Do you struggle to open your heart to love? Does the thought of putting yourself out there send you into hiding?
If you’ve ever had your heart broken (who hasn’t?), wanting to protect yourself from potential hurt is an understandable reaction to the excruciating pain of heartbreak.
But if you carry this natural impulse for self-protection too far, you cut yourself off from love itself—you opt-out of the growth, wisdom, and love offered through the alchemy of relationship.
I know that opening your heart may feel risky right now, especially if you’ve been burned one too many times. Maybe you feel like you’re just unlucky in love and you’re better off not trying. But I guarantee that the pain of keeping your heart closed is far greater than the discomfort that comes with opening your heart.
I want to offer you some simple steps you can take today to begin opening your heart so you can let in more love.
But first, in case you’re wondering, let’s take a look at some of the signs your heart is closed or blocked.
Signs Your Heart Is Closed
When you have a closed heart (or blocked heart chakra), you may be experiencing some or all of these signs.
- You put everyone else’s needs and concerns above your own. If you neglect your own needs, it may be that you learned early on that your needs weren’t important. As a result, you have a habit of tending to others at your own expense.
- You repress your emotions. If you bottle up your feelings, you create a blockage in your heart that closes it off from connecting with others in a deeply authentic way. To open your heart means to welcome all of your emotions, even the challenging ones.
- You’re holding onto a past relationship. Letting go of an old love can be challenging. Maybe you’re afraid you’ll never love somebody in the same way again. Or perhaps you’re still holding onto past hurts like anger, blame, or resentment. Whatever you hold onto takes up space in your heart, making it impossible for new love to get in.
- Your breath is shallow in your chest. Shallow chest breathing is a physical sign that your heart is closed. That means your inhales and exhales are short and located mainly in the upper chest area. By contrast, when you deepen your breathing into your belly, you create movement and help release energy blocks in your heart.
- You push people away. Do you turn down genuine expressions of kindness and caring from well-intentioned people? If you’re afraid to get close to others, you may isolate yourself and avoid authentic connection.
Do any of these signs resonate with you? If so, not to worry. It’s never too late to open your heart. Here are some steps you can take today to begin letting in more love.
How To Open Your Heart So More Love Can Get In
#1 – Open your heart to yourself first.
Above all else, your heart-opening must be about you saying “yes” to you. Heart healing has everything to do with healing your relationship to yourself first. When you can love and accept yourself, that’s when you can receive the love of someone who can love you well.
In other words, your relationship to yourself is the foundation and filter for all of your other relationships. Your relationships with others are always a reflection of how you’re relating to you. That’s why opening your heart must begin with you.
Here are just a few ways to begin opening your heart to yourself:
- Commit to self-care on all levels of your being. Physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Make doing an activity you love a regular practice (meditating, hiking, reading, writing, gardening, etc.). Organize your life around what brings you joy.
- Embrace self-responsibility. Be willing to see yourself clearly. Acknowledge and take responsibility for your beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Take active measures to align with your authentic self.
- Prioritize self-acceptance and self-compassion. When you can appreciate yourself as a holy work in progress — worthy of love with all your human foibles — then your heart is open and ready for love.
The good news is that when you open your heart to yourself, you draw people to you who can love you well.
#2 – Feel your feelings.
If your heart has been closed, then you likely have stuck or repressed emotions that your body needs to release to create space for love.
First, acknowledge that old emotions are lurking in the shadows. Invite them to rise to the surface to be felt and freed.
Moving your body can help unleash the repressed emotions. Try dancing to music or making gentle movements in water.
When feelings arise, allow yourself to feel them. You’ll discover that you don’t have to fear your emotions. They can be like the weather, passing through you for a time. You don’t have to resist them. You can remain connected to yourself as they go on their way.
Creating emotional flow clears your heart of old, stuck energy and opens your heart to receive love now and in the future.
#3 – Learn from the past and move forward.
Opening your heart also involves shifting your perspective on your past. Take some time to reflect on your past relationships:
- What were the gifts of the relationship?
- In what ways did you grow?
- What did you discover about yourself?
- What clarity did you gain about what you want to create next?
When you’re able to receive and integrate the gifts of a past relationship, no matter how painful or challenging it might have been, you open your heart to new love. Having gratitude for your past relationships expands your capacity for love.
#4 – Practice breathwork.
Breathwork is a simple yet potent way to open your heart. It creates a physical opening in your heart chakra (your heart center) that translates to an opening on the emotional level.
One technique is to engage connected breathing that expands your chest. Here’s how:
- Begin in a seated position.
- Place one hand on your heart and the other hand on your belly.
- With every inhale, imagine expanding your heart to receive love.
- With every exhale, relax in peace.
Try this practice for 2-5 minutes every day and notice any shifts in your experience of yourself. If emotions arise during or after your practice, this is a good sign. It means you’re releasing old pain and making room for more love in your life.
#5 – Ask for and receive support.
Many of us learned early on to be self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency is a beautiful trait to have in life. However, sometimes self-sufficiency can mask a fear of disappointment or a belief in unworthiness.
To open your heart, practice asking for and receiving help from people you trust. In the process, you claim your worthiness of support, and you open yourself to a deeper, more authentic connection with someone who cares for you.
In what ways would you like to be supported? Would you like someone to help you with your garden? Would you like someone’s feedback on a new project you’re working on? Would you enjoy a simple walk and talk with someone who feels safe and non-judgmental?
Even if you feel awkward and vulnerable, I encourage you to practice receiving from others. You are sure to open your heart, create connection, and let in more love.
Opening Your Heart Is About Authenticity
Opening your heart is about taking a stand for your authentic self. Experiencing, revealing, and expressing your genuine nature becomes a priority.
What motivates you is the desire to be known and loved for the truth of who you are, in all your humanness, and to know and love someone else in the same way.
As a result, you are willing to face any fears, attitudes, and beliefs within you that hinder your free and authentic expression. You’re eager to confront the impulse to shut down. You choose vulnerability over fear.
You know that the benefits of opening your heart to love greatly outweigh the risks of being hurt. Every time you choose to open your heart, you become more resilient and empowered. You expand your capacity for authentic connection and love.
To open your heart, begin with self-love first. Then, create emotional flow, integrate wisdom from the past, practice breathwork, and receive support from others. As you do, you have more and more space in your heart to receive the love you most desire.
Would you like support opening your heart to love? Sometimes reading about it isn’t enough to make the shifts you want to make. If you’re ready to take your next step in heart healing, consider booking a session with me. I can help you identify and clear your blocks to love so you can open your heart and let in the love that is there waiting for you.