You’ve probably experienced at least one point in your life when you have felt stressed. In that moment, you may have felt panicked, scared, maybe even frustrated. Someone says to you to “take deep breaths,” or “think of something happy.” But how many times can we use these baseline strategies before they just don’t work for us anymore? I, for one, had felt like I had heard it all. It got to the point where it seemed no strategy would truly help conquer my stress. But, I was wrong. I’m a huge fan of tactile and physical coping methods, and the “imagine yourself in your favorite place” tricks don’t really work for me. Recently, a teacher and mentor taught me a new trick as to how to cope with my anxiety. It’s called EFT tapping, and it has really amazed me.
EFT Tapping, which stands for Emotional Freedom Tapping, is an ancient Chinese method that was developed thousands of years ago, around the dawn of medicinal practices. It is similar to acupuncture, which makes it great for those who don’t like needles! Tapping targets the pressure points in your body that correlate to things like pain, nausea, stress, tension, and more. The best part is, it requires no fancy equipment or anything at all, really. All you need to bring are your emotions and your willingness to try to change the way you feel.
There are several steps to making tapping effective, but the first step is to identify the problem: what exactly are you upset about? Then, you need to develop a statement. Today was rough because _______ and I am feeling _________. Then, start repeating that phrase. As you do this, you can tap the following points in a repeating rotation, with varying intensity: the side of your hands, under your eye, above your eyebrow, above your lip, under your collarbone, slightly below your armpit, on top of your head, in between your fingers, and the side of your eye. As you do this, change up the phrase you use, allowing your true feelings to surface. Finally, end with a hand over your heart, and close your eyes for a few seconds. Assess how you feel. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being feeling horribly, and one being feeling amazing, rank yourself. If you are a 4 or above, repeat the tapping routine, until your body relaxes and you feel better. If you are a three or below, take some deep breaths, and focus on that good feeling. A modification you can make to this routine is to rub some essential oils on these pressure points or have a diffuser going to create a full sensory experience. You can do this as many or as few times as you would like, and it can become a second-nature technique in no time! It just takes a couple of minutes to completely turn a tough day around, which is why I love it.
EFT Tapping is so simple, but often unheard of. For me, it has been revolutionary and an exciting new way to combat my anxiety. I recommend it to anyone who wants an alternate strategy for coping with stressful situations. Tap into this tapping method, and you won’t regret it!