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Have you ever woken up with a gnawing sense of anxiety or unexplained frustration? These kinds of emotions can feel overpowering, but the good news is that you have the power to manage and transform how you feel. We delve into the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), commonly known as tapping—a potent way to get in control of your emotions.

what is eft?

EFT combines concepts from acupuncture and acupressure, utilising a system of meridians. Tapping specific pressure points on your face and body while vocalising your thoughts and feelings can effectively release negative emotions and welcome positive ones.

This method allows you to experience emotional freedom and a greater sense of calm.

Central to this practice is the cognitive emotion loop, a concept explored by neuroscientists.

how it works

Essentially, you feel a certain way as a result of what you’ve been thinking. So thought creates the feeling. Your body feeds back those emotions or feelings to your amygdala and, as a result of your mind receiving feedback from your body, it generates another batch of thoughts that will create a similar feeling, or the same feeling in your body.

Your hypothalamus is also involved in this complex feedback loop because it’s responsible for your visceral and somatic responses to emotion, such as when you get goosebumps or the hairs on the back of your neck feel like they’re standing on end. The key here is that your mind generates new thoughts in response to the emotion that’s communicated from your body to your mind.

You could spend your time analysing your thoughts, and there is a place for that. Particularly when exploring the beliefs you hold, which generate the thoughts, which cause the feelings, which result in you acting in a particular way.

how do you do eft?

The EFT process begins with a setup statement. For example, if you are experiencing anxiety, you might say, “Even though I feel anxious, I deeply and completely love myself.” The phrase then evolves to incorporate acceptance: “Even though I feel anxious, I deeply and completely accept myself,” and finally combines both love and acceptance: “Even though I feel anxious, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

While making a karate chop motion on the side of your hand, you’ll repeat these setup statements. Following this, specific points are tapped in sequence: the eyebrows, side of the eye, under-eye, philtrum (the groove between your nose and upper lip), chin, collarbone, underarm, and the crown of the head.

As you tap these points, you verbalise your current feelings and thoughts.

is it effective?

Research highlights EFT’s efficacy in significantly reducing anxiety and stress. It’s especially beneficial for those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or depression.

Studies have demonstrated that tapping can lower cortisol levels, facilitate the release of negative emotions, and help regulate the central nervous system. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed by negative emotions, consider using EFT to shift your emotional state.

For a visual guide to the tapping points discussed, visit Tracy Tutty’s Instagram at @tracyctutty. Embrace the wisdom your body offers; by honouring and acknowledging your feelings, you can transform them to navigate emotional challenges more effectively.

Incorporate EFT into your daily routine and witness the remarkable changes it can bring to your emotional well-being. Whether you are looking to manage everyday stress or tackle deeper emotional issues, tapping can be a transformative tool in your emotional toolkit.