How does EFT tapping help relieve stress and anxiety?
Emotional freedom technique (EFT) is often described as 'acupuncture without needles' but I feel in many ways that doesn't do it justice because EFT is so much more than that, even though it does use the same acupressure points. So what do I mean by that? How is EFT so effective?
The benefits of EFT
1. You can quickly and easily administer EFT for yourself. It only requires you to have hands and a body! You don't even have to worry about where you tap because the order of moving around the body, which hand you use or how many taps on each point, doesn't matter at all.
2. You can do it whenever you need to without making an appointment. I've sometimes helped a friend over a chat on WhatsApp, I can share a video online and talk it through. There are plenty of tapping apps, tapping videos on YouTube and tapping scripts in books or downloadable from websites. It's extremely accessible. In these days of social distancing, you can't actually visit therapists anyway so it is important to access a therapy that you can do by yourself or online, which is possible with tapping.
3. Young children can do it for themselves, so if they can't get to sleep, are worried about being alone or in the dark, or frightened of monsters under the bed, they can tap and feel calm enough to get back to sleep. For children taking exams, it's something they can do before and even during the exam to calm them in anxious moments.
4. It doesn't matter if you don't believe in it! You can think it's a load of rubbish; it will still work because it works on your tapping, not on your conscious mind. Your tapping and breathing moves the energy around the body, clearing the heavy anxious energy so that you feel calm and free of worries.
5. It's free. Yes, because you do it for yourself whenever you need it - you don't need to make an appointment or pay anyone to administer it.
6. It is self-care, you're not getting someone to fix you or make you feel better. You are self-treating so when you feel better, you can feel good about yourself and feel proud that you were able to self-soothe. This is really helpful for young people as it helps to build their self-esteem rather than rely on parents or teachers to fix their problem.
7. It relieves stress and anxiety. Both stress and anxiety result in the amygdala being triggered into a flight/fright response when sometimes there is no need because you aren't in a life or death situation. Tapping calms the amygdala down and enables you to pause and process what's happening so you can make good choices.
8. It can quickly change your mood. The fastest way to change state (mood) is by changing your breathing by say, yoga, exercise, laughter, singing and the breathing and tapping process will change your state to a more resourceful one.
9. You accept your feelings. Before you start the tapping process, you prepare your body by acknowledging what it is you are working on. For example; "Even though I feel really stressed and anxious, I love and accept myself anyway" or for anger; "Even though I feel so angry I love and accept myself anyway". So instead of trying to pretend everything is fine, you accept those negative feelings and yourself for having them.
10. You tune into your emotions. As you tap around the body, you sense what the emotions are and where they are being experienced in the body, what colour they are, how intense. As you tap around the points and breathe, you can monitor what's changing. Sometimes new emotions come up, others fade, colours change. It can be amazing how your body has such a language of colour and image. It's the language of your subconscious mind.
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