Tapping Stress Relief: A Guide

How Tapping Therapy Works

 

Whether you’re single or married, commute to work, work from home, act as a caregiver to family, or are tied up with other projects, it often feels like our lives keep getting busier and busier. Despite all of the modern conveniences to help us along the way, it’s a wonder how we manage to get so much done in today’s fast-paced world. Between work, childcare, parental care, food prep, staying on top of bills, household chores, appointments, and pets, fitting everything in is a challenge–even with a boost of caffeine and the best productivity apps!

What is the expression…”Stop the world, I want to get off?”

Yep, that’s it. The limitations of the 24-hour day do ring true for many of us, and it’s hard to find a way to manage the stress from all of our obligations. 

And speaking of obligations, did you notice what was left out of the list of duties above? 

Self-Care

Noun: the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.

Or, the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

It’s a buzzword that has been floating around in the vernacular during the past few years, with many different connotations. Although some people like to throw “retail therapy” into the “self-care” bucket, it really is about taking the time to preserve, restore, renew, value, and take care of yourself. As a useful tool in managing stress, self-care can include:

  • Healthy, nutritious food prep for yourself
  • Exercise, yoga, and stretching
  • Peaceful meditation
  • Writing your thoughts down in a journal
  • Challenging your mind by reading a book or practicing a skill like chess
  • Spending time in nature
  • Organizing and revamping your home environment in a way that helps you feel centered, peaceful, and productive

Unfortunately, many of us are conditioned to feel guilt for dedicating time to caring for ourselves when there are more pressing needs at hand. It’s easy to postpone what we consider “non-essential” tasks for later, and oftentimes, they get neglected altogether–therefore, we get neglected. We feel that surely if we just get a little more done, if we do a little more overtime at work, if we run a few more errands, if we cross a few more things off our lists, we will take care of ourselves afterward. Surely, if we just get more done, the feelings of stress will dissipate. Sadly, it doesn’t work this way.

Avoid getting stuck in this vicious cycle. While there is little we can do to make the world slow down, we can find ways to adapt and thrive despite the ongoing stressors in our life.

Additional Therapies for Stress

Perhaps you are experiencing an especially stressful period in your life and your regular methods for relaxation aren’t giving you the relief you need. You are preoccupied with recurring thoughts about a particular situation, having trouble sleeping, and concentrating. Instead, you have fixated on what feels like an unsolvable problem, such as an unmanageable workload, relationship issues, or some other issue–and can’t seem to move past it. How do you move forward?

Emotional Freedom Technique

In a previous blog, we discussed the emotional freedom technique which is an alternative therapy developed to treat anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and some other trauma and pain-related issues. This therapy combines elements of Chinese medicine, cognitive therapy, and exposure therapy, to focus on the body’s meridian points to restore the flow of energy and promote healing via “tapping.”

It is believed that through repetition, the tapping motion provides a focus to help break negative cycles and achieve relief. In addition to tapping stress relief, tapping for social anxiety and tapping for grief have also shown promising results. This method can be done alone or with the guidance of a trained EFT practitioner. 

Tapping Stress Relief: How Does It Work?

As part of the emotional freedom technique (EFT), tapping stress relief can be performed in five steps. EFT is performed by focusing on one issue at a time, one step at a time and the sequence can be repeated if needed. Find a quiet, comfortable place that is as free from interruptions as possible. Take a deep breath and gather your thoughts.

  1. Identify the issue. First, identify the stressor. This issue will be the focal point of your tapping. 
  1. Measure the intensity of your issue. After you have identified your problem, designate a benchmark for the strength of your feeling about the topic, for example from 0 to 10, with 10 being the most difficult.
  1. Create a statement. It should describe the issue you are trying to address, followed by a statement of self-acceptance. For example, the statement could be:

“Even though I am very stressed-out about upcoming changes at work and worry about how my role will change, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

  1. Find the edge of your palm below your little finger and tap the area repeatedly. As you tap, repeat your statement aloud three times.
  1. Next, tap on the following meridian points of the body, one at a time in the following order. As you tap, say your issue aloud over and over. You may shorten the statement to the essential words if you like, such as “worried about job” followed by “I accept myself.”
  • Tap the top of your head
  • Tap on the inner edge of one eyebrow
  • Tap near the outside edge of one eye
  • Tap on the bone underneath one eye
  • Tap on the space between your nose and your upper lip
  • Tap on the space between your lower lip and your chin
  • Tap the notch underneath the inner edge of the collarbone 
  • Tap about four inches under one armpit 
  1. Pause and access how you feel about your issue.
  1. Repeat the steps if necessary. Continue tapping until you you feel better and can give a lower number on your benchmark scale.

If the sequence above feels confusing or you could use some guidance, please visit our EFT page and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Take a deep breath. Remember, stress is only temporary. You will get through it and thrive. You are worthy and loved. To quote the cliche, there truly only is one of you…so treat yourself well!

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