A simple, effective, albeit a little strange, stress reduction tool is called EFT, or Tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. This technique combines the ancient practice of acupressure with practices like visualization, affirmation and positive psychology.
The theory behind acupressure, which is rooted in Chinese medicine, is that there exist certain points on the body that lie along meridian lines. Energy flows along these lines and helps keep the body in a balanced state. These lines are thought to be particularly linked to the nervous system. When a person is stressed out, for example, tension can build up in the body. And pressure along these lines in certain points can help alleviate the tension and calm the body and nervous system.
So how does tapping it work? You simply use two fingers (pointer and middle) to physically tap on points on and around the face and torso. The points are easily accessible and easy to remember. Before and during the tapping, get clear on the negative thoughts that are causing the stress or anxiety.
A Simple Tapping Practice
Tap on the side of the hand, at base of pinky (karate chop point). Now say: “Even though I feel this stress in my body, I accept how I feel, it’s normal to feel stress, but it will pass, and I love myself.”
Next, tap a few times (5-7 sec) on the inside corner of your eyebrow, while saying the same phrase. Now, move your tapping to just below and to the side of the eye. Next, tap directly below the eye, below the nose/above upper lip, and directly below bottom lip on chin. All while continuing to say the phrase.
Now move down 1’ below collar bone, and then to the side of rib cage about 3” under the armpit. Next, move up to the top of head, again, while speaking the phrase.
While you are tapping, you want to visualize yourself accepting the stress and working through it as it leaves your body. Feel and visualize yourself in a more relaxed, loving state. Oftentimes we fight our feelings, rather than actually feel them. We should stop resisting them and fight through them, so to speak, not against them.
So give this technique a try the next time you are feeling stressed out. Surprisingly, it works incredibly well. And there is great research behind its effectiveness, highlighted on the website: The Tapping Solution (with founders Nick and Jessica Ortner). For a clearer view of the tapping points, as well as some talking points, check out this video on YouTube.
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