If you’re one of the 275 million people in the world who suffer from anxiety, you know how debilitating it can be. There are many treatments available, but one that is gaining popularity is using EFT tapping.
You may have already tried various tools, techniques, or perhaps even medication to help reduce the anxiety which impacts your daily life, but are you open to using an alternative option? Introducing EFT Tapping; a simple technique which you can introduce as part of your anxiety busting toolbox.
What is EFT Tapping?
Emotional Freedom Technique, commonly known as EFT Tapping, is a simple, yet effective technique that can be used to help reduce anxiety, along with a whole host of other emotional and physical issues. The basic premise behind EFT Tapping is that by tapping on specific points on the head and upper body, you release trapped emotions and energy. This can help to alleviate anxiety and improve overall well-being.
EFT Tapping is a safe and gentle technique which anyone can learn and use anytime, anywhere.
How does EFT Tapping work?
When you tap on the specified EFT Tapping points, it helps to signal to the brain to release feel-good chemicals like serotonin and endorphins. This can help to soothe the nervous system; reducing stress and improving your overall mood. Over time, EFT Tapping for anxiety can help you reduce negative thought patterns and behaviours, enabling you to feel more calm and in control.
Is EFT Tapping proven to work for anxiety?
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests EFT tapping may be effective for treating anxiety. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that EFT was able to significantly reduce anxiety symptoms in a group of participants.
Another study, conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, found that EFT tapping was associated with reductions in both anxiety and depression symptoms. And a third study, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, found that EFT was an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You can learn more about EFT Tapping research here.
So what does all this research tell us? It’s clear that there is some evidence to suggest that EFT tapping can be helpful for reducing anxiety symptoms, so if you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s well worth giving EFT a try, after all, you have nothing to lose!
How to get started using EFT Tapping for anxiety
All you need to get started is a notebook, pen, a glass of water and your fingertips!
By using the EFT Tapping for anxiety instructions below, you agree to take full responsibility for your own health and well-being. If your anxiety is impacting your day to day life, make an appointment to see a medical professional.
Here’s how to do it:
1: Identify the feeling or memory that’s causing your anxiety.
For example, if you’re worried about an upcoming networking event because you have social anxiety, close your eyes and think about the event – What thoughts and emotions come up? You might like to imagine it’s the day of the event and you are just about to walk into the room – what are you thinking/feeling? Write down all your fears and worries, without judgement. It can also useful to note down any physical feelings, such as tightening of the throat, butterflies in your tummy etc.
2: Rate your level of anxiety on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the most anxious.
Check in with yourself. It can be helpful to close your eyes as you try and assess what level of anxiety you’re feeling. This will help you track your progress as you tap. Remember to check in and write down your score after each round of tapping. Ideally you want to bring the number down to below 3.
3: Start tapping on the side of the hand
Tapping on the side of the hand, repeat what’s called a ‘setup phrase’ in EFT. This is where you repeat (ideally out loud) what’s bothering you. There’s an example below, but feel free to swap out any words so your tapping feels more personal.
If you’ve never tapped before and aren’t sure where the points are, head to this explainer video on YouTube.
Side of the hand: Even though I’m feeling anxious about this networking meeting, I choose to feel calm
Side of the hand: Even though I’m worried that people won’t be interested in what I have to say, I accept how I’m feeling
Side of the hand: Even though I don’t know what to expect and I’m really getting caught up thinking about possible scenarios, I choose to deeply and completely, love, honour and accept myself.
4: Tap through the points
Next, tap through the points repeating the phrases you’ve written in your notebook. Here you’re basically expressing all your negative thoughts and feelings. Try to be honest and release any judgement – all your feelings are valid, even the negative ones. I’ve added some phrases below based on my own experience, but as with the setup phrase, introduce your own thoughts and feelings as appropriate.
Eyebrow point: I’m feeling really anxious about this event
Side of the eye: I’m really worried about getting there in time
Under the eye: What if I’m late and everyone looks at me?
Under the nose: I’m worried about getting my words muddled up and looking stupid
Chin point: Everyone else will be far more experienced/professional/confident than me
Collarbone point: Part of me wants to go, but part of me feels really anxious
Under the arm: I can feel this anxiety in my chest/throat/tummy/neck/head
Top of the head: I’m just feeling really anxious/worried/scared
5: Check in and tap through the points again
Take a calm, deep breath and measure the anxious feelings again on a scale of 1-10, remembering to write it down. It’s okay if your score hasn’t shifted, in fact, it may even have gone up a bit because you’re bringing all your fears and worries to the surface.
Tap through the points again, listing any thoughts and feelings that are coming up, checking in after each round to see if score is coming down.
Once you’re feeling calmer and less anxious, you can carry on as below…
6: Introduce some positives
Now you can begin to introduce some ‘Maybe’ type statements. I’ve listed an example below:
Eyebrow point: It feels good to be a bit calmer about this
Side of the eye: Maybe things could turn out okay
Under the eye: What if I really enjoy the event and make some new connections?
Under the nose: I’ve done things outside of my comfort zone before, and I can do it again
Chin point: I’m really proud of myself for working on this
Collarbone point: Because anxiety is a difficult thing to experience
Under the arm: I choose to feel calm about this event
Top of the head: Maybe I could try tapping beforehand and see if it helps me on the day?
You can carry on with the positive tapping as required, introducing some anxiety relief affirmations if you like. Remember to keep checking in after every round.
7: Reflect on your progress
In your journal, make some notes about what came up for you. This reflection is a really important part of the process and helps you to cultivate a growth mindset. Journaling combined with EFT Tapping can be a powerful combination.
Sometimes earlier memories can come up, so always be mindful of your wellbeing and work with an EFT Tapping Practitioner if you need additional support.
In conclusion, EFT tapping for anxiety can be really helpful. While it may not work for everyone, it’s worth giving it a try and if you find that it works for you, be sure to practice regularly to maintain its effectiveness. For best results, I suggest introducing tapping as part of your daily routine.
Feel free to comment with your experiences below. I always love hearing how tapping is helping people.