Using EFT Tapping to manage your emotions during this tumultuous time
Interesting times we are living in. Am I right? I cannot tell you how many times I’ve put my hands up and cried out, “Okay, enough with this simulation! I am ready to go back to real life!” Everyone’s daily lives have seemingly flipped upside down. If I was a fly on your wall, how many of these scenarios would I see about your quarantine life?
1. Stress buying, things you “need” while simultaneously worrying about your financial situation
2. Wondering every time you cough or sneeze, Corona is that you?
3. Pretending your kitchen is the set of Food Network’s Chopped, but everything in your basket just so happens to be disgusting
4. Refreshing your email a hundred times a day
5. Engaging in poor sleep hygiene that manifests as sleeping at 3 am and waking at 2:30pm in the same pajamas you wore for the past four days
6. Post-Mating every meal while wishing Trader Joe’s delivered
7. When the Netflix screen asks, “Are you still watching?” you take it as a personal attack and proceed to yell “OF COURSE I AM. WHAT ELSE HAVE I DO TO, NETFLIX?”
8. Thinking about or actually reaching out to exes/ people who hurt you in the past
9. Being either too productive or not productive at all
10. Randomly bursting into tears
These scenarios, while funny, indicate that “stress” shows up in many different way. Whether you are spending too much time online or slowly turning into a night owl, the sheer terror that a global virus is creating is much too real. All of this stress affects the body physiologically and decreases your immune system. All the Vitamin C and immune shots in the world won’t help if your body is running in a fight or flight mode. It is okay to be stressed. In fact, stress is needed to survive. But, if that stress becomes chronic, it can lead to some (or more) of those behaviors listed above.
Tapping is a stress management technique that utilizes the same meridian system that acupuncture uses. Tapping is the common name for Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). You think of something that is stressing you out (job, finances, relationships, family). While tapping on acupuncture points with your fingers, you say specific phrases that fit your situation. Stimulating the acupuncture points creates a “zen vibe” in your body and decreases the body’s overall stress response to that stressful stimulus. Right now, everyone is running on adrenaline and cortisol levels are through the roof. People are dysregulated and who can blame them? There is so much uncertainty, fear, and chaos swirling around. The global tension is palpable.
Right now, it is easy to feel disempowered. Tapping is one way to get your power back and boost your immune system. In one study published in February of 2019, Clinical EFT Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health, showed that EFT decreased “cortisol by 37%, increased sigA antibodies by 113%, decreased anxiety 40%, decrease in depressive symptoms of 35% increased happiness by 31%” (Church et al, 2019).
Tapping is the surfboard, hand crafted, just for you. Use this surfboard to cruise the emotional waves of your roaring ocean with. All you need is your fingertips and 10-15 minutes a day to change your mindset, clear your mind, and totally make Coach Taylor proud #ClearEyesFullHeartsCan’tLose.
How do I do it?
First off, let’s get to know the points and where they are located on your body.
Side of the hand: This point is located on the fleshy bit of your hand, right above the wrist.
Top of the head: If you were a marionette doll, this point would be where the string would come out of.
Eyebrow: Find the medial end of the eyebrow. You should feel bone when you tap on it as well as some eyebrow hairs.
Side of the Eye: Locate the outer corner of your eye and then move slightly laterally. You should fall into a small depression. That is the point! You should feel bone when you tap on it.
Under the Eye: This point is directly underneath the pupil of your eye. You should feel bone when you tap on it.
Under the Nose: This point is in the space between your nose and your mouth.
Chin: This point is in the cleft of the chin.
Collarbone: Feel for that U-shaped bone in the center of your chest. Move laterally from this bone about 2 inches, making sure to stay under the collarbone.
Under the arm: This point is about 3 inches below the armpit.
Now that you know what points are involved, let’s put it all together. The basic tapping protocol always looks something like this:
Think of something that is on your mind, something you would like to feel better about. It can be a fear, worry, or concern about anything. Be specific as possible! Then ask yourself, on a scale of 0-10, how uncomfortable is this thing when I think about it? Write down your number.
Say a set up statement while tapping on the side of the hand. This statement allows you to acknowledge the problem at hand while simultaneously separating yourself from it. Repeat this statement three times before moving on to the other points.
