Depression affects millions of people worldwide. But we don’t all experience depression in the same way. It can be mild, moderate, or immobilizing. And if you have depression long enough, it’s hard to imagine life any other way.
In other words, it feels like you’re stuck, and that you’ll never get unstuck. But no matter what your inner demons say, you can rise above your depression. And working with your chakras can help.
Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means “wheel.” So, when we talk about chakras and the human body, we’re referring to energetic wheels that have specific locations throughout the body. These energetic centers also hold mental and emotional strengths, too.
There are many chakras, but the most popular are the seven that run from the base of the spine, up through your center and all the way to the crown of your head. (Today, we’re talking about four of them.)
Each chakra spins. Or at least, it should. They’re like whirlpools, and they pull whatever’s around them into their spinning energy. Chakras draw on your thoughts and emotions, and these can either support the chakra in spinning and whirring effectively. Or, they can slow it down, clog the wheel, and make it stuck altogether.
If a chakra isn’t spinning and moving as it should, that specific area of the body can be affected. So, instead of a functioning gland or organ, you might experience dysfunction in that physical space. If the chakra is stuck, you can experience psychological and emotional breakdown rather than strength and resilience.
Negative emotions can affect us in a physical location. Likewise, physical issues aren’t just physical problems. The mental and emotional body will take a hit, too. It’s all interconnected.
Focusing on your chakras lets you work with both your physical body and your emotional body at the same time. When we release stale and stagnant energy in one area, we can set the other area free, too.
The energy of depression
Now that we understand chakras, let’s look at depression, and how it’s related to these energetic centers.
Negative thoughts and emotions have a heavy, slow energy – like water that gets slower and slower until it pools and stagnates. The energy of depression is heavy, slow and oppressive, too. In fact, many describe depression as a lack of energy, a lack of movement, and a lack of vitality more than anything else.
Depression drags our energy down and drains it out of our system. Along the way, this low-vibrating energy disrupts our lower chakras. But this is the exact energy we need to move in the opposite direction of depression: up, rather than down. This is why it’s so important to meet yourself where you’re at.
If your energy is low, go low. If your lower chakras are stuck, it’s important to get them spinning again. We need to encourage an upward spiral of energy that can have a ripple effect on the rest of our wellbeing.
That brings us to the four lowest chakras: the root, sacral, solar plexus and heart chakra. Focusing on these chakras can help you transform stagnant energy into free-flowing energy – exactly what you need to lift depression.
Although not all depression or people are alike. Some people that have very high energy can also experience depression. In this case, it can become a defense against experiences that are negative in their life.
Now let’s look at the four lowest chakras;
Root chakra (The red chakra)
Where: At the base of your spine; at your tailbone
Function: Survival, self-preservation; acting in the physical world and asserting yourself. You have the right to be here.
Physical connection: Your root chakra is connected to the adrenal gland, and this gland produces adrenaline. Adrenaline helps us feel motivated – something that’s hard to come by during depression, but something we absolutely need.
Balanced root chakra: If the root chakra is balanced, we feel supported, connected, safe and grounded. Balancing your root chakra gives you the knowledge that you are safe and that you are being taken care of.
Unbalanced root chakra: If there’s an imbalance in the root chakra, it can result in…
- Feeling disconnected
- Feeling worried and afraid
- Feeling helpless and hopeless
- Self-loathing, feeling worthless and guilty
- Suicidal ideation
How to balance your root chakra: There are many different ways to restore balance in this energetic center. Choose one that resonates with you and feels the most supportive.
- Move your body: One of the most important things you can do is get your body moving again. If you can, connect with the grounding energy of the earth, too. Walking, running, yoga, and even climbing are all ways to help stir up the stagnant energy in your root chakra.
- Get grounded: Grounding your body with the earth’s energy is a natural way to balance the root chakra and lift depression. Chronic stress negatively impacts key neurotransmitters like serotonin, GABA, dopamine, noradrenaline, and others. These chemicals are involved with our moods and emotions. However, when ground yourself to the earth’s energy, you can lower stress levels and support these neurotransmitters in functioning more optimally. This may help ease depression, too.
- Give: The root chakra is focused on survival. So, when our root chakra is imbalanced, we’re more likely to hold onto our resources with a death grip. But if you want to get this energy moving again, you have to move it via giving. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give financially. You can also give your time, energy, effort, and
- Eat grounding foods: Allow the earth to literally sustain you by consuming grounding foods, like potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips, turnips, and radishes. Radishes are especially relevant here because they’re red.
