If you've ever taken a yoga or meditation class, then you've probably heard about the seven chakras that exist as wheels of energy throughout the body, and how they can either be "blocked" or "unblocked," "open" or "closed". These seven chakras start at the crown of your head, and travel down the body to the base of your spine. Depending on which one is blocked, you might experience related symptoms and side effects. For example, if
your heart chakra is blocked, it can affect your love life.
"The heart chakra, the fourth primary chakra, located in the center of the human body, is associated with love and understanding,"
psychic and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport tells Bustle. Things like stress and emotional pain — usually caused by bad memories, old programming, emotions, and/or overthinking — can block your heart chakra, and make it difficult for you to form and hold onto healthy relationships, she says.
But there is something you can do. Your objective should be to try to stay connected to yourself and spot any blockage ... and continue to work on yourself Rappaport says, pointing to therapeutic activities such as journaling, yoga, meditation, and even talk therapy. "Do not think, however, that if you remove your blockage one time you are done," she says. "There is no one-time fix;
clearing a blocked heart chakra, just like all other chakras, is an ongoing process. Be aware of when your actions and thoughts stop your enjoyment of life, and then start unblocking." Here are a few ways to tell that your heart chakra is blocked and what to do about it.
You've Been Dwelling On A Past Relationship
Feeling stuck in the past, and
pining away for an old (and very over) relationship can be a sign of a blocked heart chakra. But it is possible let go and move on. "If your last relationship is really over, look at what didn’t work and what did work while you were together and use that information to move forward," Rappaport says. "This can give you a better perspective in your search for a new, healthier relationship."
And the sooner you can start doing so, the better. "The longer you hold onto a relationship that has no future, the more you will continue to keep your heart chakra blocked," she says. "Letting go removes some blockage and lightens your heart and can restore your hope and optimism."
You're Holding Onto Grudges
While it's normal to
hold a grudge for a while when you've truly been hurt, making a habit out of it can stop up your heart chakra in a pretty painful way. "By holding on to a grudge or pain, you keep reinforcing the very thing you don’t want in your life," Rappaport says. "Carrying pain in your heart and the thoughts that reinforce it keep you from enjoying your life."
That's why it'll be important to forgive and forget, as best you can. "Take a moment to realize that the more you hold on to pain and grudges, the more they can impact your future choices in partners," she says. "Holding on to pain keeps you from experiencing joy."
You're Experiencing Trust Issues
Even though it's easier said than done, the last thing you want to bring into a new relationship is
old baggage and trust issues. "A blocked heart chakra from a betrayal keeps you from trusting someone else," Rappaport says. "The fear of experiencing a betrayal again, and questioning if you can find someone you can trust to open your heart to, keeps bringing in the same energy you do not want."
But, it is possible to work on it. "Work on your trust issue and focus on
attracting more trustworthy people into your life," she says. "If you obsess over not being able to trust someone, you will continue to have a blocked chakra and attract people who will also betray your trust. Break that cycle."
experiencing low self-esteem? If so, it may be worth looking into why, and to work on making a change. "We often don't realize how much our negative self-talk holds us back and blocks our ability to give and receive love," says Rappaport. "Everyone deserves a chance to love someone and be loved by them in return in a healthy relationship. However, if you are overly critical of yourself – 'I’m not good enough' or 'I don’t deserve to be with a great person' – you are doing exactly what you do not want to do."
Rappaport says baby steps in the right direction, such as taking small risks or opening up to someone new, can start to improve your mood and give you a sense of empowerment that may make it easier to get back out there.
You've Been Keeping All Your Emotions Bottled Up
If you're in the habit of keeping your emotions bottled up, it can definitely take a toll on your love life. As Rappaport says, "When you do this, you will feel a lot of pressure in your chest and may possibly experience anxiety. Holding back will definitely impact the quality of your life."
