Chakras and how they affect mental health
You may have heard of chakras. They have often been associated with the body’s overall health and well-being. When a chakra gets blocked in your body, a health condition can manifest and the blockage can affect the other chakras. So if you are not careful, you will find the rest of your body rebelling against you. You need to care for your chakras.
What are Chakras?
Let us take a pause and understand what the term chakras means. The body has a set of seven linked chakras, starting from the base of your body and ending its journey at the top of your head.
What is the origin of chakras?
Though belief in the chakra began in India, following the care rituals is not limited by religion or culture. You can apply the concepts to your health and life without worrying about conversion and adaptation.
How does energy play into chakra maintenance?
When energy flows through your body, it begins with the base. If there are no blockages, this energy continues flowing up to the top of your head. When the flow reaches your head, you have the potential of receiving full enlightenment.
That is the ideal scenario. In reality, you need to give your chakras extra tender, love and care from time to time. Their alignment is not always perfect. When there is a misalignment, some chakras may not receive any energy. This will result in some parts of the body not getting the spiritual nourishment that they deserve. So, you will find yourself suffering from a physical ailment and possibly also a mental and spiritual one.
Why should you know more about chakras?
Chakras hold the key to our self-fulfillment and also help by taking a stance against physical and mental illnesses. A blocked chakra may also be equal to a blocked pathway towards success. Instead of fully functioning as a human being, you are relegated to a person who is just trying to survive. You will be in survival or defensive mode when you have unhealthy chakras. Unfortunately, a lot of people are in this particular state of being.
What are the chakras?
There are seven primary chakras in the body. Each chakra has a unique role, but they also work together to ensure the body is holistically healthy:
• Crown (spirituality)
The crown is located at the top of the head, as is with the physical royal ornament. When energy successfully flows up to here, you reach spiritual enlightenment. This is the peak. You become self-actualized when energy can safely flow and permeate here.
A healthy crown connects you to the Source of energy. It allows you to be connected to something beyond your physical body.
Because the crown signifies completion, it governs the body parts that affect the whole such as the skin and the nervous system.
• Third Eye (intuition)
The third eye chakra can be found in the middle of your eyebrows, thus the term “third eye.” Being able to sense beyond the physical starts to become evident as the energy reaches up to here.
This chakra governs the pineal gland, the brain, and the five senses. A healthy third eye will allow you to sense worldly and spiritual stimuli.
• Throat (communication)
The throat chakra deals with communication. It is, as suggested by its name, located in the throat. If it is unhealthy, you are stuck and unable to reveal your thoughts and feelings in words and actions.
This chakra governs the mouth, throat, tongue, and esophagus. However, it also extends to nearby parts, such as the shoulders.
• Heart (love, compassion)
The heart chakra is about being able to extend yourself to other people. It is not just about being able to love others, but also about relating to other people’s experiences. This is the part that starts to lean more towards the body’s spiritual needs instead of the purely physical ones.
This chakra governs the heart, lungs, diaphragm, and nearby related body parts.
• Solar Plexus (self-esteem, power)
While the heart and the throat seem like more viable points where the energy shifts from physical to spiritual, the solar plexus is the seat of power. This chakra is focused on the person’s intellect. It affects how capable you are of thinking critically.
This chakra governs the stomach, spleen, intestines, and their environs. You may be surprised at this connection. After all, the solar plexus is about power, self-esteem, and intellect. Why can’t it govern the brain? This will remind you of the term “gut feeling.” Is there something that you believe because of a particular feeling that is not backed by evidence?
• Sacral Plexus (sexuality, creativity)
The sacral plexus is located 2cm below the navel. This chakra is strongly associated with sexuality and creativity. Both of these concepts are linked to productivity.
This chakra governs the genitals, other reproductive parts, the uterus, kidneys, hips, and surrounding areas.
• Root (survival, being, family)
At the very base is the root. While it is the first point through which energy flows, it is every bit as necessary. In fact, if the root chakra is blocked, the rest of the chakras will not receive any power.
The root chakra is associated with survival. Things such as hunger will block this point. When your physical body does not survive, you have no chance of ever reaching your spiritual peak.
This chakra governs the feet, legs, large intestines, bones, and other parts that ground you.
What Chakras affect Mental Health?
From what you have learned about chakras, you now know that they are interlinked. If one gets blocked, there is a possibility that the rest will not get nourishment, either.
Each of the chakras can affect your mental health if they get blocked. While you may only focus on the third eye and the crown chakras, do not ever neglect the root and other lower chakras.
Problems arising from them can get intense, causing seemingly unresolvable issues.
The short answer is that all seven chakras can have the potential to affect your mental health. A blockage is considered a disruption to the energy flow. It can cause anxiety and other ailments. The body is aware that something is wrong, thus the resulting tension.
What happens when the Chakras get blocked?
When the chakras get blocked, you feel tension surrounding your whole body and may even feel weak.
If one chakra gets blocked, you can get some illnesses that are focused on particular body parts that the chakra governs without affecting the rest of the body.
1. If the crown chakra is blocked, it may mean that the energy was almost done with its cyclical journey. However, it was not able to pass through near the top of your head. Despite your complaints of lethargy, your doctor will not find anything wrong with you physically. The constant lack of inspiration may result in a mentally troubled state.
2. If the third eye chakra gets blocked, you will not reach your full potential. You are afraid to tap into your spirituality, terrified of the idea of being thought of as insane. This constant rejection of the spiritual world may become your undoing. The more you resist the invisible world, the more you become afraid for your mental health.