Example: Even though I am worried about my exam, right here and right now, I am okay. (X3 )
Pick a reminder phrase. This is the phrase you say while you tap at each point. This reminder tunes you into the stressful stimulus while the physical tapping tells your body to chill.
Example: Worried about my exam
Tap 7-10 times on each point with light-medium pressure while repeating the reminder phrase. It does not matter what hand you use to tap.
Reassess your starting number 0-10 after one round. One round equates to running through all the points one time.
Try and get your number as close to 0 as possible. More than one round may be necessary!
Pretty Easy Right? Now that you have learned the basics, below are 3 tapping scripts on some topics you might be experiencing right now while you’re a dancing queen stuck in quarantine. Know that you can and SHOULD customize each script to fit your situation!
Tapping Script #1: General Anxiousness
Rate your level of anxiety 0-10
Side of the hand: Even though I am feeling so anxious because there is so much uncertainty, right here and right now, I am okay. (X3)
Top of the head: so anxious and worried
Eyebrow: so much uncertainty
Side of the eye: it makes me feel so anxious
Under the eye: this anxious feeling
Under the nose: so many things are unknown
Chin: this anxiety in my body
Under the collarbone: because of all the things unknown
Under the arm: this anxiety
Breathe deeply and reassess your level.
Print this script out and tape it on your bathroom mirror. In this way, you are gently reminded to tap (after you’ve washed your hands, of course) every time you go to the bathroom. Also, tapping while looking in the mirror is such a grounding, connecting experience and it reminds you that of the power you hold!
Tapping Script #2: Stress Buying
Rate your intense desire to stress-buy something 0-10
Side of the hand: Even though I really want this and I think it will help me feel better, I accept that I am feeling this way. (X3)
Top of the head: I really want to buy this
Eyebrow: I really want this
Side of the eye: I think it will help me feel better
Under the eye: I really want to buy this
Under the nose: I really want it!
Chin: I think it will help me feel better
Under the collarbone: I want to buy this
Under the arm: maybe it will help me feel better; maybe I really need it.
Breathe deeply and reassess your level.
If you do some tapping and realize you actually do want that thing…YAY! Get it! But, if you tap and realize, “Wow ,I don’t need that thing, but I could use that money for groceries,” tapping just helped redirect your focus, regulate your stress response, and therefore enabled your higher level thinking to come online. Tapping is a perfect modality to use when you want to get some clarity on if something is in alignment with you or not.
Tapping Script #3: Loneliness
Rate your loneliness 0-10.
Side of hand: Even though I am feeling really lonely and I want to reach out to this person, because maybe I won’t feel so lonely if I do, I accept that this is what I am feeling. (X3)
Top of the head: feeling so lonely
Eyebrow: maybe if I reach out to this person, I won’t feel lonely anymore
Side of the eye: feeling so lonely
Under the eye: this loneliness
Under the nose: I really want to reach out to them
Chin: I am feeling so lonely
Under the collarbone: this loneliness
Under the arm: I want to reach out to them because I feel lonely
Breathe deeply and reassess your level.
When loneliness strikes, there is almost a compulsion to reach out to people you really shouldn’t. Being inside (and maybe being alone) can cause you to re engage in once toxic relationships just for the sake of not having to endure the lonely hours of night alone. Trauma has a way of igniting the stress centers of your brain and you engage in dopamine seeking behavior to help you cope. This behavior kind of looks like fantasizing about your ex, reaching out to those narcissist friends of yours, or even DMing that chatty energy vampire from work. Use this tapping script next time you feel yourself sliding down that lonely slope and maybe it can help you avoid a series of unfortunate events.
So, what do you think?
Tapping is an easy to use, diverse modality that is effective and gentle. This technique is minimal and perfect for these times we are living in. It can look kind of crazy…tapping on your face and upper body while talking out loud. But, being quarantined from a virus that has seemingly shut down the whole world is also kind of crazy too. What have you got to lose?
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not a substitute for counseling or advice of a medical nature. The tools and materials provided are deemed educational and are not guarantees of any kind. Participants with diagnosed medical or psychological conditions are advised to seek the recommendations of an appropriate licensed healthcare professional. While EFT is still considered by many to be an experimental self-help tool, others describe it as an evidence-supported modality. Reviewing, accessing, viewing or downloading this article does not constitute a professional relationship with the author. If you do not agree to the above terms