How to reduce stress: Do you feel stressed? This ‘weird’ technique can help you – and here’s how you can easily learn it

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The technique is known as Emotional Release Techniques (EFT). It is commonly called “tapping” because the technique stimulates acupressure points on the face and body with a gentle two-finger tapping process.

What is the proof of the tapping?
The evidence for this simple approach to stress reduction has grown exponentially.

Research now shows that tapping is beneficial for food cravings, depression, anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

What’s even more interesting is that tapping affects body biochemistry like immunity and blood pressure. A single hour of tapping decreases the stress hormone cortisol by 43%.

Better yet, follow-up studies show that the benefits of tapping last, even up to two years later.

It is suggested that the tapping affects the stress center in the brain (the amygdala) and the memory center (the hippocampus). Both play a role in the decision-making process when someone decides if something is a threat.

Research has now looked at elementary school children who used tapping in schools and found that it helped them focus and focus.

So how can you get started?

Usually the tapping is done when you have a feeling you would like to cut back. If you’re feeling stressed out, now might be a great time to start typing. There are five stages:

Step 1.
Rate your stress level out of ten, ten being the highest and zero being complete calm. You can guess this number because it’s just one way to gauge your feeling.

2nd step.
People need to express their feelings out loud in order to engage in them and pay attention to how you are feeling. Typically you would say:

“Even though I am feeling really stressed out right now about ______, I accept that this is how I feel.”

It is important to be specific about why you are feeling stressed and to think about it as you go through the tapping process. As you say this statement out loud, tap the point on the side of the hand as shown below.

Saying your problem out loud will not make it stronger; you are actually being honest with yourself right now and acknowledging how you are feeling.

Step 3.

Tap with two fingers on the eight acupuncture points shown below and just say the feeling (not the whole sentence). For example, you can say “feeling stressed” while thinking about what is stressing you at that time.

Step 4.

When you are done tapping on the last acupuncture point (top of your head), pause and breathe. Reassess your stress level after this one round.

Step 5.

If your rating out of ten is still high, keep typing as many turns as you want until the number of turns is lower or you notice a change. If you had to think of other feelings while tapping, you can change the words.

For example, you may start to tap into feeling stressed out about a work task, but after a few laps you notice that you really feel overwhelmed and wish you had support. You can change the words to reflect this and say “I feel overwhelmed” instead.

The underlying mechanism is that tapping at these acupuncture points sends on or off signals to areas of the brain that have been awakened by the sentences. Tapping generates these electrical signals via the principle of “mechanosensory transduction”.

As a brief intervention that can be self-applied, tapping is now supported by over 100 randomized clinical trials (the most accepted form of research).

It appears to be very effective and rapid compared to conventional treatments.

So while it might sound a bit strange, tapping is equivalent or comparable to benchmark approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It’s worth a try the next time you’re feeling stressed out!

(This article is syndicated by PTI of The Conversation)


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