Learning to open your heart space is probably the most important thing you will ever do, and that’s not an exaggeration. The reason why I say this is because your heart is the only real cornerstone for happiness. As long as you live with a big heart, you’re going to have a fulfilling life. It’s really that simple.
By opening your heart, you become a heart-centered individual. This means you’re going to experience more feelings of love, gratitude, and compassion because all these feelings come from the heart. Heart-centered feelings directly correspond with happiness, as the more of these feelings that you experience, the happier you become.
Some people chase money, fame, and glory, while others have built empires to achieve this feeling of fulfillment. How silly they would feel if they realized that the only route to genuine happiness is by opening the heart and experiencing the bliss that comes from love. Anything else in life is a bonus. So let’s look at what the heart space is, and how you can connect more deeply with it, for a more magical life experience.
What does it mean to open your heart?
Having an open heart is to be a heart-centered individual. This means you highly value feelings that come from the heart such as love and gratitude, and live by those feelings. As the most wholesome feelings that life has to offer come from the heart, striving to open your heart is a very wise move.
Why is it so important to open your heart?
An open heart is the gateway to experiencing some of the most desirable feelings that we can experience. As your heart is directly associated with feelings of love, gratitude, joy, and ultimately, happiness, you will experience a lot more of these feelings, more often, by becoming more heart-centered.
Opening your heart also helps you grow as a person, and deepens your journey into personal development and spirituality. An open heart is directly associated with feelings of love, and love is the strongest vibration there is. If you live by your heart (instead of your mind), you’re opening yourself up to a much more magical life experience.
What are some signs of an open heart?
Instead of living by the mind, you live with your heart and trust that it’s leading you in the right direction. With that said, you value your heart’s wisdom more than anything else and open yourself up to experiences of love, gratitude, compassion, kindness, joy, and generosity. Below are some signs that you have an open heart.
- You tend to listen to your heart over your mind
- You feel love for the people in your life
- You care a lot about other people and animals
- You are generally quite selfless
- You like to be generous
- You are compassionate
- You understand people and their problems
- You have a desire to help others
- You have a soft spot for certain people in your life
The spirituality of heart-centered living
There’s a reason why love has such a strong affiliation with spirituality. That’s because love is so much more than an emotional state caused by your brain releasing funky chemicals. Dopamine, endorphins, and oxytoxin are great and all, but they’re not love. Love is an energy, and the heart is the physical portal to connect with that energy.
Love isn’t something you create, it’s something you tap into. It’s the most powerful energy in the universe. God is love, and you are a part of god. When you connect with spirit, you’re tapping into the divine love that we’re all a part of. Love is a spiritual phenomenon as it’s not a matter of creating this feeling. It’s a matter of connecting to a deeper part of ourselves where this love is already there.
Heaven is not a physical place, it’s a metaphor for this state of divine love that we connect to with the higher self. Hell is a metaphor for the state of hatred, ego, and the lower self, which only exists in lack of love. As every genuine spiritual leader, whether it be a shaman, priest, or a mystic believes in the power of love, that’s got to tell you something…
To learn more about the spiritual realm and its connection with love, check out the article below.
Activating the heart chakra
Love comes from the heart chakra, which is located right behind the heart. The energy of love, gratitude, and compassion feel like they come from the heart (which is the physical manifestation of the heart chakra), but these energies actually come from the heart chakra.
When you open your heart, you’re really opening the heart chakra. This is what creates that expansive feeling and raises your vibration. Opening your heart and feeling more love has a lot of spiritual significance, as being heart-centered corresponds with the higher self. By moving into the higher self, you’re connecting further with the god within.
Raise your vibration via the heart
Love is of the highest vibration that we can experience, as it resonates at a heavenly frequency. When you move into your heart space, it creates a dominos effect. Your vibration increases, you move into your higher self, and you feel much happier. Because of this vibration, your reality starts resonating with that frequency, which is the basis of the law of attraction.
We live with unconditional love when we align with our higher selves and resonate at a high vibration. This feeling of love resonates with other high vibrational states such as abundance, benevolence, peace, gratitude, and compassion. Start with the little things to feel more positive emotions which help raise your vibration, and naturally, you’ll start connecting to that feeling of love.
Use virtues as guidelines. Think about what emotions make you feel genuinely happy and spark that deeper joy, such as gratitude and compassion. Work on experiencing more high vibrational emotions by encouraging yourself to feel them, and by cultivating the desire to feel them. Be the best person that you can be, and you’re well on your way.
