It seems that overwhelm is the universal feeling lately. In 2020, we have experienced it all: The hope of a new year, a global pandemic which brought fear and isolation, racial inequality coming to the forefront (bringing feelings of both helplessness and hopefulness), and a general environment of divisiveness. It is truly overwhelming, and we are all feeling it in our own unique ways. Here are some ways to help ease that overwhelmed feeling by balancing your chakras, which are also known as energy centers.
What Are Chakras?
As a student of yoga, I have studied chakras for years. If you are new to this concept, click here for a great overview. In a nutshell, chakras are energy centers in our bodies that are linked to physical, emotional, and spiritual manifestations. For example, the first chakra sits at the base of your spine, is your foundation, and represents security. If you are in a situation where you do not feel safe, this physical location may exhibit symptoms like constipation, etc.. By doing some emotional and physical work (there are yoga poses that can help clear blocks in your chakras), you can balance this area to improve your life.
Tools to Ease Overwhelm
Let’s look at seven practices – each associated with one of the 7 chakras – to help calm your mind in times of overwhelm.
- As mentioned above, the first chakra sits at the base of your spine and represents security. When you are feeling overwhelmed, it is the perfect time to practice some basic self-care. If you have been neglecting to take care of yourself (body, diet, emotionally), now is the time to start again. Start small. Do your nails or give your hair a special treatment. Turn off the news (and other news outlets like social media) for 1 day. How do you feel cared for? This is the first step to balance your chakra in uncertain times.
- The second chakra sits in your lower belly near internal reproduction organs. If this chakra is unbalanced, it means you are feeling a lack of control. Most of us are feeling this now! To balance this chakra, do something creative. You can try a new recipe, rearrange a room, draw, write or however you like to express yourself.
- The third chakra hovers around your midsection. It is the ‘fire in your belly’ and relates to self-confidence. This chakra finds balance when you empower yourself in times like now. To feel empowered, set an intention for the day, week or month and remind yourself of it often. Although it seems like we have no power, we are being given a time to reflect and respond with intention and growth.
- The fourth chakra is known as the heart chakra. It is all about loving and feeling loved, and a great way to do this is by connection. Connect with a friend or family member, whether it is taking a walk or having an online happy hour. Or, connect with a pet with some special grooming or cuddle time. If you need another option, volunteer at a local animal shelter, or foster a cat or dog. Connecting will elevate your spirit!
- The fifth chakra is at the throat and is all about speaking your truth. We are certainly living in divisive times. Sometimes you just can’t stay silent, because you are so passionate about something. Other times, the anger of others makes you want to stay silent. Balancing this chakra is about honoring yourself. Speak out if you want to but protect yourself if you need to. Also, remember that your actions can speak louder than your voice. If you are afraid to speak out about an issue you are passionate about, support non-profit organizations that support that issue. Volunteer, send some money, get signatures on a petition. . . there are many ways to “voice” your opinion and affect change.
- The sixth chakra is at your third eye – in between and just above your eyes. This is where your tune into your intuition. The best way to activate the wonderful feelings created by a balanced sixth chakra is to meditate. This can be short and sweet. Sit quietly, and envision light pouring into the top of your head and out of your third eye. You will feel light and calm (this is a good meditation for headaches too).
- The seventh chakra is at the crown of your head. It is the spiritual connection between you and your higher power or the power of positivity around you. Balancing this chakra is up to you and depends on your spiritual practices. Some of the most powerful practices are meditation, prayer and taking a quiet walk in nature. We all feel connected in different ways.
There is so much more to learn about chakras, but I wanted to offer some tools to help through this universal feeling of being overwhelmed. Stay tuned and we will dive much deeper into these energy centers in this blog and on my upcoming YouTube channel.
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