Dear EFT Community,
Kelly Roughton offers her 8 tips for when you are using EFT tapping on yourself.
I have come to realize that one of the most difficult things for many of us to do, and one that can be extremely important when applying EFT successfully, is to learn to listen to ourselves.
I think it's useful in general to have such awareness of ourselves, but it can be essential when you are tapping. That is to hear the words you are saying, to be aware of and to feel the exact emotions that you have about something. For some of us who find hearing ourselves a challenge, perseverance and practice will help us learn how to do this.
Now, the million dollar question is: How? How can we learn to see and hear ourselves so that we can come up with the phrases that really liberate us from our issues?
Here are 8 tips for working with yourself:
1. Mirrors, real glass mirrors:
We can watch ourselves while we tap. As we speak and tell our stories and our pain, we can watch our faces and see if we recognize our emotions as we might recognize them in someone else. We can see our expressions, watch our lips move, see the tears flow, notice the anger creasing our foreheads, perhaps watch it like a movie and allow ourselves to get in touch with all of it enough to release it.
2. Write it out:
This one works very well for people who just naturally write, people who journal, etc. but anyone can give it a shot. Write a running explanation or commentary on the problem, event, person or situation (stream of consciousness - don't worry too much about grammar, spelling, punctuation or anything other than getting the words onto the page). I suggest writing out thoughts, feelings, dialogue and anything else that comes up about the situation or event. Then go back and make a tapping phrase out of every sentence you've just written, tweaking when necessary.
Once you've done that, tap on every phrase and see how much lighter that makes you feel. Of course, if new thoughts come up while you're tapping on the phrases you've written down, you can either include them immediately or jot them down and come back to them later.
3. Voice recorders:
Talk about your problem, your situation, your difficulty as if you were talking to a trusted confidante, even if you've never had one you trusted enough. Then play it back a bit at a time and take the exact words and phrases that you say (especially the ones that make you feel negatively) and make those words into EFT phrases.
4. Pick an image or a symbol of your problem and describe (in writing, out loud, etc.) that image or symbol:
Make phrases from that description, substituting yourself for the symbol. For example, when you think of your relationship with your friend you get the image of a robot. Your description of the robot: stiff, limited, rigid, cold, lifeless. Some suggested tapping phrases would be: "Even though my relationship with X (name of friend) is "stiff".... Reminder phrase: Our relationship is stiff. Then take the word "limited" and do the same thing.
It's also good to explore how you feel about your relationship being described that way and put that word in the phrase also. Example: Even though I feel sad that my relationship with X is lifeless...
5. Talk to a friend/family member and ask for feedback:
We so often tell our stories and situations to friends (and/or family members) and they give us advice or they are understanding or they try to solve it for us but perhaps we could ask them to listen to the exact words we are using (we often repeat ourselves and don't notice) and to really tell us honestly what those words are and what emotions they think are underlying our situations (our emotions, not theirs). You can then take that information and, if you feel it fits and, only if you feel it really does pertain to you and not to them, then you can work it into your tapping phrases and sequences.
When I was in dream therapy for two years, my therapist explained that dreams are our brains' way of "digesting" issues that we have been through recently and with which we have not dealt on a conscious level. Our subconscious is sorting through our life events and making matches to similar ones from our past and presenting us with symbols of those collective events, people or situations.
We often dismiss our dreams because the symbolism is so strange and hard to interpret but if you can remember your dreams (and the more we set our intention to do so the better we become at it) there is often an emotional content as well as a "physical"/ symbolic content. These can also be used for EFT. If you wake up from a nightmare with your heart pounding, that is a perfect time to tap.
You may not know exactly what you are tapping on but your subconscious does and you can use the dream symbolism to make up the phrasing anyway: Even though I was terrified because that eagle with a dog's head was chasing me through the street and I couldn't get away...
If you tune into the emotion, it is likely to release the associated energy block and that is really the ultimate goal. Worse comes to worst, you will probably be able to get back to sleep more quickly even if you don't know which, or if, an issue has been resolved. If you take the time to write your dreams down, you will likely find that you have lots to work with.
This is not a new idea, others have written about it more in depth than I will here, but this seems a good place to mention it as well. You will have noticed that some of us like certain types of movies/music and some of us dislike certain types of movies/music.
For me, it's mob movies and very violent or depressing movies that make me uncomfortable when I'm watching them. I also dislike heavy metal music, which I find too aggressive. I find that watching these movies or listening to these songs stirs emotions within me and I can use EFT on these scenes and these emotions. I believe that they are the symbols of other situations in my life.
Our preferences reflect our inner self. I can watch a movie of this type that I don't like and it will bring up some underlying issues of mine that I may or may not be completely in touch with. If you allow yourself to watch a movie like that and use EFT on the feelings that come up (maybe the expression on an actor's face triggers you or the situation of the main character makes you feel ashamed), you may be able to clear some of those issues. On one level, it may feel more safe to your subconscious than dealing with your own painful situations.
8. Tell your pet:
I have found that just running through a memory visually is not always enough to bring up the associated emotions. I may, while "viewing it" in my head, feel that I am completely healed on the subject but I've found that when I begin to talk about it to someone, whoosh, all of a sudden a rush of emotion that I was unaware of may come to the surface.
If you tell the story out loud (to a pet or a person), you may be able to get more specifically in touch with what is bothering you. Then you can use EFT for it. And if you don't have a pet (or a person), pretend you do and tell your story out loud anyway. I suggest doing this when you are alone to avoid causing anyone any unnecessary alarm about your state of mental health.
Every suggestion here won't work for every person but try a few that resonate with you and even if only one of them works, you will be that much closer to emotional freedom.
Only you really know how you feel. Only you have the sounds and images and feelings that are contained within you regarding the events and people in your life, so one of the best ways to honour yourself and to give yourself the best care and the greatest chance for healing is to see, feel and hear yourself as best you can in the moment.
I hope these 8 tips lead you to some fascinating and liberating discoveries about yourself.