Tapping is a tried and tested method of dealing with anxious thoughts and it only requires a few minutes of your time each day. Here’s an expert guide on how to get the most out of it.
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Dealing with anxious thoughts can take time. Many people spend years in therapy or try countless techniques to try and stop their anxiety from controlling their life.
One alternative method that has been developed to try and address this is EFT (emotional freedom techniques) tapping. Tapping combines acupressure techniques with a focused affirmation practice that work together to interrupt negative thought patterns in the brain. It involves activating pressure points by physically tapping on certain parts of the body, such as the collarbones and the top of the head.
“Tapping changes the emotions attached to memories and any triggers that you might have as a result of them,” says Poppy Delbridge, an advanced practitioner and the founder of Rapid Tapping, a method she developed based on EFT practices.
“Tapping can help people deal with limiting beliefs that lead to anxiety and it can also help people tackle phobias,” Poppy continues to explain, adding that it helped her get over her own phobia of dogs.
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Dr Meg Arroll, a solution-focused psychologist, explains that tapping is also used to relieve physical pain and stress but more recently, it has been found to be particularly effective at treating anxiety. “Tapping is a good method of breaking ruminative thought patterns. As it also uses affirmations, this positive self-talk can have positive effects which help to negate anxiety,” she explains.
Most tapping methods use affirmations to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, such as Poppy’s own practice. “Some affirmation practices encourage us to say or think things that our subconscious mind doesn’t believe but this is largely ineffective,” she explains.
Tapping is designed to neutralise your nervous system and remove stress from the body which puts you in a really good position to get the most from your affirmations. “Once you have got yourself to a netural zone in your brain, you can begin to write your own script,” Poppy says.
Here, Poppy shares her guide to rapid tapping, which you can practise at home to help deal with anxiety and improve your affirmation techniques.
It’s important that our conscious affirmations match our subconscious beliefs, or we are at risk of just reinforcing negative feelings
How to use the rapid tapping affirmation accelerator technique
- Say your own affirmation out loud in the present tense, beginning with “I am….” (e.g. I am calm and confident).
- Rate how true this feels to you on a scale of 0-10 (10 is totally true).
- Identify the negative feeling around it (eg anxiety, impossibility, self-doubt).
- Start your rapid tap routine by finding your collarbones and moving down and outwards a few inches (you’ll find something called sore spots, which will feel sore when you massage them).
As you massage them, say this:
- I feel….. (add your own feeling e.g. stressed and anxious).
- Because… (add your reasoning. What is it that’s making you feel this way?)
- But I choose to accept myself anyway.
Next tap through these points of the body for about 10 seconds using two fingertips on each hand and focusing on what happens in your body and mind as you repeat the above affirmations:
- Between the eyebrow points
- The side of your eyes
- Under your eyes
- Under your nose
- Top of head
“After you’ve validated the way you feel and cleared some of the subconscious negativity around it, adjust your affirmation by adding the idea of possibility into it,” Poppy says. “It’s important that our conscious affirmations match our subconscious beliefs, or we are at risk of just reinforcing negative feelings.”
Say out loud:
- I choose to be….. (add your own affirmation again).
- Then rate how possible this feels out of 10 (1o being very possible) again.
“Hopefully your rating is higher and it’s becoming a true affirmation rather than a wish,” Poppy says. “Repeat this true affirmation daily until it’s a 10/10, and keep checking if any blocks come up.”
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How to incorporate EFT tapping into your life
Tapping is a quick and easy practice that you can do daily, either along with or instead of your affirmation practice.
“If your score doesn’t reduce, you may want to do more than one tapping round or change the statement to something even more specific to you,” suggests Dr Arroll. “Like with all mental health tools, the more you practise, the easier it will be to use the technique when you need it most.”
You can find more expert tips, guides and tutorials on The Curiosity Academy’s Instagram page.
Images: Getty, Dr Meg Arroll, Poppy Delbridge
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