Living with unconditional love
Loving unconditionally is the ultimate goal of opening your heart. Unconditional love means that you love everyone and everything without strings attached. Instead of basing your love for your partner on their appearance, personality, or success (a condition for your love), nothing will change how you feel about them.
Imagine the way you feel about your pet dog, your kids, or perhaps the love of your life. Do you love them because of something, or just because it feels good? Of course, you just love them for who they are. That is what it means to love someone without boundaries. It’s a deeper sense of fulfillment than romantic love, which is often short-lived.
Learning to love unconditionally is the act of extending that feeling to everything. This includes every person and animal, the water you drink, the food you have, the things you have, the nature you experience, the life you were given, and the creator who facilitated it. In theory, that is what enlightenment is. In practice, let’s start with the basics.
Why do people close their hearts?
People close their hearts because they are afraid of getting hurt, or they have been hurt. They shut themselves down and block everything out as a way to protect themselves from feeling undesirable sensations. A closed heart is more controlled and easier to manage, but it also severely restricts your life experience, in pretty much every way imaginable.
Look at a closed heart as a wound that never healed. An open heart can make you feel vulnerable as it opens you up and makes you more sensitive. There are a lot of feelings that are uncomfortable, as caring about people is beautiful, but it can also hurt.
Blockages of the heart chakra
When you go through something such as heartbreak, the feeling can be extremely painful. In an attempt to protect oneself, sometimes people put up walls in an attempt to prevent themselves from experiencing that sensation again, which comes at the expense of being heart-centered. These walls can create blockages which make it really difficult for people to move back into their heart space.
People who have blockages in their heart chakras create the archetype of the cold-hearted Scrooge. I’m sure you’ve met people in your life who are bitter, hateful, and clearly disconnected from their heart space. As a heart chakra blockage distances people from their heart space, they also unknowingly separate themselves from happiness. Some signs of a blockage in the heart chakra include:
- A lack of sensitivity to other people and their problems
- A lack of empathy or compassion
- Selfishness or self-centered demeanor
- Avoidance of intimacy
- Inability to properly express oneself
Why is it difficult to open your heart?
Often, people’s hearts are closed off as a survival mechanism. When people feel like they need to hold onto what they have and protect it at any expense, they close their hearts as a way to ensure that happens.
Since an open heart corresponds with generosity and giving, someone who’s stuck in a scarcity mindset might close their heart to avoid giving. It’s not that they’re a bad person, they’re just caught in a state of survival and feel that helping others comes at their own expense (when really it’s quite the opposite).
It’s sad really, as most people aren’t aware that they’re robbing themselves of the biggest gift in life – an open heart. So make sure you’re aware if you’re closed off. Set your intentions toward opening your heart and getting out of this survival state, as that fear of opening up is in your head, not your body.
Why you shouldn’t be afraid to open your heart
Opening your heart can be scary because you feel vulnerable. As the heart is something that’s so pure, there’s a natural instinct to protect it. In fact, that feeling of love is so powerful, that we commit our entire lives to avoid feeling it. This speaks measures, but it’s not because it’s bad. It’s because the experience of love is intense.
Don’t live your life closed off because you’re afraid of getting hurt. Heartbreak can be painful, but anyone who has been through it will agree that it is always better to love fully and to get hurt, rather than to not experience it at all.
With that said, there’s a reason why the phenomenon is called heartbreak. It breaks your heart wide open. Yes, it may take some healing, but once you heal, your heart is more open than it previously was. Unless you close it off instead of feeling it and healing it, heartbreak is one of the most beautiful, soul-expanding experiences that we can undergo.
The best practices to open your heart
Now that we understand what love actually is and how important of a role it plays in our lives, let’s look at some ways that we can move out of the mind and into the heart space.
Allow yourself to cry
A big part of opening your heart is to allow yourself to feel whatever emotions arise. If you feel sad about something, let yourself feel it fully. Don’t hold it back. Cry, and do it with intent. Don’t stop yourself from crying, because crying really helps to get you out of your shell. It breaks your heart open, and that’s a beautiful experience to have.
Don’t desensitize yourself
Many people desensitize themselves from feeling heart-centered emotions, in an attempt to maintain an image that they are tough. So they scoff at heart-felt conversations and suck up tears when witnessing something sad. People who have been desensitized avoid heart-centered feelings, because it makes them feel vulnerable.
This issue is rooted in a person’s conditioning which is a whole other beast to tackle. Regardless, if you want to move into your heart space, it’s important to identify whether you have these tendencies. Let yourself feel vulnerable, and you’re going to move more into your heart space.
