When I was little I used to have major panic attacks, primarily at the end of the school year and before entering the next grade. It was awful and the only way my mother could calm me was by washing my face with a warm washcloth and talking me down from my fear.
But for the most part I’d have to ride out my attacks and just try to get to the other side. It was terrifying. I’d sometimes start to hyperventilate and could not catch my breath. Again, my mother just talked to me and tried to get me to take deeper breaths. Those attacks probably lasted mere minutes but they felt like hours to me.
As a child, I didn’t know why I was so anxious about school. I loved school. I love learning. So what’s the problem? I never figured it out. It’s hard when your mind and body are fighting a battle that you don’t understand and can’t explain to yourself or others.
Eventually I mostly grew out of these attacks.
Sometimes an event will trigger another episode, though luckily never as bad as before. I’ll find myself trying to talk my way back to breathing deeply and coming back from the edge. At least now that I’m older and slightly wiser, I’ve been exposed to many other tools and techniques for calming myself in the midst of high anxiety.
I first heard of Emotional Freedom Technique, or Tapping, from one of my ESL students about 6 years ago. At the time it sounded intriguing, but I didn’t give it much more thought. I should have paid attention though as that was perhaps one of the most stress-filled times in my life. Strange how things appear right when you need them, right?
I next heard about it from a friend about 3 years later, who was taught to use EFT by her counselor. I tried it a bit then, but again didn’t really think it was useful for me at the time.
But the universe was giving me a chance to change my state and I still wasn’t quite ready for it then either.
Finally last year, I started using it frequently during a very difficult time at my former workplace when I needed a way to calm down almost daily. Since then it’s become part of my regular routine and helps me even when I’m not in panic mode, but acts as a sort of preventive care method.
So what is EFT or Tapping?
It’s similar to acupressure, where you simply tap on certain points on the body (called meridians). By tapping on these points and saying the affirmation,
“Even though I feel ______, I still deeply and complete love and accept myself”,
you begin to rewire your brain away from the fear, stress, panic, etc.
How can EFT help you?
I initially started tapping as a way to bring be back from the brink of major emotional outbursts, before I could get myself too far out in the land of overwhelm and panic. Since then, I’ve started using it to release old patterns and blocks that prevent me from growing my business or living the life I want. You can even use it to help you lose weight, since most of the issue with healthy living really comes down to feeling you deserve it.
There is a great deal of resources out there, so I won’t go into specifics here. There’s a video tutorial to demonstrate and explain the process or if you prefer to read all it about it, there’s that option too.