes from our ability to love and be loved, then it makes sense that dysfunction at the level of the Heart Chakra can cause deep unhappiness. On the other hand, a healthy energy flow at this chakra can be a deep source of absolute joy and wellbeing. Grief, trauma, and emotional distress are common to all of our lives, but these can be healed by loving-kindness. The Heart Chakra enables you to do this; it empowers you to change your physical, emotional, and spiritual life through love for yourself, for your fellow human beings, and for the world around you.
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