Heal trauma and anxiety with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

There is pure and ginormous satisfaction in building self-empowerment skills. Being able to transcend established behavioral limitations? Nothing better.

Most, if not all, behavioral problems are triggered by an underlying anxiety. More like a drive to reduce that anxiety in the case of substance misuse, compulsive eating, and the like.

Maybe you don’t call it anxiety. Call it whatever you want. At its heart, it is discomfort on some level. Restlessness. A crazy inner demand for escape or anesthesia.

For simplicity’s sake, I am calling it anxiety.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is, at its basic core, an anxiety-reduction method. Self-administered.

It’s also a tool that promotes mindfulness (present moment awareness), as well as self-love and acceptance. With practice, it becomes a valuable resource for untangling cognitive knots (thought processes and emotions that get “stuck” due to lack of acknowledgment or being rejected).

The implications of having personal access to a tool that reduces anxiety while promoting mindfulness, self-love and self-acceptance are far reaching. EFT is a rockstar.

Easy, free, and simple as can be.

There are two distinct aspects of practicing EFT: tapping and talking.

Using your fingers, you’ll tap on a series of acupressure points, while using verbal phrases to direct your consciousness. The tapping will restore energetic balance and harmonize your nervous systems, producing a state of being conducive to the elimination of anxiety. The talking is like an arrow that forges your intention and points your consciousness towards acceptance, helping to process emotional dissonance.

Let’s say that you’re in a canoe, traveling downstream, rather eager to reach your destination so you can rest and unwind. But you come to an obstruction in the stream, a massive pile of logs that hinder your access to further down. Your intention is to move beyond the logs.

With EFT, the tapping is like removing the logs, allowing the stream to flow. The talking is like maneuvering the canoe towards its destination. To a place of rest and peace, of reduced inner turbulence.

Tap through the following sequence at least twice.

The first time, speak phrases that encourage you to be present to your feelings. Phrases like, “I am experiencing anxiety,” or “I am fully feeling this anxiety.”

On the second round, bring it back around to love and acceptance. “Even though I feel overwhelmed by anxiety, I profoundly love and accept myself.”

Be authentic with your words, use ones that accurately and honestly reflect your feelings. Say the words until you feel them moving through you, becoming more than words.

Here’s the sequence (watch the video for more detail and a demonstration):

Starting point: Karate chop point (side of hand)

“Even though I\’m feeling this anxiety, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” x 3

1. Crown of head

2. Inside corner of eye

3. Outer corner of eye (on the side of the bone)

4. Beneath eye

5. Above upper lip

6. Beneath lower lip

7. About half an inch below the corner of collarbone

8. About three inches below armpit (lift arm to access)

After tapping below the armpit, the sequence repeats at the crown of head (not at the starting point on the side of hand). Repeat as many times as necessary.

It may be helpful to rate your anxiety on a scale of 1-10 before and after utilizing EFT. This is called a SUD (subjective units of distress) level, and recording it can be encouraging, as your stress number will most assuredly plummet with very little effort.

Play around with this and make it yours. I am not teaching EFT as I learned it, not exactly. I am teaching EFT as it works for me. Experiment with it, find what works for you, and run with it.

And of course, pass it on.

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