- Red Gems: Red gems provide a physical reminder of your root chakra, while also supporting you with their own innate energies. Consider garnet, red tiger’s eye, red jasper, and red carnelian stones.
- Use “red” oils: Sandalwood is calming and an antidepressant. Use it to stir up your life force energy. (Be sure to use it safely. And if you are currently taking medications, speak to your doctor first to prevent any contraindications.)
- Surround yourself with red: Can you wear red clothing? Or, keep red flowers nearby? Set the intention to use these items as a way to support your root chakra.
Focus on the root chakra if your depression is accompanied by:
- Low red blood cell count
- Back pain
Sacral chakra (The orange chakra)
Where: About 2 inches below the naval
Function: The function of the sacral chakra is to engage with your feelings, along with your ability to both experience and express emotions. Often, people develop an experience of depression because they avoid feeling their negative emotions, and they bury them deep inside.
But if we don’t allow ourselves to feel negative emotions, it’s hard to feel positive ones, too. In other words, if we shut down one emotional area, we turn off our ability to feel anything. This can lead to a stuck sacral chakra.
Physical connection: Your sacral chakra is connected to the gonad gland, which helps to produce hormones that regulate emotions and energy levels, such as estrogen and testosterone.
So, if you’re depressed, there’s a chance that the gonad gland isn’t functioning optimally, and this can lead to hormonal imbalance and the resulting emotional struggles. When you support the sacral chakra, you support the gonad gland. This, in turn, supports healthy hormone levels that can help you rise out of depression.
Balanced sacral chakra: A healthy sacral chakra allows you to experience pleasure and enjoy life. You can also feel your emotions without being overwhelmed by them. When this chakra is spinning and balanced, risk seems less formidable, and we’re creative, committed, passionate, sexual and outgoing.
Unbalanced sacral chakra: If the sacral chakra is stuck or stagnant, you can experience…
- Lack of interest in your daily activities, hobbies, and even sexual intimacy
- Lack of energy
- Feeling drained and fatigued
- Feeling sluggish and heavy
How to balance your sacral chakra: These are simple, yet powerful, ways to wake up your sacral chakra and get the energy moving up again.
- Experience pleasure: By allowing yourself to experience pleasure, you can start to balance the sacral chakra again. Granted, this can seem like an impossible feat if you’re dealing with depression. So, start simple and start small. What is one thing you can do today that gives you pleasure? Petting your dog? Listening to your favorite music? Taking a walk? Whatever it is, give yourself permission to not only do it but to feel good doing it, too.
- Be grateful: It may be hard to feel happy or grateful. But you can still be Look at your life *right now* and identify anything that gives you a sense of enjoyment and pleasure. Now, take a moment and thank it. Your gratitude will lift your energetic vibration and attract more pleasure into your life.
- Eat orange foods: Nourish your entire being with orange-colored foods. This includes vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash, along with fruits, like oranges and mangos.
- Stones and crystals: These precious materials help open and activate the sacral chakra. Look to orange calcite, orange coral, citrine, orange carnelian and orange aventurine for additional support.
- Use essential oils: Cardamom can help awaken a sluggish sacral chakra. Otherwise, tend to the sacral chakra with sweet orange, neroli, and sandalwood. (Remember, be sure to use it safely. And if you are currently taking medications, speak to your doctor first to prevent any contraindications.)
- Surround yourself with orange: How can you sneak more orange into your life? Doing so can remind you of the healing work you’re undertaking. Even if you don’t own anything orange, you can use orange flowers as the background on your PC or phone. There’s marigolds, roses, lilies, tulips, gerbera daisies and so much more. As always, find something you love.
Focus on the sacral chakra if your depression is accompanied by:
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Sexual or reproductive issues
- Urinary or kidney problems
Solar plexus (The yellow chakra)
Where: 2-3 inches above the navel
Function: The solar plexus chakra is about personal power and self-acceptance. When you wake up this chakra, you strengthen the belief that you have the ability to overcome your depression. Balancing the solar plexus chakra enables you to take action to create a life you want.
This is significant because we can feel depressed when it seems like we don’t have any control in our lives, or in how things turn out. But when we balance our power center, we can speak up against the dark voice of depression. We can be assertive and take up space.
Physical connection: Stomach, gall bladder, liver, and spleen
Balanced solar plexus chakra: When this chakra is balanced, we can be assertive and confident. Our metabolism and digestion are strong. We are not worried so much about being criticized for our decisions. We believe in them, and we believe in ourselves.