That's why finding a safe place to release your emotions is key. "It can be screaming or crying in the shower, going for a hike, walking alone or with someone you can share your innermost feelings with, and of course, seeking some form of healing –
reiki, massage, and other modalities will help you," she says. "You may even need to find a good, professional therapist to help you get to the underlying issues of your blocked emotions. A good psychic ... can also pinpoint what may be causing the emotional pain. Once you know the source, you can begin the healing."
You're Struggling With Commitment Issues
a fear of commitment rises out of concern that you might be making a mistake, that there might be a better partner out there for you, that the person you are with may not be your soulmate, and a myriad of other reasons that keep you from committing to someone you love," Rappaport says.
But if you want to start creating a happier relationship, it'll be important to push past the excuses. "To work through your issues (not someone else’s), try journaling first — write down all the reasons you want
and don’t want to commit to your partner," she says. "From there you can start to unblock your heart chakra because you will have a better idea of what has caused your commitment issues or your inability to attract a partner who will commit to you."
You've Been Procrastinating When It Comes To Relationships
Similar to commitment issues, if you have a blocked heart chakra, you might experience intense procrastination when it comes to getting out there and meeting someone great. And yet, if a relationship is something you want, you'll have to make a change, and put yourself out there — even if it feels overwhelming.
"If you find you are not making time to find someone, cannot find anyone suitable, or do not have time to build or grow a relationship, you have blocked your heart chakra," Rappaport says. "The easiest way to start unblocking your heart chakra, in this situation, would be to look at your priorities and schedule time to meet people, start dating (or spend more quality time with your partner), and allow yourself more flexibility so you can experience and share love."
You're Holding Onto Past Hurts
Nothing blocks a heart chakra quite like past experiences of abandonment. These can come about when a parental figure disappears from your life, or after a partner cheats on you or leaves you unexpectedly. And it can make for a situation where you expect it all to you happen again.
But there's hope. "While you may not be able to erase your past, your future can be very bright, loving, and supportive," Rappaport says. "The best way to open a blocked heart chakra
when you have abandonment issues is to reach out to others and support them ... If you can recognize that [even though] you are alone, you can always reach out to someone when you need emotional support," and you won't feel abandoned.
You're Always Feeling Anxious And Stressed
Anxiety and stress can come about for a variety of reasons, including pressure at work. But regardless of the source, handling it in a healthy way can make
you feel better, and that positivity can spread out into other areas of your life, as well.
"As soon as you realize you are stressed and anxious, you should take a moment to meditate, [and] breathe," or take a yoga class if you are comfortable with them, says Rappaport. "Just remember when you become stressed or anxious, your brain is overriding your emotions and your emotions take a hit — thus blocking your heart chakra. Take time for yourself and give yourself time to relax. Shut off your brain and reconnect with your heart."
You're Pushing Others Away
If you're unable to accept attention from others — even though you really want it — it could be due to a blocked heart chakra. And this usually has to do with a fear of "getting back out there" after being hurt.
While totally understandable, doing whatever you can to heal, so you can take the risk again, is key. "There are many ways to unblock your heart chakra in this situation. The easiest way is to realize no one can hurt you unless you let them," Rappaport says. "Instead of holding back because of your fear of being hurt, feel empowered and just make better choices. Lead with positivity instead of pain. Focus on healing in any way you can and commit to it."
You Can't Stop Focusing On Others & Putting Yourself Last
"Sharing love and doing good deeds for others is one way for you to feel loved, needed, and appreciated," says Rappaport. However, it can become so time-consuming that you forget to focus on yourself, and it may even reach a point where others begin to expect you to to help them, in a way that's unhealthy.
"To avoid this, remember to establish and maintain healthy boundaries — always," she says. This will benefit you, as well as your relationships. And that is, of course, the whole point of looking at heart chakras in the first place.
So, do you feel stuck emotionally? Do you have habits that are holding you back? Looking into ways to unblock your heart chakra, and feel more open, can certainly help.