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Nina Handwerk: Brennan Healing Science Practitioner

The 3rd Chakra’s Role in Addiction

By in 3rd Chakra with 0 Comments

I have big and important news everyone…I’m on a cleanse! 😉


I don’t do this often. Or really ever! I’m quite proud of myself. This particular cleanse isn’t too intense, but it does limit my diet substantially. I’m doing it for health reasons, and so far it feels successful and helpful to my health.


There were many times in my life where just the thought of giving up a vice: coffee, sugar, carbs, would have been too overwhelming for me to even consider. Maybe for a day here and there, but for 30 days? Forget it. Food is a deep attachment for me, ingrained since day one. So why now am I able to go through with this, when a few years ago I couldn’t?


I have been pondering this a lot. Why have my attachments loosened in the past year or so? Why am I more able to be rational with food choices, rather than irrationally governed by emotional impulses?


It is my belief that many addictions and attachments are, at the root, social. I know for me they are. Worries about what is required of me socially, how I need to be in a situation, who I need to impress…A long history of hoping to appear “normal” when deep down I felt anything but…all of these patterns created a weak sense of self in me. The substances I would reach for served to make me feel safer in social settings, like I had a buddy with me, reducing the intensity of the situation, and making any strange dynamics easier to stomach. It took me a lot of years of self-tracking and coaching to realize that this desire to lessen the intensity of social dynamics was the underlying cause of my addictive patterns. You may not realize your substance does this, but think about it! How many times have you heard someone say, or heard yourself say, “I can face so-and-so once I’ve had a few” or “I need a cup of coffee” or “I need a drink.” Those are not just random statements…a part of us really does believe that the substance will make life tolerable, which in turn suggests that just facing life, unaltered, is too intense.


The desire to change our inner state of being in order to not feel what’s happening is a sign that the third chakra is not functioning well. The third chakra is the primary chakra involved in social dynamics; it governs how we feel about ourselves in the world. Are we shy, insecure, or self-doubting? If these emotional states are present, the likelihood that we’ll crave a substance is much higher.


When we have low self-esteem and a poor sense of self, and are constantly worrying about what others will think about us, our third chakra becomes weak and porous. Porous means that energies other than our own are able to enter our field and influence us. We become too aware of awkward dynamics between coworkers. We become too aware of negative perceptions of us from others. All of these awarenesses increase negative cording, where our energy attaches to others and we feel pushed and pulled around in life.


Inner stability and a strong 3rd chakra, on the other hand, get built when we don’t worry about what others think, when we feel ourselves first and enjoy who we are, when we celebrate our victories and talk nicely to ourselves through our failures. When we let go of caring if we’re liked, if people think we’re interesting and exciting enough. When we track our own needs ahead of the needs of others, and actually say no when something isn’t working for us.


The more sense of self and security we have inwardly, the easier it becomes to function socially, to be spontaneous, to share meaningful moments with others. All of the worry and self-consciousness makes the process so much harder.


If you’re interested in releasing addictions and feeling more self-assured in social life, there’s a lot you can shift easily through changing your inner state of being with your intention. Practice feeling yourself. Relax. Enjoy being you. Feel things that you like about your life. This practice has made all the difference for me. It is a discipline to track the self instead of over-tracking the people around. Over time the practice creates a stronger sense of self, a stronger third chakra, and the ability to separate the emotional needs from the physical more easily.


How is your third chakra doing? Do you feel pushed and pulled around by other people’s opinions and unsolicited advice? Do you doubt yourself? Do you feel nervous in social settings? Do you crave substances to calm you down, or chill you out? Do you change your actions and way of speaking around different types of people?

These are all indicators that the third chakra needs some work. Take heart! The treatments are easy enough, and the practices simple for increasing social presence and 3rd chakra function. When you do, your emotional, spiritual, and physical digestion of what is happening in life will improve. Here are a few suggestions to get the 3rd chakra happily spinning:


  1. Befriend whatever emotional state you’re in.


It’s easy to start doubting and worrying if you’re not in acceptance of yourself. This is the biggest spiritual practice. Without loving yourself, your energy will split in two and create more and more dissonance and insecurity within you. If you’re depressed, feel it! If you’re angry, be angry. When we don’t like our emotions, and try not to feel them, they end up finding a covert way to express. Repressed anger becomes hatred and blame. Repressed sadness and grief becomes depression. Repressed fear becomes arrogance.
When we accept and agree with our emotions, they tend to do what they are designed to do: move. Allowing anger to flare up in you means it will also release from your system fully…when we try to “socialize” or subdue our emotional nature in order to appear appropriate, the emotional body gets stuck and can’t move as well. This leads to a frustrated feeling that lingers much longer than necessary and depresses the whole system.


  1. Let go of the need for things to shift immediately.


A big part of releasing addictions and attachments is accepting life on life’s terms (to quote AA). To me this means loosening any feeling I might have of needing/demanding instant gratification in life.


A lot of those emotions that we attempt to subdue with food or alcohol, etc, are actually totally tolerable if we can get out of the mindset that everything should feel good and easy all of the time. We actually have an enormous threshold for emotional states. If you can just sit with your discomfort, your anger, your fear, you can actually survive it without needing a substance. Many people are operating from a “I need to feel better…now!” mentality which actually is a growth-killer. Creating a life that you feel great about means going through some uncomfortable emotions, not just skipping over them into a blissful state or checked-out state.


  1. Practice warmth.


If you can get a warm frequency and warm thoughts running through your head, a lot of frenetic stress melts away. When life feels warm, we don’t want to escape it so much. Many people I consult with and know are running a cold dialogue in their heads: “life is hard,” “I don’t like them and they don’t like me,” “this will never work for me,” “I don’t have enough time,” “I’m under so much pressure,” etc. So there is this ongoing feeling of life being cold. This coldness is created within and then projected outward. Any sign of affirming the inner reality…like a rude person, or a mean look, or showing up late because traffic was bad, is taken as “proof” that the negative state is reality.


On the other hand, a warm reality can also be created in the mind. A positive assumption that “I’m going to have a great time,” “I’m likeable,” “I can handle whatever life throws at me,” “I like myself,” can just as easily be created. It takes some work to track and release the negative voice, and replace it with a more serene and positive one. When this serenity becomes real within, it is easier to detect the warmth of life (not that it didn’t exist before) and to enhance it. And the little irritants and meannesses become less impactful. This is the like attracts like principle in action. If the inner state can shift to warmth, all of life can feel much more relaxed and relaxing. This may sound simple…because it is simple!


While you can’t control what created the weakened third chakra in the first place, you can take these simple steps to improve it at any stage in life. A strong third chakra has immense benefits: clarity, social responsiveness, enjoyment, belonging, warmth, ease. Imagine the incredible relief you’d feel walking in to a crowd of total strangers and not worrying about how they’ll like you. The joy of being able to just relax and take in your surroundings without craving something to take the edge off. As someone who has transformed a lot of the insecurity that comes with 3rd chakra weakness, I can really vouch for how much these practices can change one’s life for the better. Heck, maybe you’ll even be on a cleanse soon too!

If you’d like to learn more about how I help people release negative attachments/addictions and heal their depression, please contact me at


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Nina Handwerk: Brennan Healing Science Practitioner