Spiritual Health

How To Open Your Third Eye With 15 Tips From Experts

Photo: Getty Images/Betsie Van der Meer
Your third eye, or sixth chakra, which sits between your eyebrows and helps you tap into your intuition in a new way, has been around for as long as you have. But that fact alone doesn't mean you know much about it, including, on a basic level, what exactly it is, let alone how to open your third eye and tap into your deepest intuitive capabilities. Well, that's all about to change.

“The third eye is an energetic center, or chakra,” says Erica Matluck, ND, a naturopathic doctor, nurse practitioner, holistic coach, and founder of Seven Senses, which facilitates wellness retreats. “Though it is not an actual physical structure, it is associated with the pineal and pituitary glands on the brain and located on the forehead between the brows.”

Matluck says the chakra system is like the organ system of the subtle (or energetic) body, and each chakra has a function or purpose. The function of the third eye? To access clarity, intuition and foresight. “It gives us the ability to see beyond what is physically present in the moment,” Matluck says. “Seers and psychics typically have highly developed third eye chakras.”

“[The third eye] gives us the ability to see beyond what is physically present in the moment.” —Erica Matluck, holistic coach and naturopathic doctor

Even if you don't have your sights set on becoming a proper clairvoyant, however, "opening" the third eye can still help you become better connected to your intuition and subconscious, which you can then rely upon for guidance, says Reiki master, astrologer, and spiritual coach Ambi Kavanagh, author of Chakras & Self-Care. "When fully activated and flowing harmoniously, this energy center stimulates both the left—logical and rational—and right—creative and spiritual—hemispheres of the brain so the mind can function from a balanced place," she adds.

When the third eye is closed or blocked, on the other hand, you may find it hard to access or trust your intuition (you know, like brain fog). "This can make us feel like victims of life, as though it is happening to us, rather than for us," Kavanagh says. "As this energy center is so pivotal to the healthy functioning of our minds, any blockages can result in a regular brain fog, where we struggle with concentration, have difficulty processing information and are perhaps very indecisive."

Learning how to open your third eye isn’t something you can necessarily accomplish in an afternoon, however—it takes a whole lot of time and work, including putting a strong foundation in place. “Before we open the third eye, it is important to build the energetic foundation of the first five chakras, starting at the root—the first chakra,” Matluck says. “Attempting to open the third eye before working with the lower five chakras is like learning to jump before you can even stand on two feet. In fact, opening the third eye prematurely can result in a spiritual crisis—often perceived as psychosis.”

"Any blockages can result in a regular brain fog, where we struggle with concentration, have difficulty processing information and are perhaps very indecisive." —Ambi Kavanagh, spiritual coach

In other words, if opening the third eye is your ultimate goal, it’s time to get to work on unblocking and balancing your other chakras. Once you’ve done that, you can start taking steps toward opening that sixth chakra. But remember, this takes time—so be patient with yourself along the way. With all of that in mind, keep reading for expert tips for how to open your third eye.

Want to know how to open your third eye? The following 15 tips can help

1. Be introspective

On the journey that is soul searching, learning how to be introspective is paramount. That’s because being introspective means getting real with yourself about how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and where you might improve. When you’re able to label those things, you’re able to move past them more easily—which might alleviate your brain fog simply by providing more mental real estate. One easy way you might practice introspection? Grabbing a notebook and a pen.

“Journaling, I think, helps a lot of people in a lot of different ways,” says yoga teacher and wellness educator Jessica Schatz. “Often what happens in journaling, especially when you allow it to start as a stream of consciousness, you allow yourself to have no judgment about what you're writing. You can find clarity and understanding of what's going on with you.” Don’t forget to go back to read what you wrote!

2. Pay attention to your dreams

Dreams can be confusing, disorienting, wonderful, and terrifying—but don’t just shrug them off each morning when your alarm goes off. In fact, experts recommend looking to dreams for help in opening your third eye. “Pay attention to your dreams. Write them down, remember them, and listen to them,” suggests Matluck. Sounds like it's time to crack open that dream journal, huh? (And in case you need help interpreting them: Here’s a list of common dream meanings. Yeah—we got you.)

3. Focus your meditation on your third eye

Whether you use an app or practice mindfulness meditation or transcendental meditation on your own, if you’re looking to open your third eye and clear some brain fog, meditation can help with that quite a bit. “Focus your attention on the point between the brows in meditation, and simply observe what images or thoughts arise,” Matluck says.

4. Practice breathwork

Breathwork is an excellent tool to use in everyday life, but it’s especially beneficial in opening your third eye. “There are many kinds of breathwork, butholotropic breathwork is particularly well-suited to opening your sixth chakra,” says Matluck. Holotropic breathwork is used for inner healing and combines accelerated breathing with evocative music.

“Breathing techniques are a useful way to really quiet and focus the mind, which allows inner clarity and inner knowing to arise,” says Schatz. She recommends trying nadi shodhana, which is also known as alternate nostril breathing. Essentially, you want to inhale deeply through your left nostril while holding your right nostril closed with your right thumb. Then, you want to, well, alternate.

