Tapping on Emotions
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – a Positive Psychology tool for regulating our emotional state.
What is EFT?
- EFT or tapping is a healing practice that connects the language of the body (emotions/feelings, energy) with subconscious thought patterns. Once we identify these thoughts we can explore the potential to regulate them and engage our IQ effectively (conscious choice).
- Dr Roger Callahan made the first enquiry into EFT 30 years ago.
- EFT is based on the Chinese meridian system which makes the connection between our physical and our energetic anatomies.
- Entails tapping on end points on meridians (energetic lines), while bringing to mind whatever is bothering us. Tapping calms the Amygdala in the brain.
Acknowledging when your body speaks your mind
- EFT enables us to explore the root of a thought; we may not always know the cause of or thinking behind a feeling in the heat of the moment but we can usually name the feeling. If we tap on that feeling it brings us to the present moment, taking us out of the story in the mind and landing us in the body. This allows space for us to acknowledge and validate the feeling, which sends a message of reassurance to the body enabling us to regain a sense of calm self control.
- In the moment when you fleetingly realise you’re overreacting, the initial response is to suppress the emotion and that emotion is then stored in the body. Tapping allows us to work with this suppressed language.
Tapping Lowers cortisol levels
- Stress is brought on by excess cortisol in the body and scientific research shows that tapping can lower cortisol levels for up to 6 hours.
Anyone Can Practice EFT
- The only ‘tools’ you need are your two hands and your awareness.
- It allows us to create a connection to our intuition and inner guidance system which is also available to us at all times.
- Through this practice we can learn to identify when we employ learned experiences and perceptions in anticipation of an event or situation, which allows us to question these thoughts in relation to the present moment. We have the ability to ‘tap out’ of old thought patterns, creating space to recognise and understand feelings in order to regulate our responses.
- 6 seconds Think, feel, Act cards can be useful when exploring feelings that arise during tapping.
Go Ahead and Try It
- What is the feeling?
- What do I think the thought associated with this feeling is?
- When I think this thought how do I feel?
- What do I think this means?
- When I think this thought how does my body feel? Where in my body do I feel it?
- Rate how you feel about the situation right now on a scale of 1 -10 (the Subjective Unit of Distress; SUD).
- Using two or three fingers on the one hand, tap the karate chop point on the other hand and start with the set up statement:
Set up Statement: Point 1
Even though I’m feeling……. (name feeling)…….. when I …….( this situation), I’m okay, I love and accept myself (all the while tapping on karate chop point). Repeat the setup statement 3 times.
Tapping points: Points 2 to 9
Now tap 5 to 7 times on each of points 2 to 9 while naming the feeling, where you are feeling it in your body, the sensation of the feeling, validating what you are feeling as you tap on the points