You may have heard of EFT, also called tapping, which is a form of energy psychology that can help you reduce stress and anxiety. Like most people, you probably experience stress and anxiety regularly. These emotions can severely hinder happiness and fulfilment at home or work, in your relationships or in finances.
Fortunately, there are many ways to manage stress and anxiety. Mindfulness meditation has effectively managed negative emotions and increase positive ones. Exercise is another excellent way to improve mental health and reduce stress. And certain medications can also help manage symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.
But what if you don’t want to take drugs or meditate? That’s where EFT comes in.
What is EFT?
Tapping, also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is a form of psychological acupressure. The term “tapping” refers to the act of using your fingers to tap specific meridian points while saying a series of emotional healing statements out loud.
Tapping is based on the idea that emotional stress and physical pain are related and that negative emotions cause many physical ailments. By tapping on acupuncture points on your body, you can send signals to the brain that help resolve negative emotions and reduce their physical symptoms.
What are the benefits of EFT?
There are a lot of benefits to EFT. Most people will see positive changes within just the first 10 sessions. For example, many people often notice an increase in energy levels and an increased feeling of well-being overall. There is also an increased sense of optimism along with it as well. While there is no cure for anxiety, studies have shown that EFT can reduce the negative effects of anxiety while improving emotional balance and well-being.
EFT can help you overcome psychological problems such as:
- trauma (such as post-traumatic stress disorder)
Tapping can help reduce stress and anxiety by lowering the body’s production of cortisol (the hormone responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response), which has been linked to many health problems, including weight gain and suppressed immunity. Tapping also increases your body’s production of dopamine (the feel-good hormone) and oxytocin (the bonding hormone). These hormones help you feel good about yourself and others, improving your mood and making you more confident.
How does tapping work?
Tapping is a series of acupressure points on the body that stimulate certain energy meridians. To tap, you tap your fingertips on these points while repeating a series of phrases out loud to release emotional blocks that may be contributing to your stress or anxiety. While the words themselves are unnecessary, they serve as a “mental shorthand” for whatever you think. You repeat this phrase until the emotion goes away. The idea is that tapping on the meridian helps to clear energy blocks in the body that cause negative emotions and feelings.
Studies have shown that tapping can help reduce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline by up to 65%, which helps explain why it’s so effective for stress relief. It also lowers blood pressure, improves sleep quality and reduces pain levels, among many other benefits.
The EFT tapping sequence is methodical, tapping on the ends of nine meridian points.
There are 12 major meridians that mirror each side of the body and correspond to an internal organ. However, EFT mainly focuses on these nine:
- karate chop (KC): small intestine meridian
- top of head (TH): governing vessel
- eyebrow (EB): bladder meridian
- side of the eye (SE): gallbladder meridian
- under the eye (UE): stomach meridian
- under the nose (UN): governing vessel
- chin (Ch): central vessel
- beginning of the collarbone (CB): kidney meridian
- under the arm (UA): spleen meridian
There are 5 stages to the tapping process.
- Identify the issue and only focus on one issue at a time.
- Rate the intensity out of 10. 10 being the worst. This helps you to measure improvement during the tapping sequence.
- The set-up statements. This must fit your problem and be about how you feel. For example. Even though I feel anxious right now, I deeply accept and love myself.
- Tap through the sequence. 3 taps per second. Acknowledge your feelings as you tap.
- Test the intensity and continue the cycle until the intensity score has reduced.
Learn how to practice EFT and find relief from stress and anxiety
Follow these simple steps to get started with tapping:
- Identify your issue. State your problem in a sentence, then follow up with a negative emotion you’re feeling about it (“I’m feeling really frustrated about my busy working day).
- Rate your emotional intensity on a scale of 0 to 10 (10 being the highest intensity).
- Use an affirmation. This can be something like, “Even though I’m feeling frustrated about my busy working day, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
- Warm up by gently rubbing on your sore spot (an area located beneath your collar bone and is sensitive to touch) Start repeating the set-up statement.
- Repeat this while tapping on specific points on your body, including the top of your head and the centre of your forehead (called “the crown chakra”).
- Repeat the process through the tapping points and check in with your feelings and tap through them, rating the intensity.
- Visualize yourself as you would like to be, e.g., in control, calm then repeat the affirmation again while tapping on specific points on your body related to that goal (e.g., along the sides of both hands).
- Test and score. You will feel less stressed and calmer and in control.
Final Thoughts on EFT…
All in all, tapping can have a significant impact on your health and well-being. At their most basic level, these techniques promote positive emotions and calmness, which can help curb stress and anxiety.
Additionally, they can help with more severe conditions such as depression, digestive issues, and sleep problems.
I hope you can take from this article the knowledge that tapping can be a very valuable tool. I’ve been amazed at how effective it has been for my clients who have needed help to manage deal their stress and anxiety.