EFT Tapping for Stress Relief: Your Guide to Inner Calm
In this article, you will learn about stress, external and internal causes of stress, its symptoms, the coping mechanisms for stress, and how to use the Emotional Freedom Technique and the EFT Tapping sequence to overcome stress.
What did you do the last time you were stressed or traumatised?
Did you hold on to it or just let it go? Did you suppress it and build on the layers of unwanted emotions?
At times suppressed emotions can lead to discomfort or even an intense emotional disturbance causing the natural flow of life to be disrupted in areas of health, wealth, and even career.
Stress can be caused by multiple factors. There can be internal issues that lead to stress as well, such as a negative outlook on life, having irrational thoughts about situations, or even overthinking about things that are imaginary.
"Rule number one is, don't sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it's all small stuff."
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is a natural response that manifests both physically and mentally in reaction to life's challenges.
It can be prompted by everyday responsibilities like work and family matters or major life events such as illness, conflict, or the loss of a loved one.
Each person's approach to handling stress differs, influenced by factors like genetics, early life experiences, personality traits, and social and economic circumstances.
In immediate and short-term scenarios, stress can be advantageous for one's well-being. It aids in coping with potentially life-threatening circumstances by triggering the release of stress hormones, which bolster the immune system and trigger a fight-or-flight response.
This physiological stress response equips individuals to react swiftly in critical situations, such as summoning the courage to face fear or endure pain during activities like running a marathon or delivering a speech.
Nevertheless, excessive and prolonged stress can have adverse repercussions on your physical and mental health, potentially trapping individuals in a perpetual state of fight or flight, leading to feelings of being overwhelmed or powerless.
WHAT CAUSES STRESS?
Stressors are the circumstances and demands that give rise to stress. Typically, we associate stressors with challenging or unpleasant situations, such as a hectic work schedule or a complex relationship.
However, it's important to note that anything that places significant demands on an individual can be considered a stressor. This includes positive life events like marriage, home buying, starting college, or receiving a promotion.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF STRESS?
Some common physiological and psychological symptoms of this unpleasant feeling are:
Loss of appetite
Inability to think straight
Have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep
Experience sexual problems
Isolation and anxiety
Substance use and/or abuse
Racing pulse and feelings of fatigue
Moodiness and irritability
Anxiety and stress are usually used interchangeably since their symptoms are almost the same. However, the two conditions differ (1).
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STRESS AND ANXIETY?
Frequently, we conflate stress with anxiety, even though both are our body's natural fight-or-flight reactions. However, they differ in important ways.
The key distinction lies in their duration and triggers. Stress is typically a short-term response to identifiable threats, while anxiety is a prolonged reaction to sometimes elusive concerns.
Moreover, the origins of these experiences also vary. Stress often arises in response to external events, while internal pressures frequently drive anxiety.
It's not uncommon to grapple with issues related to both stress and anxiety. Nonetheless, as the saying goes, excess of anything isn't beneficial.
Managing these emotional states can be challenging, but acknowledging their severity and pinpointing their underlying causes can be immensely helpful, as it allows for targeted problem-solving.
HOW TO COPE WITH STRESS?
Here are some ways to keep your stress at bay:
Learn to prioritise situations in a way where you control how you allow them to affect you. Once you realise that something is not worth stressing over, you'll be able to live a much-relaxed life.
Reaching out and contacting people who make you feel good about yourself is also a good stress reliever. Quite a lot of times, we feel like no one understands us whenever we get stressed, but communicating with loved ones will help you feel calm and soothe your nerves.
Take a Break
Since stress can take place due to burnout, taking a break is a must. If you continue the same routine and do not stop to just take a breath, it will affect your mental health negatively. Taking a 15-minute break every two to three hours will help to avoid burnout stress.
Resting is very important when it comes to stress. It is like a circle - if you don't rest well, you feel stressed, but you're unable to rest if you are stressed.
Even though this vicious cycle is dreadful, it only gets worse with time, and the only thing you can do is meditate and allow yourself to relax for a while, and get into a calm headspace, so it will help you get the sleep you require.
Spending a few minutes daily for meditation and some type of exercise can help immensely in managing stress. A great deal of research has shown the benefits of meditation in maintaining sound mental health.
Also, when we exercise, we feel good and productive, because dopamine and endorphins, the feel-good hormones are released into the blood.
Hence, exercise is a great way to deal with mental health problems like stress, depression, and anxiety.
Using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), also known as tapping therapy, is an alternative treatment technique that combines elements of traditional Chinese medicine with modern psychology to help alleviate emotional distress, reduce stress, and treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This technique was introduced by Gary Craig, that involves tapping on specific acupressure points on the body while focusing on a specific issue or problem.
HOW DOES EFT TAPPING HELP IN REDUCING STRESS?
When you think about an experience that produces negative emotions, such as an embarrassing incident, a fight, or a miserable childhood event, you increase stress.
Negative emotions like anger, guilt, resentment, fear, or shame come up. When you use EFT Tapping, the intensity of those emotions reduces, often to nil, and sometimes in only a few minutes.
This is because when you tap on the specific meridian points, the unresolved negative emotion that disrupted your body's energy system no longer remains stuck.
As we saw above, stress affects the entire body, this decrease in emotional intensity indicates that your stress level is going down.
Unlike any other conventional treatment, the Emotional Freedom Technique puts the body back into the parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous system. As EFT Tapping helps relieve stress, all our body's resources become fully available.
When your emotions are positive and you feel at peace mentally, your body no longer receives those stress signals, even though your life circumstances may not have changed.
As you become calm, all the systems in the body start functioning in a relaxed state (2).
EFT Tapping works through the principles of psychological acupressure that effectively helps restore balance in the body's energy system.
