With everything going on in the world today, many people are struggling with anxiety. Some of the coping skills used successfully in the past to help you calm down can be more challenging these days. Because of this, you may need to find other tools you can use to help you relax. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an easy to learn skill that you can use to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Read on to learn more about EFT.
What Is EFT
EFT, also known as tapping or psychological acupressure, is a technique used to help calm the central nervous system and release uncomfortable emotions. EFT relies on Eastern Medicine and the use of acupressure points commonly used in acupuncture. By using your fingertips to tap on these acupressure points, also known as meridian points, symptoms of anxiety and feelings of panic can significantly decrease. According to the developer of EFT, Gary Craig, using affirmations while tapping on meridian points can help you release distressing or unwanted feelings.
How Does EFT Work
EFT is based on the brain body connection and the energy system related to the meridian points used in acupuncture. Although it is not known exactly how it works, EFT is thought to balance and restore the energy system and release negative emotions that become stuck and block the flow of energy. Once the blockage is released, through tapping on the meridian points, energy can flow freely again. EFT helps calm down the overactive central nervous system by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system which enables you to rest and relax. The affirmations used in EFT accepts your current uncomfortable feeling while allowing you to move towards a more comfortable emotional state.
What Does EFT Help
EFT has been widely studied and found to be beneficial in reducing symptoms of anxiety and stress. There is some evidence suggesting EFT can be used to decrease symptoms of PTSD as well. EFT may also be effective in reducing pain and helping those struggling with addiction. It can be used to help decrease symptoms of depression and insomnia. It can also be used to help improve athletic performance. While it is not known exactly how EFT works, its efficacy is well documented.
The EFT Procedure
The EFT procedure is very easy to learn and practice as a form of self-help. It is especially effective in working with feelings of anxiety. To practice EFT on your own, you will want to use a statement that acknowledges what the issue is along with acceptance and how else you could feel. You will then need to identify the meridian points that you will use your fingers to tap on. After tapping, you can assess your level of distress to see if it has decreased. Repeat the procedure as needed.
Notice what is going on for you and what you would like to address or alter. Form a statement that acknowledges the issue and then state how you could feel with acceptance. For instance, you can say something like, even though I am anxious, I know I can be calm, or Even though I experience anxiety, I accept myself completely. You say your statement out loud as you begin tapping.
Next, use your index and middle fingers to tap on your meridian points 5 to 7 times on each point. The first meridian point is located on the start of your eyebrow above your nose. The next point is on the outer side of the eye below the eyebrows. Under the eyes is the next point. Then under the nose. This is followed by the one on the space between your lower lip and chin. The next point is 2 inches down from your collarbone and is often tender when you get the right spot. You will find the next point under your arm about 4 inches down. The top of your head in the middle is the next spot. Tap lightly on these points and say your statement out loud. Complete this sequence a few times, or until you notice a decrease in your level of distress.
EFT is an effective tool to use to help decrease symptoms of anxiety. If you continue to struggle with symptoms of anxiety that is having a negative impact on your emotional well-being, therapy can help. The next time you are feeling anxious, give EFT a try.