How Can EFT Tapping Help For Grief?

How Can EFT Tapping Help For Grief?

EFT Tapping For Grief

Through this article, you will learn about grief, its common triggers, its symptoms, stages, and how to manage it with the help of EFT Tapping. This alternate therapeutic technique has been clinically proven to help people let go of intense feelings of grief.

When the pandemic started last year, I did not think it would affect me or my family because we were taking it very seriously. We made sure to take all the precautions that were recommended to stay safe. 

For us, last year felt like a roller coaster ride, and as I sit here, thinking about the good old days, it all seems nothing less than a dream.

It feels like I can go back in time and touch all the memories, touch all the people I lost. I can still smell them in this house as if they are still here, but I am not sure anymore because the line between reality and fantasy has blurred for me.

My friends and family tell me that it is all a part of the process of grief. Some console me that it will get better, others blame me for not taking care of them.

I do not pay much heed to them, for I know that it will not get better. I know I will never see my boy and my beautiful wife ever again.

I often ask myself, "Why am I here?" when the two most precious people in my life aren't. I should have died with them! The three of us lived life to the fullest and cherished every moment with each other until all of it was taken away from us.

A dear friend suggested a few months ago that I seek professional help. After a lot of hesitation, resistance, and persuasion, I relented and started therapy, something I should have done a long time ago.

Things started to improve with each session. It was hard work but my therapist and I made sure I was putting in the work even when I did not feel like it, even on my darkest days, when I saw no light at all.  

I realized that what I was experiencing was a part of grieving and that it will get better, I will fight this and come out of this process as a better person.

EFT Tapping for Grief


Grief is a natural response that all of us elicit when experiencing loss. It is a form of intense emotional suffering, an overwhelming sense of trauma and hopelessness which can at times be extremely difficult to cope with. 

Different people have different coping mechanisms, some may get into denial and anger, others may accept the trauma and try to move on with life.

There is no specific timeline for the process of grief. While some may need a couple of weeks, for others, it could take months or even years. 

Most people can learn to deal with their grief and move on with the help of social support, but it is not as simple as that for everyone. It is especially difficult for people who have gone through multiple traumatic events or those who are experiencing compound forms of grief; and these people need help.

EFT Tapping is one such technique, it has been scientifically proven to be helpful for people experiencing grief. 


 A number of events can trigger the response of grief in a person. Some common triggers of grief include (1):

  1. Separation from a loved one
  2. Loss of a job, position, or income
  3. Loss of a pet
  4. Loss of a loved one
  5. Diagnosis of a life-changing illness
  6. Loss of a personal dream/achievement
  7. Major life changes like retirement, divorce, or moving, etc. 

Even though there are other triggers of grief, the death of a loved one, a pet or a person happens to be the most significant and distressing stressor. 

Individuals who are bereaving also have high chances of developing major physical and mental health problems like excessive use of alcohol, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, and phobias (2).

How grief affects you

How Does Grief Affect you?

Grief can affect you mentally, wherein you become vulnerable to various issues (3):

  1.  Physically - Headaches, feeling exhausted, nauseated, dizziness.
  2. Emotionally - Frustration, breakdown, anger, irritation.
  3.  Mentally - Poor concentration and memory, flashbacks, repeated dreams, etc.
  4. Behaviourally - Loss of interest from activities, changes in sleeping patterns, reduced appetite, etc.

Different people may have a different reaction to the same kind of grief. It depends on their overall personality, the manner in which the traumatic event occurred, and the support available to them.

How Do Others React To Your Grief?

When you go through the feelings of grief, people around you get worried about you. They want to help you out in some way but aren't sure about what to do.

Some common reactions by loved ones could be:

  • Not knowing what to say and how to help you.
  • Finding it difficult to talk to you about the loss you just faced.
  • They might even avoid you.
  • They may not respond in the way you expect them to, or need them to.
  • Trying to force you to talk about it, to make you feel better.
  • Trying to force you to eat or drink when you do not feel like.
  • Unknowingly making you feel worse about the situation when you feel like talking about it.

These are times when you just want to live in peace, have your own space, and don’t want anyone bothering you; which is why you need to talk to your loved ones and be honest about your requirements. Or else, they may try to do things to help you but end up making you feel worse.

Grief is more intense than sadness and can overwhelm you because of the range of emotions and feelings you experience when you face it. Everyone deals with it in their own unique way, so trying to rush through the process doesn’t work. It requires patience.

New to EFT? Learn how Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping heals.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.

What Are The 5 Stages Of Grief?

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-American Psychiatrist, who pioneered in near-death experiences, came up with the theory of 5 stages of grief  in her book 'On Death and Dying' -



Denial allows individuals to believe that everything is okay and nothing major has taken place. It minimizes the reality and pain of the loss they feel.

It takes a lot of time to adjust to reality and figure out how to move on without this person, or relationship, or object of loss in their lives. Denial helps deal with the initial shock.

Denial is marked by:

  • Numbness
  • Shock
  • Fear
  • Confusion

This is a form of emotional protection and can last for weeks or months.



Anger is a very common reaction after you lose someone and experience emotional discomfort. Since you are dealing with so much, emotions pour out in the form of anger.

This could, however, make you feel isolated since other people might be reluctant to approach you because of your mood.

Anger is marked by:

  • Emotional outbursts
  • Conflicts with others
  • Helplessness

This is the stage where you feel anger about the event that has caused the havoc in your life. 



Bargaining is when you’re desperate to minimize the pain – so much so, that you’ll end up doing just anything to alleviate it.

You tend to direct all of your emotions and feelings to a higher power, making up ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ scenarios, ready to do anything to reverse the loss.

This could lead to major loss of control over your actions and thoughts.

Bargaining is marked by:

  • Negotiation
  • Exchanging "this for that"
  • Asking for a second chance
  • Trying to change what is assumed to cause the event
  • You negotiate with the gods, destiny, fate, superpowers, etc.

This is where you think that negotiations can somehow change what happened or what has been lost.



Depression makes you finally see and accept the situation without being in denial about it. The more you realize the loss, the deeper you fall into the dark pit of sadness which could be prolonged.

In times like these, you might find yourself being less interactive, having a loss of appetite, feeling helpless, and living in your own bubble.

Even though this is a very natural reaction to loss, it could be very isolating and emotionally draining.

Depression is marked by:

  • Realization of what has happened
  • Accepting that there is nothing that can change what happened
  • Feelings of hopelessness, remorse, sadness, apathy, lack of motivation, reduced appetite, disturbed sleep cycle, etc.
This is where you understand that what is gone is not coming back, what happened is over and there is nothing that can be done to reverse the course of events.



Acceptance is when you no longer resist the reality of the situation you’re in; you don’t try to change it or deny it.

You still feel the hurt and pain of loss, but by now you’ve accepted that as a part and parcel of life and have come to terms with the fact that life will go on, and you’ll be okay. 

Marked by:

  • An understanding and acceptance that the event is over
  • Coming to terms with the reality
  • Finding the hope to move forward

This is where you accept that life does not stop because of what happened and that you have to find a way forward.

It is important to note that every grieving person goes through the five stages at a different pace. The stages and their boundaries overlap with each other. That is why it is difficult to clearly tell the stage of grieving at which a person is.

How To Self-Heal & Become An EFT Practitioner

Discover how EFT Tapping can help you to self-heal or to become professionally qualified as a Certified EFT Practitioner. Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.

What’s The Psychology Behind Grief?

Since all of us are different, the way we react to things and the way they affect us also varies. Some characteristics of how loss can affect how we bereave are -

  • The type of relationship you shared with the person can affect the degree of grief you experience. How close you were to them and the role they played in your life is also a factor that can influence your emotions. If the relationship with the person lost was unstable, it can take even more time to accept, understand, and process the grief.
  • Whatever is going on in your own life can sometimes deprive you of the space and privacy you require to grieve the loss of your loved one. You could often feel pressurized into taking care of other family members, to carry on as usual to stay strong or maybe just have pressure from work. Depending on what is going on in your life, your ability to deal with your grief is either increased or decreased.
  • The way other people react can either support or hinder your grieving. As mentioned in the previous section, sometimes, people might want to look out for you and make you feel better, but this could also lead you to feel suffocated by their constant presence and not get any space needed for your recovery.
  • The manner of death of a loved one and whether you had time to prepare yourself for it could affect your grieving process. Though no amount of time that we get to prepare for loss is ever enough, and when it actually hits us, it is chaotic. Nevertheless, depending on this time, the reactions to loss could be different. If it was something that you were anticipating, accepting and processing the event is easier is compared to when it was something unexpected.
  • Your gender, how you were brought up in your society and what you were taught as acceptable or unacceptable forms of grieving in your society.
  • The culture you have been a part of, tremendously affects how you are going to grieve. For example, a collectivistic culture encourages grieving with the family and openly expressing their sorrows, whereas, an individualistic culture emphasizes expressing sorrow in a more calm manner. Within the two broad categorization of culture, there are different countries with different cultures and how you express and deal with grief will be influenced by the environment you were born and brought up in.

What are the different types of Griefs?

There are different kinds of grief based on the response they elicit, some types are mentioned below (4):

anticipatory grief

When people mourn the loss of someone even before it has happened, typically observed in caregivers caring for terminally ill patients or family members of a person who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.

delayed grief

This is when the emotional response to a loss is postponed to a later time due to any reason.

Normal grief

People define it as the ability to move towards the acceptance of the loss. However, there are no guidelines regarding what can be called as normal grief.

Complicated grief 

This a kind of grief lasts a longer time than normal grief. People affected experience significant amount of distress in their daily lives and experience disability as a result of their grief.

Ambiguous grief

This occurs when the grief of a person is not recognized as valid by others, or even accepted as not being significant enough. For example, the loss of a pet, a patient, a co-worker, etc.

