Chakras have been used throughout history in Eastern medicine and spiritual practices to help bring balance to the body, mind, and soul. Those who use the chakra system believe that each one linked to a different aspect of mental and physical health.
When your chakras are in alignment, there is a positive flow of energy. But, if a chakra becomes off balance or unaligned, it can manifest itself with physical or emotional symptoms such as anxiety or depression. But is there a chakra for anxiety? And if so, how can it be aligned?
What Is a Chakra?
A chakra is a source of energy in the body that is also responsible for moving that energy throughout a person's entire being. The word itself stems from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" because it is associated with this spinning force of movement. Chakras throughout the body come together to form what is known as the chakra system.
The chakra system stems from traditional Indian and Tibetan medicine, and the spiritual practice of Buddhism. It has been used to map the functions of the body's central nervous system (CNS) and it corresponds closely to the major organs and their nerve centers throughout the body.
People that believe in chakras say that these centers of energy throughout the body can influence a person's mind, body, and behavior. They also believe that chakras can become blocked due to stress, difficult situations, or negative energy. When a chakra is blocked or out of alignment, it can manifest itself in a variety of different ways, such as causing mental, emotional, or physical symptoms.
The Body's Seven Chakras
There are seven chakras in the human body. All of which symbolize different needs, such as self-confidence and emotional healing. Each one has a symbol, a color, and a mantra associated with it. Some practices, such as yoga and various therapies, have people focus on their chakras to experience awareness and healing.
|Root chakra||Red||At the tailbone||Connects the mind, body, and soul to the earth|
|Sacral chakra||Orange||Right below the bellybutton|| |
Connected to the lymphatic system, emotional expression, and desires
|Solar plexus chakra||Yellow||Behind the bellybutton|| Controls
self-confidence, self-discipline, and wisdom, that 'gut feeling'
|Heart chakra||Green||Center of the chest||Involved in emotional healing, mental health, love, and compassion|
|Throat chakra||Blue||At the base of the throat||Controls expression, voicing opinions speaking the truth|
|Third eye chakra||Indigo||Between the eyebrows||Means "beyond wisdom", and helps with self-knowledge and enlightenment|
|Crown chakra||Violet||The top of the head||Aids connection to spirituality and insight|
Is There an Anxiety Chakra?
Anxiety is the feeling of constant worry or fear and is a normal human emotion. Sometimes anxiety can escalate into an anxiety disorder, where a person experiences constant thoughts and feelings of worry or rumination that can impact their day-to-day life. Anxiety can lead to a variety of mental and physical effects, such as difficulty concentrating or feelings of irritability.
Because anxiety can affect everyone differently and impact different parts of the body, there isn't one single chakra associated with it. For example, if your anxiety is making it difficult for you to have important conversations, it may be affecting your throat chakra. Whereas if your anxiety symptoms make it difficult for you to express emotions, it could affect your sacral chakra.
Many people believe that anxiety can impact the solar plexus chakra. This chakra is responsible for self-confidence and self-discipline and is attributed to the 'gut feelings' people have. Anxiety can also cause stomachaches and pains which corresponds to the placement of the solar plexus chakra. This belief stems from spirituality and ancient practices, and there is no scientific evidence to support these findings.
How to Use Chakras for Anxiety
Not much research has been done in the field of chakras because it's hard to collect information on a person's internal state, as well as create consistent and accurate ways of measuring centers of energy. Therefore, this is no scientific evidence that chakras exist.
Despite the lack of evidence, chakra alignment has been incorporated into several practices that bring together the mind and body. These practices have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and have other health benefits. Many people who believe in chakras point to these findings as evidence to support the importance of chakras and their alignment. However, it cannot be proven that this is a causal relationship. Check out a practice for yourself and see how you feel.
Yoga is an exercise that brings together the power of movement, mindfulness, and breathwork. Research has found it to decrease stress, improve sleep, and promote balance. In addition, it can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as decrease sensations of physical pain throughout the body. Try a couple of yoga poses and see how you feel. Practice a yoga flow online, or sign up for an in-person class. There might not be evidence that it can align your chakras, but there is evidence that it can improve your overall health and well-being.
Meditation is a practice that has been used for thousands of years to help focus the mind and body. Studies have found that it can enhance mood, promote emotional regulation, and help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. During meditation practices, people bring their minds to focus on just one thing, such as a sensation in the body or their breath.
It's normal for a person's thoughts to wander during meditation. What's important is that you bring your attention back to your point of focus. You may find it helpful to start with a guided meditation to walk you through the steps. Some types of guided meditations are:
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your internal and external surroundings. It involves being fully present in the moment and giving all of your attention to whatever task you are engaged in. Research has shown that mindfulness can increase stress management skills, reduce depression and anxiety, and even help people cope with illness. There are a lot of ways to be mindful. It's all about being intentional with your attention. Some ways to be mindful are:
- Set an intention for your day
- Start a gratitude journal
- Turn the TV off when you eat a meal or visit with loved ones
Breathwork is the practice of using breathing techniques. It connects the mind and body by focussing on the breath and the physical sensations it creates in the body. Although breathwork has been incorporated into yoga and meditation practices, it can also be done on its own. Studies have found that breathwork can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and even trigger the body's relaxation response. It can be done anywhere, at any time to give you a sense of relief and help you connect to your body. Some techniques to try are:
- Box breaths - Breathe in for the count of four, then hold for the count of four. Then, breathe out for the count of four, and hold for the count of four. Repeat the process as long as you need.
- Belly breaths - Place your hands on your lower belly and take a deep breath in. Notice where you feel your breath the most. Does it fill your lower belly or do you feel it more strongly in your upper chest? Try to deepen your breaths and notice how they make your stomach rise and fall. Continue the practice until you feel relaxed.
- Lion's breath - This is a fun breathing technique that allows you to be a little silly. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Then, do a strong exhale through your mouth. You can open your mouth wide and even stick your tongue out like a real lion would.
For many people, balancing chakras plays an important role in energy flow throughout the body. And that if somewhere along the way that energy becomes blocked or disrupted, it can have a full-body impact. Although there is no scientific evidence to support chakras and their energy, there are numerous studies that show practices such as yoga, mindfulness, and meditation can benefit your overall health and well-being. If you practice one of these techniques, you might just find that you feel more balanced in more ways than one.