This therapeutic approach is grounded in the understanding that unresolved emotional issues can disrupt the body's natural energy flow, leading to stress and a host of related problems.
Emotional Freedom Techniques tapping works by gently stimulating specific meridian points on the body, providing a reset for the body's energy system.
This process sends a calming signal to the brain, and promotes the free flow of body energy, alleviating blockages caused by negative feelings and emotions.
As a result, it improves multiple physiological markers and becomes possible as the body's energy is allowed to circulate harmoniously.
One key aspect of this talk therapy is its emphasis on self-acceptance. By acknowledging and tapping on specific points while focusing on negative feelings or stressors, individuals cultivate self-acceptance and self-compassion.
This self-directed approach empowers individuals to take an active role in their stress relief journey, promoting a sense of control and emotional well-being.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease revealed that EFT Tapping lowered the stress hormone cortisol by 43%. Research also shows that Tapping calms the amygdala in the brain, by sending it a signal that it is safe to relax (2).
EFT Tapping leverages the principles of psychological acupressure to restore balance in the body's energy system, allowing for the free flow of energy and promoting stress reduction.
This self-acceptance-based approach is a valuable tool for those seeking to manage and alleviate the negative impact of stress in their lives.
EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE TAPPING TO ELIMINATE STRESS
EFT Tapping is a clinically proven therapeutic method to eliminate stress. Since people go through this unpleasant feeling daily, tapping is very effective in relieving their stress and helping them calm their nerves.
Emotional Freedom Techniques Tapping is also quick to administer and is long-lasting.
This technique also helps you come in tune with your emotions and allows you to get rid of negativity residing in your mind and body.
Identify what you are stressed about.
Explore the physical sensations in the body associated with stress and use the physical tension tapping process to reduce the sensations.
Uncover the memories or past events related to stress.
Explore memories related to the stress and use the Tell the Story & the Movie Technique to clear it.
To uncover the memories linked to the symptoms of stress, you can ask questions like:
- When have you felt these sensations before?
- When did the sensations start? What happened?
- Was there ever a time when you did not experience these symptoms?
- What can trigger and bring on the symptoms?
These questions will identify your past experiences associated with stress.
Use the EFT Tapping process to clear the past stress.
Identify past events linked to the feeling of stress and resolve it with the help of tapping therapy.
Stress can sometimes be felt in a specific location like the heart and/or chest. The symptoms can involve migraines, racing pulse, and irritability.
The important thing is to use your specific words to describe the stress.
Measure the intensity of stress
Measure the intensity of your stress by asking yourself,
"What number is the stress at, where 10 is really high and 1 is not high at all."
Just go with whatever comes up spontaneously, without overthinking it.
Tap on the Karate Chop point
Begin by tapping on the Karate Chop point or side of the hand EFT Tapping body's meridian points:
"Even though I feel stress and I feel it in my chest and it's at a number 7 and it's pink in colour and it feels rough, I deeply and completely accept myself (Repeat 3 times)."
Tap on the facial tapping points
Start tapping on the facial and upper body EFT Tapping points for stress using the following phrases:
Eyebrow: This stress...
Side of the eye: So stressed...
Under the eye: I feel it in my chest.
Under the nose: It's ____ in colour.
Chin point: At a number ____.
Collarbone: So ____.
Under the arm: This stress...
Thumb: I feel it in my chest.
Index finger: So stressed...
Middle finger: Really stressed...
Little Finger: It's the colour ____.
Close the EFT Tapping sequence
Close the EFT Tapping session by coming back to the EFT Karate Chop point or tapping meridian points and repeat once,
"Even though I feel stressed, and I feel it in my chest and it's at a number 7 and it's pink in colour and it feels rough, I deeply and completely accept myself."
Take a gentle breath in and out and take a sip of water.
At the end of the EFT Tapping for Stress Elimination, you can ask yourself the following questions:
What number is the stress at now?
What colour is the stress now?
How does it make you feel?
You can repeat this process by going back to Step 1 if you feel like the number could come down a little more. If not, you can stop the process.
Close the process with love and acceptance; Better yourself here.
Identify positive EFT tapping sequence to close the EFT Tapping Therapy for Stress Elimination.
An example of positive tapping is "Even though I was stressed, that was then and this is now, I choose to be calm now."
Then hold the thumb to calm the body and mind and release any residual stress. You can also use the Jin Shin Jyutsu finger-hold process to eliminate stress.
These steps are simple and easy to use when learned from a qualified EFT Practitioner and while any form of a healing technique is sometimes viewed with a little bit of skepticism, our alumni have had the most dramatic results:
- Mahalakshmi helped her mom clear her physical pain of the back in 15 minutes.
- Jayant increased his income through clients.
- Mallika overcame her fear and phobia of cockroaches.
- Nihal & Marie Christie became free from fear of confined spaces (Claustrophobia).
These are some success stories where EFT Tapping for Stress Elimination effectively helped individuals get over their problems.
Although Emotional Freedom Techniques can be administered on the self, it is recommended to consult the health care professionals or a professional EFT Practitioner to get help for physical and/or emotional issues you may be facing (3).
One of the biggest causes of stress is the pent-up feelings that we keep inside instead of expressing them.
Short-term stress can turn into long-term stress depending on our stress management skills and our ability to cope with difficulties coming our way.
Using EFT, you can express your emotions in the most effective way without hurting the feelings of others.
Expressing your feelings can save you from the unwanted feelings that you are carrying within you.
Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD)
P.S. Want to discover if EFT is right for you? Book a Complimentary Discovery Call.
Learn Emotional Freedom Techniques for self healing or to become professionally qualified - More
Our other seminars:
For the full calendar of events.
Other articles you may be interested in: