EFT Tapping for Overwhelm: Letting Go with Emotional Freedom Technique

EFT Tapping for Overwhelm: Letting Go with Emotional Freedom

In this article, you will learn about the feelings of overwhelm, the main contributing factors, their types and effects, and how to let go of overwhelm with the help of EFT Tapping which is an alternate therapeutic technique (also clinically proven to help people let go of intense overwhelming feelings).

Do you also get caught up with work life, personal life and family life that you just can't afford to slow down no matter how much you want to?

You get exhausted and it feels like there's so much to cope with and complete; it comes to a point where you wish there were more hours in a day.

This is a feeling of being overwhelmed.

"A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul."

lysa terkeurst


When you're dealing with overwhelm, it can feel all-consuming.

Many people will experience this emotion at some point in their life, and it comprises being entirely overpowered by a powerful and uncontrollable emotion that something is too difficult to handle and conquer.

When faced with overwhelming situations, it might be difficult to think and act rationally, let alone function normally.

Needless to say, the sensation is unpleasant, and the reasons and consequences can affect both your personal and professional life.

If you feel overwhelmed, it can be quite difficult to pinpoint the exact cause since there are many stressors that contribute to this negative feeling. 

Overwhelm can also occur due to many smaller stressors.

For example, missing your bus may not feel like too big of a deal by itself.

But if you’ve been fighting with your family, having trouble sleeping, and are hungry from skipping breakfast, a missed bus can be the proverbial “last straw” of the day. 

Some emotions are more likely to overwhelm you than others. It may be easier for you to control your anger than it is to accept great fear or grief.

Overwhelm is more likely if you are experiencing a lot of competing emotions at the same time. It is a symptom of some mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression and many more.

Here are some factors that could make you feel overwhelmed (1):

Setting Unrealistic Expectations For Yourself

There may be weeks where everything just keeps piling up on your to-do list and you just pressurise yourself to complete all of it, without a break, which leads to overwhelm.

Expecting Yourself To Be Perfect

If you're a perfectionist, there are higher chances of you feeling overwhelmed, since you take up a lot of work with the intention of completing all of it perfectly. Slowly, you'll start feeling exhausted and a feeling of "I'm not good enough" will cloud your thoughts to a point of intense overwhelm.

Not Setting Boundaries For Yourself

You might be a people pleaser which would make it difficult for you to say "No" when you need to. When you say "Yes" to everyone and everything, you end up leaving no room for yourself, which could get quite exhausting and overwhelming after a point.

Keeping Priorities In Check

When you are unable to decide what you want to prioritise and what is important for you, you start overcommitting to tasks that will eventually lead to burnouts and in turn, cause stress, anxiety and intense overwhelm.



The feeling of being overwhelmed can creep upon us. We can sometimes see it coming but we don't always do so.

Feeling overwhelmed is completely normal as long as you know how to manage it. In order to be able to help this unwanted feeling, you need to know what are the kinds of overwhelm that you may experience.

Given below are the types of overwhelm you may experience (2):

Social Overwhelm

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed while socialising that you just wanted to run and hide?

A lot of introverts struggle with social overwhelm and this takes place as a result of being around other people. 

Individuals who are highly sensitive may experience varying levels of overwhelm depending on the situation.

Since these individuals pick up on more social cues and changes than the rest, it makes them more vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed. Social overwhelm does not mean you don’t like being around people.

It’s acknowledging that being in the company of others is stimulating.

Social overwhelm can arise from:

  • Attending an event with a large crowd
  • Hosting a party or a get-together
  • Spending time with your family
  • Being around people at a mall or store
  • Conversations with friends
  • Going to work
  • Meeting new people

Sensory or Environmental Overwhelm

Stimuli in the environment (outside of your body) causes this overwhelm when you’re getting more input from your five senses than your brain can sort through and process; this can include:

  • Strong/unpleasant smells 
  • Flashing overhead lights
  • Multiple conversations going on in a room
  • Loud or annoying noise
  • Invasion of personal space
  • Allergens
  • Extreme cold/heat
  • Textures and fabrics
  • Being in a crowd

Mental Overwhelm

Have you ever felt like you just can't turn your brain off? Like your thoughts are running so fast you're finding it hard to catch up?

It’s important to give yourself grace when you mentally overwhelm.

Try not to brush them off or push through whatever is causing you to feel anxious – your mental health matters and if you’re feeling the squeeze, understand that you can take a step back.

This is a mental overwhelm, which revolves around your processing, ideas, thoughts and imagination. This can take place due to:

  • Excessive worry or anxiety
  • Replaying events over and over again
  • Learning new information 
  • Processing or reprocessing a situation or conversation

Physical Overwhelm

This usually takes place inside your body due to internal stimulations you may be facing, like:

  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Bloating
  • Pain
  • Pleasure

Emotional Overwhelm

Emotional overwhelm is a difficult-to-manage state of being troubled by intense emotion. It has the potential to impair your ability to reason and act rationally.

It may also make it difficult for you to carry out daily chores.

Although emotional overwhelm is often confused with physical overwhelm, they are not the same. This type of stimulation is due to your emotional responses.

This sensation arises from the heart, mood or mind and not from the body, as in physical overwhelm. 

