Last week, I blogged on anxiety. In response to that, my friend, Damien, pointed out that I hadn’t mentioned EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) in the article, and while I’ve done speeches on this, used it on friends and my own kids for various things, and myself, I neglected to mention it as a tool for your Get Happy Toolbox. (Damien, this one’s dedicated to you. Thanks for stopping by.)
EFT, aka “tapping”, is a tool I’ve seen thrown around the past decade in various venues with varying degrees of enthusiasm. I think this might be because some people see it as too “wooey.” I’ve concluded this based on the look on mainstream people’s faces when I bring it up as a tool they might consider.
But I’ve seen it used by therapists, particularly child psychologists with great success. Perhaps that’s because kids, ten and under, are usually more receptive to new ideas than older adults who’ve already developed in their minds what is acceptable and unacceptable. I’ve also seen it used up close and personal used on everyday people for everyday things. It takes 5 minutes and can change the whole direction of a day. I especially love it for the jitters I get before public speaking.
Here’s what I’m going to say about tapping. I think it ROCKS. You can use it any time, any place. It’s free and it’s very, very effective. Don’t believe me? Think it’s too freaky to try? Go find a dark closet where nobody can see you, find something you need to deal with, and try it. I dare you. Worse case scenario, nothing happens. Best case (and most likely case) scenario, problem solved…or at least, substantially reduced.
The core thought of EFT is that “all negative emotions are a disruption in the bodies energy system.” The basic concept is that by resetting that energy system, you can reduce and/or eliminate negative emotions like stress, overeating, anger, whatever.
Here’s how it works (and this is summarized nicely in the flow chart above.)
1. Rate the issue from 0 – 10, 10 being worse and 0 being best. Think of it like “Yelping” your issue.
2. Tell it like it is. Even though I have this (describe the issue in your own words), I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Say this 3x while tapping on the karate chop.
3. Reminder Binder. Say “this (whatever your issue is that you described) causes me (whatever happens in your own words).” The idea here is to describe what is happening. I would say for a speech I was about to do “thinking about giving this speech is making me feel like throwing up, I get so nervous when I think about it, etc.,” trying to name it as honestly as you can. While doing this tap through and the points, while starting at the top of your head, 5-7 times. You go through the whole circuit 3x.
4. Status check. After one round, rate your issue again. If not at 0, repeat the set up. Use this wording. “Even though I still have (some of this issue) left, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” Keep going around the circuit until you feel you are done.
That’s it. Easy peezy. There are a number of “tapping practitioners” out there to help you tap your way happy if you don’t feel like you are having success on your own. They need guinea pigs to complete certification courses and put in “tapping” hours. If you feel you need support, this may be a way to go. There is also a movie called “The Tapping Solution” that chronicles tapping used in the lives of various individuals (particularly effective with PTSD–post traumatic stress disorder) and you can watch vicariously how it works.
Go forth and tap!