Unbalanced sacral chakra: If this chakra is imbalanced, difficult experiences show up, like…
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling indecisive
- Feeling helpless
- Not having a purpose
- Fear of being alone
- Appetite changes
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Reckless behavior
- Escapist behavior
How to balance your solar plexus chakra:
- Do something you love every day: Support the solar plexus by spending 10-15 minutes every day doing something you love. Now is not the time for excuses! You are worth your time and efforts. What do you love doing? What can you do that makes you forget about time? Maybe it’s getting lost in an amazing novel. Maybe it’s painting a dreamy landscape. Maybe it’s spending time in the garden, or in the kitchen. Whatever it is, do what you love and get good at it. This will increase your sense of personal power.
- Take a class: What are you most curious about? As Elizabeth Gilbert says, follow your curiosity. When you do, you’ll feel fulfilled and engaged with your life again. There are so many ways to expand your knowledge and feel more engaged with your talents and skills. You can take a class online. You can read countless free articles. Listen to an audiobook. You get the picture!
- Eat yellow foods: There’s such a wide variety of yellow foods to choose from, but the best place to start is with foods that appeal to you. Choose from butternut squash, pumpkins, lemons, bananas, golden apples, yellow pears, and yellow peppers. And don’t forget about warm spices, like cumin and fennel. All of these gifts from Mother Earth can help your chakra spin at a higher frequency.
- Gems: Whether you carry gems in your pocket, beneath your pillow, or in your purse, keep them close by to receive their healing energies: citrine, amber, yellow jasper, yellow jade, and golden calcite.
- Use essential oils: Bergamot and grapefruit are two citrus oils, whose floral, fruity aromas help to stimulate stagnant energy and alleviate troubled moods. Take steps to use essential oils safely. And speak to your doctor before using them if you’re taking any medications.
- Surround yourself with yellow: Yes, there is yellow clothing, yellow prints, and so much more. But don’t forget about the most beautiful source of “yellow” we have: natural sunlight.
Focus on the solar plexus chakra if your depression is accompanied by:
- Digestive problems
- Low blood sugar
- Poor memory
Heart Chakra (The green chakra)
Where: The center of the chest
Function: The function of the heart chakra is love; to give and receive love. It supports you in accepting and loving yourself. The heart chakra governs relationships.
Physical connection: Heart, lungs and the thymus gland, which helps regulate the immune system.
Balanced heart chakra: When this chakra is balanced, you open yourself up to the love that you are. This love connects you with your true self and with everyone else.
Unbalanced heart chakra: If this chakra is imbalanced, you may…
- Feel angry and defensive
- Feel agitated and restless
- Feel closed down and isolated
- Take on the role of the savior, or of the victim
- Have a low tolerance for just about everyone and everything
- Have poor boundaries
- Love indiscriminately, and have unhealthy relationship dynamics, like co-dependency, jealousy, and anger
How to balance your heart chakra:
- Meditate: Practice Loving Kindness Meditation, which allows you to cultivate a love for yourself, others and the world. We now know that meditation can help lift depression. So, committing to 10 minutes a day can go a long way in supporting your mental and emotional health.
- Spend time in nature: Nature is a “natural” way to de-stress, uplift and balances this energy center. How can you increase the time you spend with Mother Nature?
- Practice receiving: A balanced heart chakra loves to receive, but this is actually something many people struggle with. We have a hard time accepting love from ourselves and from other people. But when you practice receiving, you can open yourself up to more love. Start with saying, “Thank you.” So, when someone compliments you, don’t downplay it. Just receive it. If something great happens to you, don’t say, “This is too good to be true.” Say, “This is so good, it is”
- Gems and crystal: Let Mother Nature support you with her own line of jewelry. Rose quartz, jade, and emerald are wonderful pieces to open and balance the heart chakra.
- Palmarosa essential oil: This oil has a similar scent to rose, which is where it gets its name from. This fragrant oil helps calm the mind, uplift the mood and bring clarity to the mind. It also helps calm and quiet the nerves, and alleviate stress.
Focus on the heart chakra if your depression is accompanied by:
- Heart pain
- Heart disease
- Chest pain
- Asthma, breathing disorders
- High blood pressure
- Muscle tension
We’ve covered a lot of ground here, but it goes to show that there is no one-size-fits-all “cure” for depression. Lifting depression really is unique to the individual and their own energetic state.
As you read through this information, listen to your gut and focus on the chakra that resonates the most with you. As the old saying goes, “Physician, heal thyself.” Check out our article on being Medically Intuitive learning to know yourself.
As you work with these four chakras to ease depression, always remember that it’s perfectly okay to work with your doctor or therapist, too. In fact, please continue doing so. Chakra healing is something you can do in tandem with other modalities.