For the first time ever, perhaps, the entire world is living under a “new normal”. Face to face meetings, social gatherings, sitting in a stadium watching sports, or in a theatre watching a performance are simply not possible, given the pandemic that has swept through the world. Some are under severe financial strain, most feel isolated, often stuck within the 4 walls of their home, unable to go out or meet friends. This has increased the levels of stress and anxiety to new heights.
Stress is an outcome of the “fight or flight” survival response that is in-built into our system. We no longer live in forests, and being in this constant “fight or flight” mode eventually causes build-up of stress hormone – cortisol – which has been linked to many chronic ailments.
While medicating ourselves is one method of managing the situation, there are non-intrusive ways that can help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, frustration, depression and other negative emotions. One such technique is called EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. Aptly named, this method was developed to find freedom from the debilitating negative emotions that grip us from time to time.
EFT was developed by Gary Craig who says that tapping on specific points on the body helps balance energy and reduces physical and emotional pain. However, with limited research conducted on this method, there is some skepticism about whether EFT is effective in alleviating anxiety, stress, depression, etc. As this method is an alternative treatment used to restore balance to the energies, it is not a substitute for getting medical help.
The EFT tapping technique was developed using a combination of Chinese acupressure/acupuncture and modern psychotherapy concepts meant to alleviate stress, anxiety, and other painful emotions. Acupressure/acupuncture releases blockage in the energy system by channeling the flows of energy along the meridian points. Similarly, EFT is based on the understanding that tapping on specific meridian points through which our energies flow helps clear the painful emotions that block the flow of energy.
Meridian points are specific points that can be mapped throughout the body. Energy flows through these specific points which we can tap into at any point. Negative emotions disrupt the free flow of energies. Proponents of EFT say that by following the EFT tapping method, the practitioner can release any blocks in the energies and restore psychological and energy balance.
The psychological aspect of the method involves accepting that there is a problem and repeating to yourself that you accept that you are undergoing stress, anger, anxiety or whatever the negativity you are experiencing in the current moment. As you repeat the acceptance, you also simultaneously tap along the specific meridian points to loosen the grip of the negative emotion over you and find relief from it.
How to prepare and perform EFT on yourself?
1) The first step is to identify the issue, stress, or fear that you are going through. If you are confused about what is happening, then reflect on it for some time because EFT works best when tackling one issue at a time.
2) The next step is to acknowledge that it is happening and prepare a short phrase that accurately describes this feeling.
3) After you acknowledge the feeling, say that you accept yourself fully in spite of the problem.
4) For point 2 and 3 above, form a short phrase as in – Even though I have this fear/anxiety (or whatever the emotion) regarding this situation (verbalize your situation), I completely accept myself. The key thing here is to bring the focus on how this problem makes you feel in order to be free from it.
5) Now start tapping along these 9 meridian points.
- Karate chop – As you tap on the karate chop point say your phrase at the same time 3 times. After that tap on the points below seven times. Remember to keep the mental focus on the emotion/problem/issue by repeating the phrase.
- side of the eye
- under the eye
- under the nose
- beginning of the collarbone
- under the arm
- Finish the sequence by tapping on the point at the top of the head
Now take a quick read of how are feeling and if the intensity has come down. You can repeat this sequence as needed.
Tapping can bring relief from stress and other negative emotions. It is a simple, inexpensive technique, which anyone can learn and can be done anytime, anywhere. While research on the effectiveness is still ongoing, it can be safely practiced.
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