How to Open Your Heart (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

When traumatic events occur in our lives, we frequently close ourselves off; instead of allowing the world to soften us, we allow it to drive us deeper into ourselves. We try to avoid the hurt and pain by pretending it doesn't exist, but no matter how hard we try, we can't hide from ourselves. We must learn to open our hearts to the possibilities of life and allow the world to soften us.

When our fears and seriousness begin to get the best of us, we should take a step back and re-evaluate our behavior. The following are seven ways to open your heart more fully and completely.

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1. Breathe into your pain

Whenever a painful situation arises in your life, try to embrace it rather than fleeing or masking the pain. Take a deep breath and lean into your sadness when it strikes. When we run away from the sadness in our lives, it grows stronger and more real. We take a fleeting emotion and turn it into a solid event, rather than something that passes through us.

We can soften our experiences by using our breath. Our lives will become stagnant if we dam them up, but if we keep them flowing, more newness and greater experiences will blossom.

2. Accept the uncomfortably uncomfortable

We are all familiar with the sensation of apprehension. We all know how fear feels in our bodies: the tightness in our stomachs, the tension in our necks, and so on. We can practice leaning into our discomfort and allowing it to guide us to where we need to go.

The first instinct is to flee, to try to suppress these feelings by not acknowledging them. We close ourselves off to the parts of our lives that we need to experience the most when we do this. Do yourself a favor and lean into that feeling the next time you feel truly uncomfortable. Act despite your fear.

(((Instant Book Preview of Keeping Your Heart Open)))

3. Ask your heart what it desires

We're frequently perplexed about the next step to take, making lists of pros and cons until our eyes bleed and our brains hurt. Instead of always taking this approach, how about engaging a new part of ourselves that isn't usually involved in decision making?

I'm sure we've all felt compelled to make decisions or take actions based solely on our “gut” instincts: when pressed, we can't explain why, just a deep knowing that it had to be done. This instinct is the part of ourselves that we are looking to for answers.

To begin, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself, “Heart, what decision should I make here?” “Which action feels the most natural?”

Watch what happens, then engage and evaluate the outcome.

4. Make use of your shadow

Many of us on the path of personal development get caught up in embracing qualities we want to have, such as happiness, compassion, love, and passion. In this pursuit, we end up losing aspects of ourselves that make us whole, such as suppressing rather than engaging our negative qualities. Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • What aspects of myself am I willing to give up?
  • What am I doing to get in my own way?
  • Is there anything I'm keeping hidden from myself?

Don't be afraid of what comes out; you may want to flee the answers, but instead, acknowledge and be with them as much as possible. It becomes easier to shine your light on what you've been hiding once you're a little clearer about what you've been hiding.

(((Instant Book Preview of The Love Driven Man)))

5. Go with your gut instinct

We'll take a cue from famed mythologist Joseph Campbell for this next step. The idea of following your bliss is a recurring theme throughout his work. This entails engaging and trusting your highest excitement, as well as allowing the deeper pull to lead you in a new direction, even if you don't believe you're ready.

The term bliss does not refer to constant happiness; rather, it refers to a higher calling. Trust that this will carry you through difficult times, and allow yourself to be filled with your own bliss.

6. Spend some time alone

We spend the majority of our lives surrounded by people: friends, colleagues, peers, family members, loved ones, and strangers. How often do we really spend time by ourselves?

When you spend time alone, you are free from the influences of others and can truly open yourself up to explore whatever you want. Take a look at where your thoughts take you. The key here is to not become distracted; simply observe what it's like to be alone.

It may be painful or even frightening at first, but by allowing yourself to experience these new emotions, you will add a whole new layer of depth, experience, and understanding to your life.

7. Get out of your head

This may appear to be contradictory to the previous tip, but they actually work in tandem. You come away with a new understanding after exploring the depths of yourself.

(((Instant Book Preview of What is Chakra Healing)))

It is now time to share that — not by telling others, but by being with others.

When you're with a group of people, try to give them your full attention and energy so you can understand them as well as you understand yourself. Appreciate their individuality as if they were an extension of yourself. Allow yourself to be taken in by the beauty of others and see what they can teach you about yourself.

Remember that you don't have to do all of these at once. Take each one one at a time, figure out which ones work best for you, and see what you can learn.

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You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.

No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.

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