Have you ever felt anger pent up in your body without being able to release it? That was basically the feeling I had since high school until my late 20s. I remember I was sitting on my sister’s balcony one day, completely bottled up. She and I used to have a bumpy relationship and whenever I visited her in Berlin, I often worried about us getting into a huge fight. That day, I was feeling angry and almost completely depleted of energy. I didn’t know what to say to her.
Honestly, it was like there was a wall built around me without knowing why. A wall that I couldn’t seem to breakthrough. I couldn’t talk about my feelings because when I tried, I couldn’t find the words or even the breath I needed. Sometimes I couldn’t stand to be around the people I deeply cared about and that brought on feelings of guilt and resentment towards them and most of all myself.
But little did I know, that day turned out to be different. My sister was offering me something other than just a conversation. She told me that she could see and feel all the tension in my body. She wanted to help me get rid of some stress immediately. Although it seemed ridiculous at first, she taught me a stress relief technique, which helped me get through some of the most stressful times in my life and put me on track to address my pent-up anger.
The Emotional Freedom Technique
My brilliant sister introduced me to EFT tapping. She walked me through the process, showed me the pressure points, and shared the wording that was to be used. EFT is a technique that uses acupressure and psychology to bring almost immediate relief from stress, pain, or anxiety.
Here are 5 simple steps on how to use the Emotional Freedom Technique:
1. State the issue you want to address.
Figure out what problem or fear you want to tap on. It’s best to focus on one problem at a time during a tapping sequence.
2. Rate the intensity of your problem.
Rate your problem’s intensity with 10 being the most intense. This will assess the emotional or physical pain and discomfort you feel from this issue. This will help you rate the intensity of the problem after tapping sequences to see if you need to continue tapping.
3. Set up your phrase
Before you begin, you need to establish a phrase you will use to address your issue. It must focus on two goals:
-accepting yourself despite having this problem
-acknowledging the problem
A common phrase is: “Even though I [state the problem], I love and accept myself.”
For example: “Even though I gained weight, I love and accept myself”.
Remember, the phrase needs to address you, not another person.
4. The EFT tapping sequence
EFT focuses on 9 meridian points in the body. Start by tapping on the karate chop point while stating your set up phrase at the same time, 3x in total.
Then tap each to the following meridian points 7x, moving down the body in this order with the index and middle finger:
-side of the eye
-under the eye
-under the nose
-beginning of the collarbone
-under the arm (below the breast)
-top of the head
As you’re tapping, remember to continue reciting your set up phrase (i.e., “Even though I gained weight, I love and accept myself.”). You can change the words if you wish to, however, the message you pick must remain the same. Continue the sequence 2-3x.
5. Continue to tap until you reach 0 intensity
Check-in with yourself to see the level of your problem’s intensity on a scale of 0-10 after you finished tapping. If it’s at 0, congratulations, you must feel much better. If the intensity is more than 0, continue tapping until you get there. Repeat the sequence when needed. Remember to finish the sequence at the top of your head.
EFT can bring immediate stress relief
I am so grateful my sister taught me to tap. When I was tapping with her, I was suddenly overcome with emotion. Tears started to run down my face, I felt this heaviness come across my chest, which somehow got lighter with every tap. I was so shocked. I’ve never felt anything like that before. That was the day when a huge piece of my wall, the one that had been holding my emotions hostage, finally came down. I often go back to that moment and refer to it as the beginning of my spiritual awakening.
When you’re digging down into your own mess of emotions and pain, try to remember that your soul is like an artichoke: they have many beautiful, interlaced layers and they need to be peeled before we can get to the heart. In your case, the layers you want to shed may be represented by memories, fears, or doubts. Who knows how many layers you might have? There are no set numbers, but the important thing is to get started. That is the only way you will eventually uncover your true heart and then you will know that you don’t have to suffer any longer. Tapping is the perfect way to relieve stress.