A few weeks ago, I encouraged you to take the time to explore new ideas, establish different habits, and look at the world around us with more attention and delight. What did you delve into? I would love to know.
And last week I shared with you how to make your own skincare products with household food items you probably have on hand. Did any of you catch my tutorial on the avocado-honey mask? It works. My skin felt great the next morning, I swear.
This week I thought I would share something else that works. And I encourage you to give it a try, particularly if you are feeling stress, either at home or at work. We don’t need elevated cortisol, especially in midlife, because there is a direct relationship between high cortisol and weight gain.
It is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or tapping and is purported to help relieve stress and anxiety quickly and simply. There are many practitioners out there, most notably Nick Ortner, creator of The Tapping Solution documentary and the motivational speaker, Gabrielle Bernstein, author of The Universe Has Your Back. They are among many people who are convinced that tapping reduces anxiety, and helps alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
But what exactly is EFT?
To give you a little background, this technique was developed in the 1990’s by Gary Craig as an alternative psychology therapy, applying a combination of acupressure and affirmations to negative emotions to provide both psychological and physical relief. It is part of a larger concept known as Thought Field Therapy which psychologist Roger Callahan used in his therapeutic practice to treat phobia, anxiety, and depression.
Is it easy to do?
It is a remarkably simple technique of applying pressure through tapping on various meridian points of the body while repeating a statement out loud about the problem at hand and how that makes the individual feel. It is done several times and includes positive affirmations as you move through it. At the end of the series, you should feel noticeable calmer, less anxious and pain-free. The more you do, the better you feel. Easy-peasy.
But does it work?
I thought I would give it a try and, yes, I did feel more relaxed and positive afterwards.
But, exactly how did this work?
I am not sure, but I think it has something to do with distraction and breathing more fully. I have found that when I am anxious, I hold my breath. Taking a few full, deep breaths brings me back to a more relaxed state.
And the practice may also rely on naming the problem, disassociating it from you (i.e. you are not the problem), and providing yourself with some validation through affirmation. It just feels good to do this, doesn’t it?
The technique is pretty straightforward and ostensibly helps with: