How Does EFT Tapping Help In Overcoming Helplessness?

EFT Tapping to Overcome Helplessness

EFT Tapping to overcome helplessness

If you are unable to change something in your life that you have always wanted to, if you are feeling that your life is no longer in your control, then this blog is for you. This blog talks about the feelings of helplessness, how it affects your life and how an alternative therapeutic tool called Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT Tapping technique can help you in overcoming helplessness. 

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt stuck? You want to get out of it so badly, but you just can’t! You feel so frustrated and helpless! Ultimately, you give up and accept it as your fate.

Have you heard of the popular analogy of the baby elephant tied with a rope? 

As we know, animals are trained and tamed when they are young. According to this analogy, a trainer ties one leg of a baby elephant with a post using a rope. The elephant tries and tries for hours and days to break free from the rope, but eventually quits and accepts it as its fate.

When the baby elephant grows up and is no longer a baby, it becomes the most gigantic and powerful animal. Despite this, it doesn’t even try to escape from the rope because it has been conditioned to believe that it can’t break the rope and so any attempts to break free are useless.

This is exactly how helplessness looks like.

EFT Tapping technique to overcome helplessness


Helplessness is a state of being unable to act or react to a negative situation (1). It is a sense of feeling stuck as a result of not being able to do something to change a situation or a pattern. It may be experienced by anyone, especially during illness or when affected by a traumatic event.

Feelings of helplessness form a vicious cycle. For example, say you are in school, and in school, you have to learn mathematics. Even after putting in lots of effort, you find that no matter what, you are not able to solve problems, and just do not like it at all. 

Eventually, in the future, when you have to deal with numbers again or accounts again, you may feel like you can't take it. “I feel so helpless, I just can't do it.”

Now, adults, as well as children, experience something known as learned helplessness. The analogy of the baby elephant was an apt example of learned helplessness.

Learned helplessness is experienced when an individual consistently faces a negative situation that is out of their control and stops trying to change their circumstances, even when they have the ability to do so.

For example, a person with alcohol addiction may repeatedly try to quit and fail every time. He may become frustrated and start to believe that nothing he does will help, and therefore he stops trying altogether.

The view that one cannot control the situation by themselves essentially brings about a passive response to the harm that is occurring (2).

Learned helplessness can lead one to form negative beliefs about their abilities and lead to poor self-esteem. It also leads to the development of neuroticism, and the tendency to take on blame when things go wrong.

Learned helplessness often occurs as a result of a lack of control, either real or perceived, over one's situation.

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.

A child who is frequently bullied at school by senior children, or is being sexually abused might start to believe that there is no way out of the situation and stop fighting back or trying to run away. 

Children who experience a traumatic childhood may still feel powerless as adults, believing that they have no control over situations and they cannot improve any situation in their lives, just like the baby elephant.

Learned helplessness can disrupt development and learning in children and can lead to disturbed adulthood with problems such as depression and other mental health conditions (2).

I remember myself trying to avoid experiences in life. In my case, I broke my tailbone sacrament coccyx, while crossing the road. As a result, I developed learned helplessness.

I would not cross the road until I was holding someone's hand, and I held their hands so tightly and would look again and sometimes I just couldn’t move and would just stay on that part of the road.

If you've ever had a negative experience happen in your life as a child, you may have learned helplessness, where you avoided situations and you wouldn't engage in situations until someone helped you, and this may continue even in adulthood.  

On the other hand, you may also develop learned helplessness as an adult. For example, if you have gone through hurtful events like divorce, betrayal, or someone having an affair, it creates learned helplessness, in the form of not wanting to enter another relationship because of fear of rejection or fear of being hurt.

This is because learned helplessness is developed as a shield, as you don’t want to put yourself in danger by repeating what happened to you in the past again.


Helplessness can manifest itself into many other negative emotions and behaviours and affects all the aspects of our being. It can take the form of mild issues to severe mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

Helplessness leads to (3):

  • Failure to ask for help and refusing medications or therapy, because they think nothing has worked for them so far, so nothing else would
  • Frustration, as a result of feeling stuck and unable to change the situation
  • Giving up, after being tired of trying to change the situation
  • Lack of effort
  • Low self-esteem, because helplessness affects performance and doesn’t allow one to live up to their full abilities
  • Passivity
  • Poor motivation, caused due to a sense of hopelessness
  • Procrastination, which is a way to avoid situations
  • Anxiety, extreme distress caused because of lack of control
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
EFT Tapping technique to Overcome Helplessness


 When you become passive on odd lazy days and sit back to relax, your mind might want to chill. Slowing down in between is acceptable. But when these lazy days keep coming back again and again, you need to know something is wrong. It is no more about chilling and relaxing. This may give away the fact that there’s nothing for you to look forward in life. Not getting up implies procrastination.

Procrastination is also linked to learned helplessness and low self-esteem. As an adult, this learned helplessness can further lead to general discomfort and anxiety.

EFT Tapping technique to Overcome Helplessness


EFT Tapping is emerging. It is a clinically proven therapy to help with almost all kinds of physical as well as mental and emotional issues. It has been proven to heal stress, anxiety, depression, phobias, pain, cravings, weight loss issues, and all kinds of negative emotions including helplessness.

EFT Tapping has two parts to it: Talk and Touch. The 'touch' aspect has its roots in ancient Chinese medicine and the 'talk' aspect is based on modern psychology.

The 'touch' aspect involves tapping on the specific points on the face and upper body along while simultaneously saying out certain statements related to the issue that you wish to resolve. Speaking out the statements is a part of the 'talk' aspect.

According to the theory of EFT, whenever you experience any negative or traumatic event in your life, no matter how small or big, it gets stored in your body and mind and creates a disruption in the body’s energy flow. This disruption keeps us stuck and makes us unconsciously operate from the trauma of the past.


When you tap on the specific points while speaking the statements, the disrupted energy in your body gets balanced.

Your deepest disturbing memories and their associated emotions come to the surface during the process of EFT Tapping. This leads to profound healing. When you address those issues during the process, they no longer have the power to affect you.

For example, you experienced an accident many years ago and that led to learned helplessness in you. You stopped driving since that experience happened and now you cannot travel without someone’s company in the car.

If you recall that accident, it may bring about feelings of fear and anxiety in you. But when you address this issue with EFT Tapping, this emotional charge linked to the experience will no longer remain.

So, after EFT Tapping, if you recall the same memory, it will not elicit the same negative emotions and you will be able to recall the memory with ease.

Needless to say, this will now resolve your fear of driving and pull you out of the loop of helplessness.

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.


EFT Tapping for Claustrophobia is an alternative therapeutic method which has proven to be long lasting and effective. The sample procedure of EFT Tapping for overcoming claustrophobia is as follows:

Step 1:

First use EFT Tapping on what it feels like to feel helpless

Explore the physical sensations in the body associated with the feelings of helplessness and use the physical tension tapping process to reduce the sensations.

Identify physical sensations that are associated with your helplessness. You can explore by asking questions such as:

  • What or who made you feel helpless?
  • How did it make you feel? 


To get started, begin by investigating the physical nature of helplessness which is claustrophobia in this case. 

Connect with the symptoms and notice where you feel sensations in the body.

Now, as you explore the process of EFT Tapping for overcoming helplessness, go into your past and take some time to ponder about the questions given below:

  • Who made you feel helpless?
  • What situations made you feel helpless?
  • What situations do you avoid so as to not feel helpless?
  • If you did not feel helpless, what would you experience instead?
  • How has feeling helpless kept you from living your life to its fullest potential?

Now, bring into your awareness, a time when you felt affected by claustrophobia. Briefly, you can also ask yourself the following questions to explore further:

  • What triggered you the most?
  • Where in the body did you experience the helplessness triggering?
  • What is the colour, texture, size, and shape of the claustrophobia in the body?
  • What are the sensations like? For example, rough or smooth.


Measure the level of your helplessness

Measure the level of your helplessness by asking: "On a scale of 1 to 10, what number is it at, where 10 is really high and 1 is not high at all."

Go with whatever comes up spontaneously, without thinking too much about it.


Begin by tapping on the Karate chop or side of the hand EFT tapping points:

Tap on The Karate Chop using the setup statement, for example:

“Even though I felt helpless about _____________ and I can feel it in my ________________________ and it’s at a number _____________ and it made me feel _______________ I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

(Repeat 3 times)


Start tapping on the upper body, facial and finger EFT Tapping points for helplessness using these phrases:

Use the identified phrases to tap on the facial, upper body, and finger EFT Tapping Points:

  • Eyebrow: I feel helpless about …..
  • Temple: I feel it in my …..
  • Under eye: It is at a number …..
  • Under nose: It makes me feel …..
  • Chin: It is in my ….. at a number …..
  • Collarbone: It makes me feel …..
  • Under the arm: So …..
  • Thumb: So …..
  • Index Finger: Helpless because …..
  • Middle Finger: I feel it in my …..
  • Little finger: So …..


Close the sequence 

Close the sequence by coming back to the EFT Karate Chop Tapping Points and repeating the setup statement once:

“Even though I felt helpless about __________ and I feel it in my ___________ and it’s at a number _______ and it made me feel _______, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."



Take a gentle breath in, then let it out and take a sip of water.



Test the intensity of your helplessness. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What number is it at now?
  • What happened?
  • How does it make you feel now?

Then ask yourself:

  • What is left about the helplessness? (Feel helpless because…)
  • Where in the body do you feel it?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, what number is it at?
  • How did it make you feel?

If the intensity has reduced to a level that you are happy about, you can stop and close with positive tapping. If you feel the number could come down a little more, begin again from the first step.

(Note: You can also tap on memories, and associated emotions that come up.)

Step 2:

Discover past experiences of feeling helplessness and clear them.

Explore memories related to claustrophobia and clear them.  

To uncover the memories, you can ask the following questions:

  • When have you felt the symptoms before?
  • What happens to trigger the symptoms?
  • Who or what triggers the feeling of symptoms?

These questions will identify your past experiences associated with the claustrophobia.

Step 3:

Explore any limiting beliefs that prevented you from coping helplessness. 

For helplessness, first uncover the limiting beliefs which can either be at the surface level or emerging from a deeper root cause, which are often the repressed memories.

Explore the themes that make it worse deeply. For example, you can ask yourself:

  • What makes me feel helpless?
  • What makes me feel bothered?
  • What will make me feel relaxed?

For example,

  • “It is so scary” to “I will do it”

Follow the tapping sequence after this.

Step 4:

Close with positive EFT Tapping:

Identify positive tapping sequences to close the EFT Tapping for overcoming helplessness.

You can close with the following sequence,

  • “Even though I have this feeling of being helpless, that was then, and this is now, I am open to the possibility of feeling relaxed now.”

Repeat as often as needed and you can stop when you feel relaxed.

EFT Tapping technique for Helplessness


There has been a growing body of research and clinical trials that has been proving the effectiveness of EFT Tapping.

A research study showed a 90% Drop in PTSD Symptoms after 6 weeks of EFT Treatment. Not only did EFT far outperform the effects of standard care for PTSD, but the results were also stably maintained at the 3- and 6-month marks. 

A group of 60 veterans clinically diagnosed with PTSD were randomly assigned to either EFT treatment or standard care. Each participant in the EFT treatment group received one 60-minute EFT session per week with a practitioner, over the course of 6 weeks.

After the 6 weeks, of participants who received EFT treatment, 90%  no longer met the criteria for PTSD (moreover, they would no longer be diagnosed with PTSD). 

For the group that received standard care, only 4% no longer met the criteria for PTSD. Moreover, 96% of that group remained clinically diagnosable with PTSD.

1.1. How can poor motivation be a learnt behaviour?

For example, if you are feeling motivated or happy as you are going to sports meet or something, and your parents said something to you that just kills your excitement and motivation, then this could result in learned helplessness. Learned helplessness comes from past experiences.

1.2. Can love of family or for family make one feel helpless?

Yes, you can feel helpless when you have a family commitment and it can keep you from living how you want or doing what you want. However, if you keep feeling helpless, you let your energy system know your soul’s misalignment.

From my experience of working with clients, I have found that if anyone has auto immune illness (Hashimotos Thyroid/psoriasis/eczema) or chronic conditions where the immune system stops responding, they had one common theme, and that is they had misalignment between what they want to do and what they are doing in reality.

Even though you love your family, you also have a conflicting thought about the things that you want to do for yourself. This thought, where there is an emotion associated with not being able to do what you want, can cause an internal conflict or misalignment, and may impact your health.

You have to choose what you want to do. You can acknowledge the fact that you love your family, and want to be there for them, and when you finish your duties towards your family, you can evaluate what you want to do for yourself. Secondly, you can choose to take care of your family and simultaneously start pursuing what you want to by setting clear boundaries for both areas.

1.3. How to write the letter of forgiveness?

Think about one person with whom you want to have a final conversation with. They can no longer be alive. Write a letter to them that includes the following:

  • What do they mean to you?
  • What do you love about them?
  • How they may have hurt you ( I was hurt when you did this and it made me feel)?
  • Ask them for forgiveness when you did something to them.
  • Happy memories that you would like to create with them.


If a person has faced any kind of trauma, for example, sexual abuse, an accident, or a loss of a loved one, it can create learned helplessness. Having faced a negative event that was deeply traumatic, the person develops helplessness as a defense mechanism.

They try to protect themselves and try to avoid doing all kinds of actions or activity that may have even a little possibility of harming them.

EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques is a therapeutic tool that works on your deepest unresolved negative emotions.

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, we feel helpless because we are unconsciously stuck in the loop of the past. With EFT tapping, you can make peace with your suppressed emotions and heal your past, giving you the freedom to live with your complete potential. Try EFT Tapping for yourself to get out of the cycle of helplessness!

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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