Be present with all of your emotional experiences
To enter your heart space, it’s important to understand that painful emotions are not your enemy. Yes, they suck to experience, they can hurt. But those emotions are also very wise teachers as they humble you. So be present with them. Even unpleasant emotions help you calibrate with the heart space, as they show you what you don’t want to experience (and what’s a better alternative).
By escaping particular emotions or sensations, you’re also refusing to learn from them. They aren’t serving their purpose if you’re refusing to experience them. Therefore, be present with every experience that you have, desirable or not, because at the very least they’re going to point you in the right direction.
Blockages of the heart chakra often result in emotional states like resentment and hatred. These emotions occur when you are separated from the heart space, and disconnected from your loving soul nature. Notice how when you let go of these negative feelings, you feel a little happier and open up a little more.
It’s important to recognize if there’s any bad energy lingering. Is there anyone who you feel resentment towards? Because if there is, this is going to act as a barrier to opening your heart. Learning to let go of these painful feelings towards someone else can be difficult, but it’s necessary to identify this lingering energy and practice forgiveness until the blockage is removed. By mopping out all the negativity that you hold onto, you create space for love to fill.
Wish people well
You want to reach a place where you wish pretty much everyone that you think about well. Imagine your dad is going through a really difficult time, or he’s lonely, or sad. How does that make you feel? It makes you sad right? You genuinely wish him the best because seeing him suffering makes you sad too.
So when you think about people, try to jog the heart by wishing them well too. If I know someone is in a bad position, I naturally feel for them and send them loving energy. Sometimes I’ll imagine them in a bad position to jog my heart, so I can achieve that feeling and send them loving energy anyway.
Listen to your heart
Listen to your heart has always been a motto, but have you ever wondered why? let’s face it, your mind isn’t the smartest one of the bunch. Your heart intuitively knows what’s best, as it’s connected to your feminine body. As learning to listen to your heart is a construct of the divine feminine, I suggest reading the article below. This will help you get more into your feminine side while disengaging the mind.
Work on healing your emotional wounds
If you have issues opening your heart, it could be the result of emotional wounds. These wounds come in different forms, from childhood trauma, abandonment, heartbreak, negative experiences with people in the past, and so forth. When these wounds aren’t properly processed (as often we’re too young to know how to process them), sometimes we find the only way to stop experiencing that pain is to close off, which can be either conscious or unconscious.
Therefore, it’s important to sit with your experiences and see if there’s any hidden trauma that has blocked your heart chakra. If you recall any painful experiences related to the heart space or can recognize that you closed yourself off, it’s important to resurrect that trauma and heal it.
Wear your heart on your sleeve
Express yourself more fully, and don’t hold back. The more you make a habit of fully expressing yourself, the more heart-centered you’re going to become. If you feel joy, dance like a maniac and express that energy. If you feel hurt, express that hurt, cry, be sad and heal. Start expressing yourself more, and you’ll find that your heart space opens up as does your sense of expression.
Show more affection
Some people are naturally more affectionate than others, but showing affection is a good way to connect with the heart space. Whether it’s with friends, your partner, or your pet, get into the habit of showing affection by touching, hugging, or doing whatever feels right for you.
Humanize the human experience
Try to deepen your emotional relationships with people. See if you’re able to treat other people the same way you would treat a family member or a good friend. See them as human beings who are also going through their own difficulties, who have their struggles, who you can feel sorry for at times. Seeing it in a way where we’re all on the same team helps to get more into your heart space, and to see through the differences that we have.
Get out of your ego
The ego blocks the heart and has no problem doing so. The egoic self is associated with the lower self as it’s the self-serving part of you. When you’re centered around the ego, the sense of ‘me’, you lose that connection to love. That’s why you need to realize when you’re coming from a place of ego rather than heart (they are opposites).
Spiritual practices such as meditating can help you get out of your ego and into your heart. Likewise, aiming to be more mindful, and recognizing when your ego is in charge will help too. Step by step as your ego loses power and you cultivate a higher awareness, you will start connecting to that deeper and more wholesome part of self.
- Stop trying to kill your ego: Find balance with it instead
- How to get deeper in your meditation practice
- Practical mindfulness exercises for beginners: Cultivating presence and inner stillness
Live from a place of service
Possibly, the most important thing you can do to open your heart is to live in a place of service. When you’re feeling unconditional love and your heart is wide open, naturally you’re going to be at service. What this means is to dedicate your life to the growth, well-being, and evolution of all life. When you’re in service, you are outside of mind, outside of ego, but truly connected to the deepest layer of what you are: god.