3. If the throat chakra is blocked, you suffer from repression. This repression may be self-afflicted or inflicted by other people on you. When you are unable to express yourself, your inner being withers within you and you become even more frustrated and alone.
4. If the heart chakra becomes blocked, you are plagued by issues regarding love. You feel out of touch, lonely, enraged, and resentful. You find it hard to make real connections and refuse those who may have hurt you in the past. These unresolved issues can pile up within you and completely disconnect you from others. It can lead to depression.
5. If the solar plexus is blocked, everything that makes you feel proud is negatively affected. Your intellect and personality are not able to shine. This continuous blow to the gut can undoubtedly make someone feel lost and diffident.
6. If the sacral plexus is blocked, you may have the tendency to develop psychosexual problems. A trauma from your past may arise to prevent you from expressing yourself in a healthy sexual way. Inhibitions may restrict your artistic abilities.
7. If the root chakra is blocked, you are always in survival mode. You feel like you must continuously defend yourself. You are frequently hungry, physically or emotionally. This state of being is not a quality life. If you are blocked from the very base, you are barely functioning as a human being. You live instinctively.
As you can now see, all the chakras have an effect on mental health. You don’t have to focus only on the third eye and the crown chakras, which are the closest to the brain. A blow on any part of the body has an effect on the brain. Starvation, sexual abuse, repression, loneliness, and a disconnect from spirituality, all negatively affect mental health.
How do you unblock the Chakras?
To heal your mind, body and soul, you must heal the chakras. Chakras are damaged when they are blocked. So, you must unblock them. Each of the chakras must be allowed to flow. This time, we will start from the base and end with the crown.
To unblock all the chakras in general, you can:
· Practice meditation and be more in touch with your spirituality
· Do yoga poses that will help remove some bodily tensions
· Eat healthy: do not starve or overeat
· Sleep well
· Express yourself more with other people. It may be challenging (or even next to impossible), but start with those you know will be supportive of you.
Specific healing methods may also be used for each chakra. You can do this if you have been able to zero in on the blocked chakra.
· To unblock the root chakra, bring some reds into your life. Though seemingly ordinary solutions, red flowers, and decorations may be used to deck your home and office space. You can also eat red fruits, such as strawberries, cherries, and apples. Wearing red can also brighten your day. However, getting a more stable job or having better security locks can help rid you of your fears for survival. Wear red stones, such as carnelian and garnet.
· To unblock the sacral plexus chakra, fill your world with orange. You must also start attempting to connect with other people, whether to express your sensuality or pitch a creative project. It may be tough. You can continue with your meditation or mantra, to affirm your right to happiness. You can wear jewelry with orangish or yellowish stones, such as amber.
· To unblock the solar plexus chakra, you can energize yourself by surrounding yourself with the color yellow.
· To unblock the heart chakra, make sure you have plenty of greens in your diet.
· To unblock the throat chakra, you must make sure that you include black currants, sage, and blueberries in your diet.
· To unblock the third eye chakra is to go beyond your physical health. Many of your body parts may be physically-bound, but they still affect your overall mental and spiritual health. The om mantra may be chanted during yoga and meditation. You can also put indigo-colored crystals on your head to dangle over your third eye while focusing on your own written mantras. Then, you can supplement your diet with indigo-colored vegetables.
· To unblock the crown chakra is to liberate the last stop before completing the energy cycle. Once you complete this, you enable self-actualization. Besides meditating in absolute silence, you can eat violet foods (e.g., figs), decorate your space with violet décor, and wear amethyst jewelry.
Some of the blockages may need a little extra help to dislodge and you will need to analyze your situation more carefully.
For example, if you have been poor and hungry in the past, this could have created a substantial blockage in your root chakra. It may continue to make you anxious about how you will survive the year and the next, even though you now have a good-paying job. You may need a therapist to help you navigate these issues and get over your simmering fears. Similarly, a sexually-abused person may need extra assistance to dislodge his or her sacral plexus chakra blockage.
Once you recognize whether your issue is severe or not, you can decide what to do.
· For those whose problems are on the manageable side, you can elicit the help of suitably colored crystals and foods. Then, combine them with the recommended mantra, yoga positions, and meditation. You can even dab the chakra’s location with the recommended essential oils.
o Root > patchouli
o Sacral Plexus > neroli
o Solar Plexus > pine
o Heart > rose or rosewood
o Throat > lavender
o Third Eye > sandalwood
o Crown > lime
For those whose problems are deeply rooted, you may need someone to help you dislodge the chakra blockages. An expert in chakras and energy healing may be able to assist.
To restore your mind, body and soul to health or to prevent any future issues, you can:
· Be honest with yourself and zero in on the problem
· Associate it with the chakra that is most likely to have been affected
· Accept the truth and be ready to unblock your chakra
· Go through the necessary rituals while adorned with the recommended accessories (aptly colored crystals/gems and essential oils)
· Make yoga and meditation a regular part of your life, where you go inside yourself and in touch with your truth
· Once you realize that you are not getting better, seek the help of an energy healing expert
· For psychiatric cases, you may need the help of a licensed doctor/therapist
When your chakras remain blocked, you are likely to continue to experience instabilities in your body and within your mind. This is not the time to say, “Oh, this is only happening in my mind. Why do I need help?”
The mind can affect you so much that you render yourself ineffective, depressed, and lost. Mental, body and soul health should always be a priority.
Once your chakra is unblocked, you will feel healthier inside and out.
Learn more about chakras as part of our Tantra Teacher Training.