The Emotional Freedom Technique
Why I Recommend EFT to Everyone:
I had heard about the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as Tapping, and had always been intrigued by the name, but I didn’t know anything about it until I was introduced to it while attending The Institute of Transformative Nutrition. Once I tried it for myself, I was hooked and wanted to learn more. I read several books, attended workshops and earned a Level 1 certification; however, the thing that I love most about EFT is that you don’t have to do all that. Although sometimes it is helpful to work with an EFT practitioner on bigger issues, once you learn how to tap, it is a tool that is available for free to anyone at any time of day, whenever they need to destress.
Now, whenever I feel stressed, instead of replaying the stress story over and over in my mind, I find time to tap it out until I feel at ease. I have also used it to release some old stories that no longer serve me.
For example, I used to always say, “I was so bad this weekend” whenever I ate something that I regretted. Instead of repeating the story, I have been bad and tomorrow I will be good, I use EFT to release the guilt and quickly move on. Since I have been tapping for several years, I no longer fall into the chronic stress loop when I eat something that is not particularly healthy, so I don’t gain weight. My weight fluctuates, but I have replaced tapping with dieting to keep my weight balanced. I can assure you it is so much more pleasurable.
EFT to Calm Stress
The most amazing thing about the Emotional Freedom Technique is that you can use it to calm the stress around anything, so you can stay out of the chronic stress loop and remain calm, happy and healthy not matter what life brings your way.
When we feel stress, our fight and flight response is activated. Our ancestors main stress was survival, so the amygdala starts pumping out hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, to help us run away or fight dangerous situations like being chased by a tiger. While this was perfect when our reaction to stress required physical movement, today, stress happens mostly in our minds. If we don’t release it, it builds and builds to the point where we have physical or mental symptoms of chronic stress such as:
- Extra Weight
- Tight Muscles
- Racing Heart
- Panic Attacks
- Short Temper
With all these hormones swirling around, your body becomes chronically inflamed, which can eventually lead to diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The Emotional Freedom Technique relieves stress when it arises, so that the amygdala doesn’t become activated, and we can avoid the unwanted manifestations.
It is hard to imagine anyone could read the list above and not want to give EFT a try.
Learn the Emotional Freedom Technique
The Emotional Freedom Technique is based on lightly tapping on meridian points similar to acupuncture. When you tap on these points, it has been scientifically proven that a relaxation signal is sent to your brain. Even if you are saying stress inducing statements, your body remains calm and does not pump out unnecessary hormones. This allows you to safely and easily release the stress, which keeps you happier and healthier.
While tapping on your body might seem a bit strange, EFT has helped countless people experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder find relief, even when conventional therapy had failed. Scarlett Lewis, whose son was killed in the Newtown shooting, stated that tapping was invaluable to help her get out of the dark hole of despair. If tapping can be effective with relieving the symptoms of PTSD, you can begin to see the power in utilizing The Emotional Freedom Technique with everyday stressors.
Let me walk you through the steps.
Identify your number one stressor. Then on a scale from 1-10, rate the intensity. It is also helpful to identify where you feel the stress. Many of us feel a tightness in our stomach, heart, throat or shoulders.
Create a Set Up Statement.
Even though I am feeling so stressed about _____, I fully and completely accept myself.
Even though I feel disappointed in myself (stressed) for eating an entire bag of candy, I fully and completely accept myself.
Create a reminder phrase.
I am so stressed about ______.
I am so disappointed (stressed) that I ate the entire bag of candy.
While lightly tapping on the karate chop, the side of your hand, repeat your set up statement three times.
Tap through the 8 points using the tips of your index and middle finger. While tapping lightly on each point, say your reminder phrase. You want to tap 7-10 times at each point, but don’t count, just tap at the point until the phrase is complete. You can’t do it wrong. It doesn’t matter if you skip a point, and it doesn’t matter if you tap on your right side, left side or both sides at once. As long as you are tapping, while stating the negative emotion, your body will remain relaxed.
2= Side of the Eye
3= Under the Eye
4=Under the Nose
7=Under the Arm (Bra Strap)
8=Top of the Head
Take a deep breathe in and exhale the negative emotions. Then rate your emotions again. Hopefully, the intensity of the emotion will have decreased. Continue tapping until the intensity of the emotion is a 5 or below.
Now that you have cleared the negative emotion, we don’t want to leave a hole to be filled with whatever thought floats into our heads, We want to plant some positive thoughts to grow.
Create a positive reminder phrase.
I can __________ , and it is safe to relax.
I can make better choices, and it is safe to relax.
Tap through the 8 points using the tips of your index and middle finger. While tapping lightly on each point, say your positive reminder phrase. Do at least one round.
Some emotions can be cleared quickly. However, older emotions have a firmer hold in our subconscious, and it can take a couple of sessions to release certain emotions. Even if you release a negative thought all the way down to a 0, it can still come back. Remaining in a calm state requires daily intention just like showering. We would never expect to shower once and then feel disappointed that we smelled badly two days later. I have tapped on my habit of feeling guilty when I eat crappy food numerous times. It still creeps up from time to time, but the emotion is not as high, and I release it more quickly, which means my stress response is not activated.
Since I have found the Emotional Freedom Technique to be such a valuable tool in my life, I have made it an integral part of my Creating Healthy Habits Coaching. Whether your teens default habit is overeating leading to weight gain or shutting down leading to nasty behavior to family and friends, EFT works to reduce their root stress, so they can implement a healthy replacement habit and begin to reduce the manifestations that have occurred. To learn more about how Creating Healthy Habits Coaching could support your teen go here.