Modern-day living has become more stressful than ever with busy work schedules, nonsensical news, political drama, financial pressures, and post-pandemic anxiety. Many of us struggle with mental health symptoms due to everything we have been through over the last couple of years.
Having a high-stress lifestyle can cause physical and emotional problems throughout our bodies, negatively impacting our quality of life.
But what if I told you that tapping on your face, chest, and underarms can help alleviate stress and anxiety? Sounds a little far-fetched, right?
But yes, it is called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping for anxiety. The technique involves targeting acupressure points to promote relaxation and stimulate energy flow. The process can release energy blocks and sends calming signals to the part of the brain responsible for controlling stress.
People who suffer from mental health symptoms can benefit from this simple three to ten-minute process. So, let’s explore how and why tapping for anxiety works.
Table of Contents
- How Does Tapping for Anxiety Work?
- Meridian Points and Your Emotional State
- Tapping Technique for Anxiety: Step-by-Step Guide
- 1. Breath and Relax
- 2. Tap on the Outer Edges of Your Hand
- 3. Tap on the Top of Your Head
- 4. Tap Between the Eyebrows
- 5. Tap the Side of Your Eyes and Beneath Your Eyes
- 6. Tap Below Your Nose
- 7. Tap on Your Chin
- 8. Tap on Your Chest/Below the Collar Bone
- 9. Tap on Your Underarms
- Repeat as Many Times as Needed
- Affirmations for Anxiety to Use While Tapping
- Tapping Promotes Mindfulness
- Final Thoughts
How Does Tapping for Anxiety Work?
The idea behind tapping is that there are meridian lines on our face—12 to be exact—and each of these lines is the energy force behind our organs. By stimulating these meridian points, we allow energy to flow freely throughout our bodies.
We all have energy centers in our bodies known as chakras. You can think of them as spinning energy circles that connect to our organs, nerves, and any other life force within our body that can affect emotional and physical well-being.
Anxiety and stress can create blocks in our chakras, especially our root chakra. Think of the root chakra as our foundation in life that is responsible for promoting a sense of safety and security.
The root chakra and our adrenal glands are closely connected. Our brain triggers the “fight or flight” response when we experience anxiety, panic attacks, or stress. This is when our adrenal glands flood our body with adrenaline to help deal with the perceived threat.
Continuously activating this response can leave our adrenal glands drained and exhausted, resulting in energy blocks. We need to release this trapped energy to maintain balance within the body.
EFT Tapping can help unclog these energy blocks so that our chakras can start spinning happily again.
Meridian Points and Your Emotional State
The following are your meridian points and how they connect to your emotional state. If you are tapping for anxiety, you can spend extra time in the areas that would benefit you the most.
- Top of Head: Eliminates negative spiraling thoughts, lack of focus, and inner judgment and promotes clarity, focus, confidence, spiritual connection, and intuition.
- Eyebrow: Eliminates Depression, trauma, impatience, frustration, and fear and promotes peace of mind, tranquility, and calmness.
- Side of the Eyes: Eliminates anger, fury, irritability, and resistance to change and promotes compassion, openness, sympathy, and sensitivity.
- Under the Eyes: Eliminates stress, anxiety, worry, fear, and nervousness and promotes a feeling of safety, security, comfort, peace, and contentment.
- Under the Nose: Eliminates guilt, shamefulness, humiliation, fear of judgment, and fear of failure and promotes strength, self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth.
- Center of Chin: Eliminates indecisiveness, confusion, and distraction and promotes clarity, confidence, and focus.
- Chest/Collarbone: Eliminates stress, stagnation, anxiety, worry, and feeling trapped and promotes peace of mind and fluid thoughts.
- Under Arm: Eliminates obsessive thoughts, feelings of guilt or shame, worthlessness, and worry and promotes confidence, freedom from obsessive thoughts, and self-esteem.
Where to Tap for Anxiety?
The meridian points for anxiety are under the eyes and about one inch below the collarbone.
Tapping Technique for Anxiety: Step-by-Step Guide
Here are the nine steps of tapping that will help you relieve anxiety.