Emotional overwhelm could take place due to:

  • Joy
  • Grief
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Envy/jealousy
  • Disgust
  • Sadness
  • Anticipation/excitement

Often, some people have a hard time pinpointing the exact reason for their overwhelmed state. The reason for this is that it’s common to have multiple triggers instead of a single one. 

Overwhelm is inevitable when too many conflicting and uncomfortable feelings emerge at the same time. As a human being, you are bound to experience overwhelm at some point in your life. 

The best way to help yourself and others eliminate their feelings of overwhelm is to attend the EFT Practitioner Training or work with a skilled EFT Practitioner who is trained to identify and root out the main cause.

If you would like to experience the power of EFT Tapping first hand, just download the EFT Tapping Booklet below.

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

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


When overwhelm takes over your mind, even the smallest of tasks may seem complicated and difficult. It will impair your thought process and cause distractions which will lower your ability to solve problems and be productive. 

Although this may be tough, here are some tips to deal with overwhelm (3):


Accept That You Are Overwhelmed

When you feel stuck and overwhelmed, it is important to recognise that something's wrong and is bothering you.

You will not be able to move ahead if you don't accept this feeling and make the necessary changes to get rid of it.


Share Your Troubles

Feeling overwhelmed will drain you emotionally and it is important that you talk to someone about what you're going through, in order to gain perspective.

It will allow you to vent and they might also give you ways to deal with your situation.


Set Proper Deadlines

We often believe that we'll be able to complete everything in one go, so we set unrealistic deadlines over our existing one's, which leads to overwhelm and exhaustion. 

Allow yourself to take a little more time to complete your task, in order to feel less stressed and work on things without feeling drained. 


Prioritise Your Work

There are times when you'll have so many tasks on your plate that it will just pressurise you and make you feel overwhelmed. Consider making a list based on which task needs the most attention and what doesn't. 

Prioritising your work will help you be organised and complete tasks without feeling burnt out, stressed or overwhelmed.


Acknowledge Yourself 

Many people work hard to achieve various accomplishments to earn the recognition of others. They forget about themselves and fail to take time to recognise and celebrate their achievements. No matter what you have to do, always take time to appreciate yourself.

If you're having trouble acknowledging yourself, think about the outstanding attributes you possess that have helped you achieve a specific goal. 


Create A Happy List

When you think about certain experiences, memories, or items, they bring you delight. These tiny gestures, no matter how insignificant, can lift your spirits and motivate you when you're feeling down and overwhelmed.

Try writing down these small things on pieces of paper and keep a few of them with you as you go on with your daily activities.


A Little Side Note Before We Begin:

Do not be alarmed by the use of negative language that merely acknowledges the present state of things - such as "I'm feeling overwhelmed".

Tapping is a cleansing technique - you acknowledge what doesn't feel good and clear it out using simultaneous tapping.

Such thoughts are already going on in your mind. Tapping helps you to safely verbalise and purge them. Once the negative emotional charge clears, it spontaneously makes space for positive thoughts and creative insight to arise.


Letting go of overwhelm with Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping is an alternative therapeutic method which has proven to be long lasting and effective. The procedure for EFT Tapping for Overwhelm is as follows:

Step 1

Take A Quick Temperature Check

Identify and explore more about what triggers your feeling of overwhelm, by asking the following questions:

  • What or who is it that makes you feel overwhelmed?
  • What triggers the overwhelm you face?
  • What calms you down when you feel overwhelmed?
  • Where in the body do you feel this feeling?

Step 2

Identify The Physical Sensations

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

  • How are you feeling?
  • Where in the body do you experience the overwhelm?
  • What is the colour, texture, size, and shape of this feeling?

Measure the intensity of this feeling by asking: "On a scale of 1 to 10, what number is the overwhelm at, where 10 is really high and 1 is not high at all."

Step 3

Start Tapping On The Side Of Your Hand (Karate Chop) 

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

“Even though I feel overwhelmed about parenting and I can feel it in my stomach, it’s at a number 9, orange in colour, and it makes my palms go cold, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” 

(Repeat 3 times)

Step 4

Then Tap On The Facial And Upper Body EFT Tapping Points By Saying

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

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

Step 5

Complete The Sequence By Tapping On The Side Of Your Hand Again

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

“Even though I feel overwhelmed about parenting and I can feel it in my stomach, it’s at a number 9, orange in colour, and it makes my palms go cold, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

Step 6

Breathe and Relax

Take a gentle breath in and out, and have a sip of water. 

Step 7

Test Yourself

Test the intensity of the overwhelming feeling. Ask yourself the following questions:

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

If the feeling has reduced to a level that you’re 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 8

Close with Positive Tapping for Overwhelm

Identify positive tapping sequences to close the EFT Tapping for nervousness:

You can close with the following sequence, 

  • “Even though I feel really overwhelmed about parenting, 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.

If you choose to feel restrained, every little thing can be overwhelming. Feel grateful for what you have.

The attitude of gratitude can make you feel more content with yourself. Reorder your priorities and work on them. Slowly but consistently.

You feel overwhelmed when you think you have to figure out everything at once. Take a deep breath, you are strong. Take it day-by-day.


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, overwhelm can be really exhausting and distressing, but you can always overcome it by breaking down your tasks into small steps, practice yoga and/or meditation or even use a clinically proven method. EFT Tapping to let go of overwhelm will allow you to get rid of the distressing thoughts that you are going through; however, you don't need to rush the process. Take your own time and do what you feel is right for you, as and when you feel comfortable. 

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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