Here is a secret weapon to overcome Insomnia and relieve stress and anxiety: EFT
What on earth is EFT? It’s short for “Emotional freedom technique”. That is WHAT exactly? And how can it help me with Insomnia?
HOW CAN IT HELP?
You might or might not have heard about this technique. Yet, if done right it can be quite powerful and has helped many people to overcome PTSD, anxiety, and other emotional issues. Oh, and of course it can help with insomnia.
It addresses your sleeping issues in two ways:
- It can help to change your core beliefs or limiting beliefs (e.g. “I am a bad sleeper”, “I have insomnia”, etc)
- It helps to reduce stress and anxiety which is preventing you from falling asleep or staying asleep.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Similar to acupuncture, EFT focuses on the meridian points — or energy hot spots — to restore balance to your body’s energy. It’s believed that restoring this energy balance can relieve symptom a negative experience or emotion may have caused. Often a trauma or event in our lives can affect our sleep in a negative way. We develop insomnia. After a while, the trauma or cause of our insomnia disappeared. Whereas the symptom insomnia stays.
Why is that?
We conditioned ourselves to not sleep well. It’s not that we are physically unable to sleep, in fact there is nothing wrong with us physically. We unknowingly created the core belief that we are not able to sleep.
Every night we go to bed, totally convinced that we will not fall asleep easily or stay asleep. And of course, it came true. Again, our sub-conscience got proof that we have insomnia. Our core belief that we are a bad sleeper got fortified once more.
Tapping disconnects the thought from the autonomic nervous reaction in the body, which means all the negative emotions dissipate and get calmer.
At a physiological level, it calms the sympathetic nervous system responsible for the stress response and turns on the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for the relaxation response.
It sounds complicated, but it isn’t.
Emotions, good ones, or negative ones, are supposed to be short-lived. Even the negative ones are needed – they tell us that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. We should feel them, address them and the underlying issues, and then release them. That would be a healthy process.
Nevertheless, that’s often not the case. We store them, we bury them deep within us. That’s exactly when they can become an issue causing all kinds of problems, even becoming a new core belief.
It can be hard to let go of things or beliefs, even if you don’t want them any longer. They became your identity. The feeling of uncertainty is stopping you.
What will be when they are gone?
Our unconscious mind always tries to protect us the best it can. Its priority is to:
1. Keep you alive
2. Keep you safe
3. To keep things exactly the way they are
Your subconscious likes the “status quo”. The unknown is in many respects a little scary. It might be good but it might be bad.
If you had insomnia for many years, just telling yourself that you can sleep will probably not be enough. Your subconscience knows you are lying to yourself and you don’t REALLY believe a word you are saying.
Tapping goes deep to change that negative core belief, and free you of it.
You bring it to the surface, acknowledge it, connect the emotional connection to a physical one (by tapping on your body) and then you substitute it for a new and better one.
WHAT’S THE PROCESS?
It’s a 6 step process:
1. You have to identify the issue (your core beliefs or your stressors)
In order for this technique to be effective, you must first identify the issue or fear you have. This will be your focal point while you’re tapping. Focus only on one problem at a time and be very specific about it. This will increase its effectiveness.
2. Evaluate the initial intensity
After you identify your problem area, you need to set a benchmark level of intensity. The intensity level is rated on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst, most difficult or most intense feeling. The scale assesses the emotional or physical pain and discomfort you feel from your focal issue. Focus on how this issues, problem or stressor is making you feel physically. How does your body react?
Establishing a benchmark helps you monitor your progress after performing a complete EFT sequence. If your initial intensity was 10 prior to tapping and ended at 5, you’d have accomplished a 50 percent improvement level.
3. The setup
Before you start tapping, establish a phrase that explains what you’re trying to address. It must focus on two main goals:
- acknowledging the issues
- accepting yourself despite the problem
The common setup phrase is: “Even though I have this [fear or problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.”
You can alter this phrase so that it fits your problem, but it must not address someone else’s. For example, you can’t say, “Even though my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.” You have to focus on how the problem makes you feel in order to relieve the distress it causes. It’s better to address this situation by saying, “Even though I’m sad my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
If you use ETF to change your core belief that you have insomnia, then address this issue. E.g.
- “Even though I feel I am not able to sleep well”…
- “Even though I feel stressed about not sleeping well”…
- “Even though insomnia causes me anxiety and stress”…
… I deeply and completely accept and love myself.
If you would like to use this technique to reduce stress or anxiety, then be specific about your issues or cause of anxiety. E.g.
- “Even though I feel stressed about losing my job”…
- “Even though I am worried about my child’s bad behavior and choices”…
- “Even though I am sad my partner doesn’t treat me the way I deserve”…
… I deeply and completely accept and love myself.
4. EFT tapping sequence
The EFT tapping sequence is the methodic tapping on the ends of nine meridian points.
There are 12 major meridians that mirror each side of the body and correspond to an internal organ. However, EFT mainly focuses on these nine:
- karate chop (KC): small intestine meridian
- top of head (TH): governing vessel
- eyebrow (EB): bladder meridian
- side of the eye (SE): gallbladder meridian
- under the eye (UE): stomach meridian
- under the nose (UN): governing vessel
- chin (Ch): central vessel
- beginning of the collarbone (CB): kidney meridian
- under the arm (UA): spleen meridian
Begin by tapping the karate chop point while simultaneously reciting your setup phrase three times. Then, tap each following point seven times, moving down the body in this ascending order:
- side of the eye
- under the eye
- under the nose
- beginning of the collarbone
- under the arm
After tapping the underarm point, finish the sequence at the top of the head point.
While tapping the ascending points, recite a reminder phrase to maintain focus on your problem area. If your setup phrase is, “Even though I’m sad my mother is sick, I deeply and completely accept myself,” your reminder phrase can be, “The sadness I feel that my mother is sick.” Recite this phrase at each tapping point. Repeat this sequence two or three times.
5. Test the final intensity
At the end of your sequence, rate your intensity level on a scale from 0 to 10. Compare your results with your initial intensity level. If you haven’t reached 0, repeat this process until you do.
6. Positive affirmations
Once you feel your intensity level is very low, now you can do another round (or rounds) of tapping with a positive affirmation. You will need to tap on each of the points described above while you are stating the positive affirmation. You should:
- Select an appropriate affirmation
- Carefully “tune in” to your problem by actually trying to hold the problem in your thought
- State the affirmations in a loud voice with great passion, energy, and enthusiasm
To better understand the whole process, have a look at this video from Jessica Ortner (https://www.thetappingsolution.com/jessica-ortner/):
DOES IT WORK?
A 2016 review of 14 studies on EFT reports that people who used tapping experienced a significant decrease in anxiety. *
A randomized, controlled trial from the same year did compare the effectiveness of EFT and CBT in the treatment of people with both anxiety and depression. According to the results, both treatments significantly reduced symptoms of depression and led to improvements in anxiety.*
More recently, a 2019 study involving 203 individuals tested the physical reactions and psychological symptoms of people attending EFT workshops. The researchers reported that participants experienced significant reductions in anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms, as well as in pain levels and cravings. They also reported improvements in happiness.*
* source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/
The bottom line
Give it an honest try. There are no side effects, it’s free – what can you lose? Just try it long enough to get results.
Stay safe and sleep well.