One last tip from Schatz: Visualize every breath charging your third eye. “If the energy is flowing through the other chakras, you can become more mindful and bring that energy flowing to your third eye,” she says.

5. Try chanting

Yoga and meditation teacher Rosie Acosta, author of You Are Radically Loved: A Healing Journey to Self-Love, says that yogic chanting could also help open up your third eye. She adds that the ohm chant is associated with that chakra—which is great considering that this chant has also been shown to essentially deactivate the brain for an ultimate moment of presence.

6. Use hand gestures

Acosta also recommends using mudras, which are essentially physical representations of a mantra. Acosta recommends using the gyan mudra, which involves connecting the index finger and thumb to form a circle. The gyan mudra is also known as the wisdom mudra, says Acosta—which could work wonders for opening up your third eye since that’s the hand gesture connected to it.

“The gyan mudra gives you a sense of clarity and insight. It allows you to really focus on the balance,” says Acosta. “If you think about it, too, with the index finger and thumbs together, you’re sealing the energy in.” Additionally, this could be helpful in staying present, because once your fingers start to separate, you know you’re deviating from the meditative state.

7. Practice intuitive movement

“One of the ways we bring the third eye back into alignment is literally physically moving the body,” says Schatz, adding that yoga is great, but that folks should consider starting with intuitive movement. “Intuitive movement is all about listening to your body, which is sending us messages all the time. When I talk about intuitive movement, I mean really learning how to listen and respond to what our body needs in the moment without judgment.”

Of course, you won’t be an expert at moving intuitively just from doing it once. But a quick way to get better at it is to be curious about what your body truly needs. “When we go inside, we can meet our curiosity with honesty and compassion. And, therefore, we can literally move and heal through blocks, imbalances, and pain,” Schatz adds.

8. Do some Kundalini yoga

If you haven’t tried Kundalini yoga yet, go for it. The spiritual and often intense yoga practice is great for opening your third eye, especially when you focus on certain kriyas. “When you practice Kundalini yoga, choose kriyas that focus on the pituitary or pineal glands,” says Matluck.

9. Don’t give up your regular yoga practice, either

If Kundalini isn't your thing, a standard vinyasa practice can help you learn how to open your third eye, too. “One of my favorite poses for activating the third eye is child’s pose, with your forehead pressing into the floor,” says Claire Grieve, yoga specialist, stretch therapist, plant-based health coach. “Bring your focus, attention, and energy into the chakra. Stay here for two to five minutes, breathe deeply, and visualize your world."

Another great pose is forward fold: As you drop your head below your hips, blood and oxygen are rushed to your brain, and the third chakra delivers fresh energy for alignment.”

10. Eat a nutritious diet

Opening your third eye will be a bigger challenge if all you’re eating is junk food. This is because your diet is incredibly important for chakra alignment. “Your food choices govern your energy,” says Grieve. “Adding an array of purple foods, such as blackberries, blueberries, grapes, eggplant, purple kale, purple sweet potatoes, and purple cabbage into your diet will boost and balance your third eye.”

She adds that ingredients like chlorella, spirulina, blue-green algae, raw apple cider vinegar, chlorophyll, cilantro, raw cacao, goji berries, and vitamin D can help to detoxify your pineal gland.

11. Try using essential oils

Haven’t tapped into your essential oil collection in a while? It’s time to get going, especially if knowing how to open your third eye is the goal. Scents like lavender (which is also stress-relieving and can be used on skin and hair), sandalwood (which can help with menopause), frankincense, and pine can gently stimulate the pineal gland, Grieve says. “Use essential oils in the bath or in a diffuser,” she suggests. Kavanagh adds bergamot, vetiver, and patchouli to the list of third eye-opening EO's, too.

12. Meditate with crystals

Crystals are a great spiritual tool to have in your (literal) back pocket—especially when you’re opening your third eye. “Try placing a crystal on your third eye as you lay in a comfortable position and bring your focus into your breath,” instructs Grieve. “Anything in the purple realm, such as amethyst, lapis lazuli, blue or purple sapphire, purple violet tourmaline, or rhodonite will awaken and activate your third eye.”

Kavanagh additionally likes labradorite, celestite, and azurite for this purpose, and she recommends using them in tandem with your essential oils. "Diffuse one or a combination of the essential oils and use the crystals in meditation—either holding them in your hands, or placing one on the third eye itself," she suggests.

13. Try tapping

Maybe you’ve used tapping therapy, or emotional freedom technique (EFT), to help cope with stress and anxiety. Well, the practice is also a great strategy for opening the third eye, says reiki master and chef Serena Poon. “Try gently tapping the forehead where the third eye is and activating your pineal and pituitary glands by sending light waves of vibration,” Poon says.

14. Use sound healing

Sound can pack great healing power, and can also be great for opening up your third eye. “Using sound healing or toning aids in meditation brings you to a theta state,” says Poon. “This is an excellent way to help open the third eye.”

15. Work with Reiki masters and other healers

The more work you put into healing yourself, the easier it will be to open your third eye—so put in the work where you can. “Working with healers, receiving Reiki and energy work, and doing spiritual development are all excellent ideas when you’re opening your third eye,” Poon says.

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