1. Breath and Relax
You can use this tapping technique when you are experiencing stress and anxiety, or you can use it to eliminate an issue or emotion you are struggling with.
If you are trying to target a specific issue, then take a moment to identify the problem you would like to focus on.
Some examples could be chronic stress, anxiety, heartbreak, financial crisis, career pressure, fear of failure, emptiness, or anything else that could be causing you physical or emotional pain. You can rate your emotion toward your issue from one to ten to monitor your progress throughout the tapping process.
Start by focusing on your breath. Notice how the air fills your lungs and makes its way into your belly. Exhale and notice how the air leaves your body, taking all your stress and anxiety with it.
Imagine yourself inhaling fresh oxygenated air, and exhaling stressful thoughts. Continue to focus on your breath for a few minutes or until you feel your body start to relax.
2. Tap on the Outer Edges of Your Hand
Use your index finger and middle finger to tap the outer edge of your left hand. The area is right below your pinky finger.
Tap for 30 seconds, and then alternate to your right hand. And then, back to your left hand.
3. Tap on the Top of Your Head
Now, begin to tap the highest part of your head (also known as the crown) for 30 seconds. Tap in circles around the crown or go back and forth.
4. Tap Between the Eyebrows
Now, make your way to the area between your eyebrows. You can use one or both hands to tap the frown lines or right above the inner corners of the eyebrows.
Tap for 30 seconds, and then make your way to the side of your eyes.
5. Tap the Side of Your Eyes and Beneath Your Eyes
Tap the side of your eyes for 30 seconds, and then make your way to beneath your eyes. Now, tap for 30 seconds and make your way back to the side of your eyes.
You can choose to spend a little more time underneath the eyes as this is the meridian point for stress and anxiety. Continue to rotate between the sides of your eyes and beneath your eyes as you feel necessary.
6. Tap Below Your Nose
Now, begin to tap below your nose and above your top lip. Tap for 30 seconds, and then make your way to your chin.
7. Tap on Your Chin
The area you should tap on is the indention of your chin, right below your bottom lip. Tap for 30 seconds, and then make your way to your chest, right beneath your collar bone.
8. Tap on Your Chest/Below the Collar Bone
Continue to tap on your chest with both hands for one minute. This is another anxiety meridian point, so feel free to spend additional time tapping on your chest.
9. Tap on Your Underarms
Make your way to your underarms and tap for 30 seconds. This area is about four to five inches below your armpit, and it should feel a bit tender.
Repeat as Many Times as Needed
Now take a moment to re-evaluate your emotion scale. Have your stress levels improved? How would you rate your discomfort at this point? Feel free to repeat the exercise as many times as needed to relax.
Affirmations for Anxiety to Use While Tapping
Positive words of affirmation can also help you through your anxiety by boosting your motivation and preventing you from being stuck with your anxious thoughts.
Throughout this exercise, you can use the following affirmations to help release your anxious thoughts:
- I am safe, and nothing can hurt me right now.
- I am letting go of this anxiety.
- I am strong, and I can get through any obstacle that comes my way.
- I choose positivity and release negativity.
- I inhale relaxation and exhale anxiety.
- I release stress with every breath I take.
- My mind and body are strong, and I am courageous.
- I am protected, and the universe has me covered.
Tapping Promotes Mindfulness
You can also think of tapping for anxiety as a method for practicing mindfulness. In other words, the act of tapping can help bring you back to the present moment, which can help alleviate anxiety.
Think of the quote by Lao Tzu:
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
Mindfulness brings peace, and with peace comes happiness.
The more you practice tapping for anxiety, the more your brain will start to associate the act with relaxation. This means that you will eventually be able to quickly reach a state of relaxation by tapping when you start to feel stress or anxiety.
Here is a quick 6-minute video that can help you get started with tapping.
Featured photo credit: Jessica Da Rosa via unsplash.com
|ScienceDirect: Meridian System
|St. Luke’s Online: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Overview
|Healthline: Where Are the Acupressure Points for the Eyes?
|Habitat for Wellness: How to Practice Mindfulness for True Happiness: Learn How to Be More Present