Defining a new way of working and living has lead to a higher level of anxiety amongst the majority of us. The bad news is that most of us don’t know how to manage our stress response. The good news is that a well-researched practice called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), more commonly known as tapping, can soothe your nervous system in stressful moments. Like when you’re reviewing your financials, about to do a Facebook Live, or in need of having a tough conversation with a client.
If you’ve ever found yourself mindlessly rubbing your temples when you’re tired or anxious, then you’re just one step away from using EFT. To date, there are over 100 peer-reviewed outcome studies that look at the use of EFT to treat psychological distress. Ten of these studies used randomized control trials to compare EFT to standard of care treatments. They found that EFT was either as effective or more effective and often faster than standard treatments, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), in treating a variety of symptoms.
Sherry Lukey is a trauma specialist who guides clients through difficult past experiences so they can achieve next-level personal and professional success in the future. Her signature program, Fear to Freedom, and R3 formula, uses Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to empower men and women to eliminate negative behavior patterns and establish positive ones.
Here’s how to use her R3 formula to manage the stress you may be feeling in your business.
- Recognize What’s Happening
“If you’re like most Type A people, you are used to living in your head and don’t pay much attention to the feelings in your body,” notes Lukey. “For many people tuning into the emotions in their body can feel uncomfortable or even unsafe. We can even learn to ignore the sensations in our bodies. Yet, to reprogram your brain to respond differently, you must be able to recognize your body’s stress response (fight, flight, or freeze). Classic physiological signs of stress response activation include shallow breathing, racing thoughts, tightness in your chest and a pounding heartbeat. As soon as you notice that you are experiencing one or more of these feelings, it’s time to deescalate the situation.”
- Reprogram Your Brain To Let Go Of Stress
“Here’s where the EFT comes in. When you tap (stimulate) with two fingers, high concentrations of nerve endings or acupressure points on your upper body, it sends a soothing signal to the emotional control centers in your brain, interrupting your stress response. The real magic happens when you tap and talk about the stressor you’re facing. By acknowledging and processing all the negative emotions you would typically stuff away, you begin to release them and reprogram your brain to let go of stress,” says Lukey.
“With two fingers, gently tap on the side of your right or left eye. Tap as if you were tapping your fingers on your desk. At the same time, ideally, you’ll talk aloud to yourself, but you can also just say it in your head. You might say:
Even though this is an important call, and I’m worried I’ll mess it up, I’m acknowledging it now. Even though it feels like if I mess up this call it’ll be the end of the world, it actually won’t be. Even though the success of this call feels so important to me and I feel so much pressure, I want my body to know that the outcome of this call is not a threat to my survival.
“Repeat this to yourself while tapping on the side of either or both eyes, and see how you feel afterwards. With your nervous system soothed, you will start to notice that your heart rate decreases, you can breathe more deeply and your body relaxes. After you return to a state of emotional regulation, you regain access to the creative problem-solving part of your brain. Then you can begin to see things from new perspectives and access positive, supportive thoughts.”
- Reinforce Positive, Supportive Beliefs
“Many people don’t realize that much of the stress they experience is due to limiting beliefs born out of negative or traumatic experiences, usually from our childhood. For example, if you’ve ever experienced bullying, perhaps you worry about being visible, so the idea of doing a live webinar floods you with anxiety and you never host one. Subconscious beliefs can limit your behavior and cause you to instinctively react to stress, instead of responding thoughtfully,” says Lukey. “But tapping can help you retrain your brain. We learn through repetition, so repeatedly responding with tapping can help you rewrite those stories from your childhood and reinforce positive, supportive beliefs. Using the R3 formula (Recognize, Reprogram and Reinforce) consistently, you can master your body’s response to stress and experience game-changing results.”