Masked grief

When people are unable to recognize their grief and the reactions related to it, masked grief is observed in them. There could be various emotional and physical symptoms in the body without any medical cause.

Cumulative grief 

This is observed when a person undergoes multiple losses. It is very stressful because the person going through it does not get enough time to process and mourn an event before the onset of the other.

Community grief

This kind is experienced collectively by a community, society, a nation, or the world. For example, the trauma of a pandemic is experienced by the entire world.

"Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone."

Rodgers and Hammerstein

Musical by Oscar Hammerstein II

WHAT IS EFT tapping?

EFT is a method that offers healing from physical and emotional pain. Without the use of needles, this form of acupuncture uses fingertips to stimulate energy points on the body (5).

To learn EFT for use as a self-help tool or to work professionally with others, the best way is to attend EFT Practitioner Training.

This treatment sprang from the idea that “the cause of all negative emotions is the disruption in the body's energy system” (5).

To learn more about EFT,  get your free booklet now:

New to EFT? Learn how Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping heals.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.


Before you start the tapping technique, ask yourself:

  1. Who are you scared of losing?
  2. Whose loss have you still not been able to overcome?
  3. Are they people who’re alive, but you’re still grieving for?
  4. If you could let go of all sorts of grief you’re going through, who would you be?

Once you’re done with this, make a note of the following:

  1. When was the last time you felt grief and loss?
  2. What had happened?
  3. How did you feel?
  4. On a scale of 1-10, what intensity was your grief at?
  5. Where in your body do you feel it?

When you’re done answering these questions, follow these steps:


Start tapping on the side of your hand

 “Even though I feel the grief and loss about ….. and I can feel it in my ….. and it’s at a number ….. and it makes me feel …... I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

Repeat this 3 times.


Start tapping on the upper body, facial and finger tapping points

  1. Eyebrow: I feel the grief or loss about …..
  2. Temple: I feel it in my …..
  3. Under eye: It’s at a number …..
  4. Under nose: It makes me feel …..
  5. Chin: It’s in my ….. at a number …..
  6. Collarbone: It makes me feel …..
  7. Under the arm: So …..
  8. Thumb: So …..
  9. Index Finger: Grief because …..
  10. Middle finger: I feel it in my …..

Close the chain by tapping on the side of your hand again

“Even though I feel the grief and loss about …..  and I feel it in my ….. and it’s at a number ….. and it makes me feel …... I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

Say this once.


Take a gentle breath In, Release It Out, and Take a sip of water to calm down. 

Do this and notice how you feel right now and the sensations in your body.


Test yourself by asking

“What number do I feel the grief and loss at, now?” If it has reduced to a satisfactory level, you may stop, but if you feel like it could come down a little more, start the sequence from Step 1, again.

Once you have completed the process, you’ll feel much lighter. The sense of loss stays, but you’ll feel comfortable accepting it. EFT Tapping can thus help you heal your grief, and move on with life.

Grief can often become more intense when society doesn't allow you to have some personal space. Social support is vital and beneficial in the recovery process, no matter how much we try to deny it. If you're forced to grieve alone, it could delay the process further and could lead to more complications.

As V.C. Andrews mentioned, "Grief, no matter how you try to cater to its wail, has a way of fading away." If you have lost someone or something that you're not able to process or grieve over,  don't hesitate in consulting a professional.

They can help validate your grief whether society does so or not. They can also allow you to vent and explore deeper feelings that you have, and work on them as well, without any judgment. EFT will help you relieve whatever negativity is occupying space in your mind and troubling you.

Emotional Freedom Techniques are very different from anything else and also provide a long-lasting effect, be it emotional or physical. 

Does EFT tapping REALLY WORK?

There is evidence of successful use of EFT for grief, for instance-

Student athletes are some of the most highly trained and celebrated groups in our society. While they are highly prepared for athletic competition, they are often unprepared for life after sport.

There are many developmental anomalies experienced by many athletes, difficulties in dealing with loss and grief.

The alternative therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), is an effective approach in dealing effectively with student athletes’ experience of loss and has been found to be tremendously helpful in dealing with grief (6).

There's always the hope that people's sadness will motivate them to be nice and empathetic toward others in similar situations.

Keep Tapping!


Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD)

P.S. Want to discover if EFT Tapping is right for you? Book a Complimentary Discovery Call.

How To Self-Heal & Become An EFT Practitioner

Discover how EFT Tapping can help you to self-heal or to become professionally qualified as a Certified EFT Practitioner. Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.

In summary, whether you are experiencing grief or working with clients who are experiencing grief, you can try EFT Tapping.  This clinically proven technique can relieve symptoms of grief and make you feel calm and be at peace.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is purely for educational purposes and does not in any way replace the requirement for medical and psychological diagnosis and treatment. Please do seek professional medical and psychological diagnosis and advice for all medical and mental health conditions. It is advised to always book any consultations with qualified professionals.

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