Why Using EFT Tapping Helps You Manage Your Stress And Anxiety More Effectively
Living in today’s fast-paced environment, having to juggle family and work while maintaining a fine balance between the two can get overwhelming quickly. The breakneck speed at which we’re expected to function in today’s world creates an unrealistic standard of life that no one can really achieve. This can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety about simply functioning as an adult.
And this was before the pandemic hit. The rapid spread of COVID-19 further exacerbated the feeling of uncertainty and highlighted distress. In addition, there is a lot of chaos happening in the world right now and it affects us, our friends and families, communities, and the world. It can often leave us in heightened states of anxiety and stress or even feelings of panic.
According to the WHO, the prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a whopping 25% within the first year of the pandemic. It further stated that young people were at a higher risk of self-harm and suicidal behaviors, and women and people with pre-existing health conditions had a higher probability of developing a mental disorder.
Now more than ever, addressing our anxieties and stress and dealing with them in a healthy way has become very important.
While there are various methods and therapies that you can employ to address persistent anxiety and stress, a technique that has proven to be highly effective is tapping, also called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
Disclaimer: if you are in a panicked state and require urgent assistance, please call your local crisis center or contact a specialized therapist. The techniques mentioned here are meant to help alleviate some of the symptoms of stress and anxiety on a daily basis but should not be a replacement for proper therapeutic care. If you're under supervision or psychiatric care from a therapist or mental health expert, always check first to make sure it's ok for you. If you choose to take part in the videos provided, you are taking responsibility for your own well-being.
What Is EFT Tapping?
These days, for many of us who struggle with stress and anxiety on a regular basis, we know how uncomfortable it can get. We might have learned some helpful tools to help regulate us such as yoga, mindful breathing, journaling, etc. Although these practices are highly encouraged, they are not always effective quickly, especially in situations where a person’s anxiety or stress affects their day-to-day life. Medications are certainly an option for many people, but they also come with many side effects that not everyone wants to deal with. In any cases, having an extra tool to turn to when you're dealing with stress and anxiety can be extremely helpful.
In such cases, turning to EFT has shown impressive results. The technique is simple and compared to many other options, it can help people to feel better and alleviate stress quickly in only a few minutes.
Gary Craig developed EFT tapping back in 1995. Craig was a student of Thought Field Therapy, which was developed by Dr. Roger Callahan to help his patients deal with fear, phobias, stress, and trauma. Callahan’s therapy involved an “algorithm” for tapping particular acupressure points. Craig further simplified this process and developed EFT - the Emotional Freedom Technique.
Since then, many studies have demonstrated that EFT can be quite effective as it also combines different therapies like exposure therapy and cognitive therapy along with physical touch. One study noted:
"EFT has positive effects in reducing stress : EFT causes measurable reductions in salivary cortisol after use and also in key markers for self-reported anxiety, depression and other stress symptoms. Cortisol in the EFT group dropped significantly (-24.39%, p 2.62) compared to ‘Psycho-education’ and ‘No Treatment’ groups (p < 0.01)." --EFTi Research Summary.
During an EFT session, the participant is asked to focus on a specific concern while the client taps on the specific points of the body led by the EFT Practitioner. These points are considered energy hotspots and are called meridian points. These same points are also used during acupuncture and acupressure therapies. These hotspots are considered to be the areas of energy flow, and an imbalance or blockage of these areas can lead to ill health.
And while acupuncture employs the use of needles to stimulate these energy points, EFT swaps the needles for gentle fingertip taps.
"It seems that EFT affects the amygdala, the stress centre in the brain, and the hippocampus, the memory centre. S)mula)on of the tapping points is thought to send a signal to the limbic or emo)on centre and to reduce its arousal." - EFTiResearch Summary.
How Can EFT Tapping Help Stress And Anxiety?
It's important to note that EFT Tapping is not a cure for anxiety and stress. It's a way to better and more effectively manage it so that you can regulate your emotional state. When you’re feeling stressed, it triggers your sympathetic nervous system and causes your body to go into a freeze, flight, or fight mode. This natural instinct helped our ancestors survive. However, when you’re exposed to stress over a long period, it can accumulate to where even the smallest things on a daily basis can be triggering not to mention it can affect our eating, sleeping, and well-being.
During an EFT session, the client taps and expresses the present emotions to articulate the feelings that are coming up about the situation. Clients might be led to voice something related to their physical or emotional symptoms or repeat certain phrases. This helps the patient to focus on the stressful thought that is causing the stress and anxiety in the body, allowing it to come into focus, and then tapping on the particular spots sends calming signals to the brain.
