Valentine’s Day provides a reminder that you don’t need anyone else to make you feel loved and important.
You can choose to approach Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to be grateful, love, and take care of yourself, not as a commercial holiday that requires the validation of a mate. This Valentine’s Day, try these 10 ways to honor yourself by balancing your Anahata Chakra, the energetic center in the heart space.
Eat Foods That Support Your Heart
Heart-shaped chocolate is not the key to supporting a loving heart. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, are especially balancing for the heart chakra, according to Chakra Foods for Optimum Health by Deanna M. Minich. The sulfur-containing compounds found in these vegetables help protect the body from toxins. Add more vegetables for a more balanced diet.
Get Your Blood Pumping
The American Heart Association recommends that individuals perform moderately intense exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Regular exercise can improve cholesterol and fat levels, reduce inflammation in the arteries, help you lose weight, and keep blood vessels flexible and open.
Do Yoga Poses That Open Your Heart Space
While the center of the Anahata Chakra resides in the middle of the sternum, it actually encompasses the entire upper torso, including the chest, upper back, shoulders, arms, and hands. Heart-opening postures such as Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Ustrasana (Camel Pose), and Anahatasana (Heart Melting/ Extended Puppy Pose), improve strength, flexibility, and circulation in the heart space. These poses also counteract the tendency to hunch the upper back as a result of excessive work at the computer, driving, carrying children, poor posture, and manual labor.
Wear the Colors of the Heart Chakra
The colors of the heart are green and pink. Green is the most neutral color in the visible spectrum, containing the warmth of yellow and the coolness of blue. Green is the color of nature, family, and healing, and therefore engenders peace and tranquility when you wear it. Pink is also an essential color for the heart chakra. It’s the color of mother love and is found in the aura of all babies and young children, according to The Book of Chakras, by Ambika Wauters. Pink is soft, sweet, and soothing; it lifts the spirit and encourages compassion.
Tend to Yourself
If you’ve been pushing off going to see the doctor, a therapist, or the dentist, remember these important acts of self-love—while not necessarily fun—are crucial to your well-being. It never feels good to know you’re pushing off a necessary appointment. Choose to take care of yourself the way you’d take care of your child or your puppy: with understanding, tenderness, and conviction that going to a health practitioner is a non-negotiable act of holistic self-care.
Chant the Mantra of the Heart
Each chakra has a Bija Mantra, or a seed sound that is said to encapsulate the entire essence of the energy center. The sound for Anahata is “yam” (rhymes with Mom), and chanting it adjusts the vibration of the heart like a tuning fork. Sit up tall, close your eyes, and repeat the sound “yam” to feel your energy shift at the cellular level.
Repeat Positive Affirmations
Repeating a simple affirmation like, “I am lovable,” can tell you a lot about the state of your heart chakra. You know you’re out of balance if saying this to yourself feels untrue. No one else can truly love you, if you don’t love yourself. And if you don’t think you’re worthy of love, you’ll never truly accept it from anyone else. Positive affirmations can help you see the beautiful, wonderful things about yourself. Start speaking kindly to yourself and feel the immediate and long-lasting results.
Experiment with Crystals, Aromatherapy, and Sounds
Just as each chakra has a Bija Mantra and color, each one also has a corresponding crystal, essential oil, and musical note. Rose quartz, diamonds, and peridot are especially healing to the Anahata Chakra. Choral music (specifically in the key of F) resonates at the perfect vibration for an open heart. Incorporate the scents of rose, carnation, and lily of the valley to balance your entire being with a multisensory experience.
More Human Contact
Consider cutting down your use of social media, texting, and emailing as your main source of communication. The Dalai Lama has said: "I think technology really increases human ability. It [makes] a lot of things much easier. But technology cannot produce compassion." It’s easy to feel disconnected and lonely if you are not making human connection with anyone. Notice how often you have a technological intermediary in your relationships. Try calling people more and writing less. Better yet, try to meet people face-to-face on a more regular basis.
A balanced heart chakra supports unconditional, objectless love. It is a beautiful cycle: the more love we feel, the more we offer out. The more love we offer out, the more love we receive.
This doesn’t mean you should go around telling strangers you love them. How you approach others has a huge effect on the way you feel about yourself. When you feel closed off, you feel separate. When you open your heart, you feel connected to others.
You will pulsate with a greater love for yourself and for the community at large if you remember that you’re made up of the same cosmic energy as everyone else.