Defuse Anxiety & Feelings Of Overwhelm With This Simple EFT Tapping Technique
There is a path out of pain, anxiety, burnout, and the feeling of complete overwhelm. The emotional and energetic work that happens along the way is not always easy, but the results can be transformative, and the skills acquired will serve you for life.
In her new book Burning Bright, spiritual coach, reiki master, and mbg classes instructor Kelsey J. Patel shares a variety of self-care techniques, from reiki and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to meditation and yoga. All of these are designed to help get your body, health, and emotions back into alignment. Many of the techniques—including EFT in the excerpt below—can be performed anywhere, anytime, meaning you can get back to balanced whenever you feel the need. That's the thing about a wellness practice, it really is about the "practicing" part, so the easier it is to integrate it into your life, the more you'll benefit.
Below is an excerpt from Burning Bright, which is available now wherever books are sold.
Every time a feeling starts to get intense and you want to defuse it, just do this simple tapping procedure known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Sometimes, I do a quick round of tapping for less than two minutes, and my anxiety decreases significantly. This is a very effective way to manage the impulse to avoid an uncomfortable feeling. Tapping helps your body physically process the feeling and move it out. It might come back, or it might take multiple sessions to diminish more fully, depending on how deep the blockages are and how long you have had the pain, but this begins shaking things loose and letting them out rather than pushing them back down inside.
You don't need to see a specialist to do basic EFT on yourself. First, get to know these tapping points and where they are. If you are right-hand dominant, use the following points. If you are left-hand dominant, use the points on the opposite side.
- The outer edge of your left palm
- The top of your head
- Right between your eyebrows
- The side of your right temple
- Underneath your right eye, on the top of the cheekbone
- Underneath your nose, just above your upper lip
- The indentation between the point of your chin and the bottom of your lower lip
- Your left collarbone, at the inner edge (near your throat)
- Underneath your arm, on the side of your left rib cage
- The top of your head
- Decide what problem you want to address. It should be something that is bothering you at the moment—any physical or emotional pain; any sensation like anxiety, a craving, or a compulsion; or any emotion, like fear, pain, anger, grief, panic, or sadness.
- Rate the intensity of the feeling from 0 to 10, with 0 being no problem and 10 being very intense and overwhelming to you at this moment.
- Tap against the side of your left hand with your four right fingers (pointer, middle, ring, and pinkie) quickly while you say out loud: "Even though I have or am feeling [state your problem], I deeply and completely choose to love and accept myself." Repeat this three to five times.
- Then, repeating the problem (such as "knee pain," "fear of heights," "sugar cravings," "panicking," "anxiety," "overwhelm"), say "I have this [state the problem only]" (such as "I have this knee pain" or "I have this sugar craving") while tapping on each of the points, in the order listed above, with your dominant hand. Do about five taps at each point, then repeat the problem statement each time you move to a new point. Go in the order above. You can move as slowly or quickly as you like. As you get used to the order and memorize it, you can go faster. You can also start to insert new words or sentences as you tap. To help visualize this process, I also tell people to find a YouTube video they feel connected to and utilize that for tapping if they're just getting started and want a follow along. There are many examples online.
- Once you've completed a full round of each point, close your eyes and take a couple of deep, releasing healing breaths. Allow the exhale to really support you in releasing. Then with a very soft awareness, rate the intensity of the feeling immediately after tapping. Has the intensity decreased? In most cases, and in most instances, it will have.
That's all there is to it.
Click here to get your copy of Burning Bright by Kelsey J. Patel.
Chloe Schneider is the VP of Brand and Integrated Marketing at mindbodygreen. She received her degree from the University of South Wales. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Mashable and RESCU. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.