Tapping is powerful mind body technique that helps break the disrupting energy of persistent negative thoughts and beliefs as it brings the causes of stress and anxiety to the forefront of the mind to help you let go of them and calm down.
Tapping is meant to quell the part of the brain that controls stress. The meridian points stimulated through EFT reduce the negativity and stress you experience to help restore the balance of your emotional state and energy. Sound weird? I thought so too until I tried it!
Moreover, as the human brain is neuroplastic, the neural networks in our brains can alter with new experiences. We can use this to cultivate a positive change or reframing by focusing on the problem while tapping on the acupressure points. This will help to adjust our thoughts and direct them towards a more positive outlook.
Much like the practice of mindfulness, EFT also draws your attention to your breathing and your body, which can help to keep you present so that you can move through the stress and anxiety.
How To Practice EFT Tapping To Address Stress And Anxiety
There are numerous pressure points in the human body. However, only certain specific points are used for EFT.
Here are the main EFT tapping points:
-The top of your head
-Side of your eye
-Under your eye
-The side of your hand
-Under your nose
-Under your collar bone
-On your chin
-Under your arm
EFT tapping is often used when people are feeling stressed or anxious or when they want to resolve a specific issue and no other technique seems to work. However, it can also be used in anticipation of an event that you expect to cause you stress or anxiety.
Below Are The 5 Essential Steps Involved in An EFT Tapping Session
Step 1: Identify What’s Causing Your Stress/Anxiety
Select one specific issue that is causing you to feel anxious or stressed. Make sure to focus on only one issue, and allow your body to experience whatever response it is undergoing when faced with this issue.
Step 2: Rate Your Stress/Anxiety Level
After identifying your issue, establish a parameter to rate your stress or anxiety. On a scale of 0-10, let 0 be your baseline and 10 indicate the highest level of stress. This will help you determine how much your problem is making you anxious or stressed and how effective the EFT session is.
Step 3: Establish The Set-up
Before you start with the actual tapping, you must decide on a phrase that you will recite while tapping on the various pressure points.
An example of this phrase is, “Even though I have(this problem), I completely accept myself.”
Step 4: Start Tapping on the negative feelings
Start tapping on the different pressure points listed above as you recite the phrase simultaneously. You can start at the top of your body and move down and then the other way round. "I feel stressed. I feel overwhelmed."
You can use two fingers or try with different fingers, whatever feels comfortable to you.
Step 5: Check How You Are Feeling and Rate it
Once you go through all the tapping points, rate your stress and anxiety level according to the established scale. Ideally, it should be at 0 or 1. If not, repeat the procedure till your feeling diminishes significantly and finally reaches 0. Keep going until you feel better. Sometimes you might need 2 rounds. Sometimes 10 but if you're tapping on the correct points, you will absolutely feel a difference. Take a deep breath out..
Pandemic or not, experiencing stress and anxiety is a common problem experienced by many. EFT is an effective, easy, painless, and cost-effective method that you can use to effectively deal with persistent stress. It is important to note that you should NOT try to tap on intense emotional issues like PTSD, trauma, etc., unless you are under supervision of your therapist. So, while you can practice EFT on your own, it is highly recommended that you work with a practitioner who can safely guide you through the process.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist so while I can help you tap through difficult situations or times of extreme stress, I do not tap on issues of traumas, etc., that are mentioned above.
I can help you tap on emotional issues such as:
-stress and anxiety around a work topic
-stress and anxiety about a person
-stress and anxiety about a current situation (exams, upcoming event, etc)
-stress and anxiety around a breakup
-stress and anxiety about family (
Have questions? Click here to book a personalized EFT session or schedule a free discovery call to further understand the process and see if we’re a good fit and can tap on your issue.
Here are some videos for when you're alone and want to try EFT Tapping at home.
EFT Tapping Videos to Try for Stress and Anxiety from Brad Yates (my favorite!)
Fear that things are out of your control (stress)
ANDREA HUNT - Online Transformational Life Coach & EFT Tapping Practitioner based in Munich, Germany
I'm an accredited transformational life coach from Animas Centre for Coaching UK and a member of the International Coaching Federation. I'm also a Level 2 practitioner in EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) and a member of AEFTP (Association of Emotional Freedom Technique Professionals).
If you're not sure where to start transforming your life, you can download my free ebook on How to Start Your Personal Growth Journey.
Are you ready to change your life, let go of old beliefs, empower yourself for a mindset shift to move forward? Mark Batterson says: You're always one decision away from a totally different life.
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