How to get real lasting results with "Tapping"
In many of the blog posts I write, I offer ways to use a method called "Tapping" to help you take the concepts and bring them into reality. If you’re interested, you can read a blog post I wrote called: Learn how "Tapping" works where you'll learn the basics of the how and why of each step, the science to support its effectiveness, and then how to put it all together. Once you know the basics (either in that blog or others), the information in this blog will help you make that knowledge truly effective.
The Tapping prompts I generally offer are designed to get you started. But to get to the deeper layers and make lasting change, often requires a little more. While covering everything about Tapping is beyond the scope of this blog (and in truth requires training, mentorship and practice), I can offer some of the most important elements to help you make profound and lasting change. Remember to take personal responsibility when using Tapping.
The first important element
The most crucial element is to tap on a specific event. If you tap on something that is too broad, it’s unlikely that you will get good results. In fact, it can even make things worse.
Let’s say you’re feeling frustrated because nothing is going your way, and you want to release that frustration so that you can have better focus to do great work. If you Tap on: “Even though I’m frustrated by life, I deeply and completely accept myself”, your results will be limited, and you may get overwhelmed as you think of all the things going wrong.
To get more consistent and reliable outcomes (and help avoid overwhelming your system) you need to focus on one specific event (past, present or future). You’ll know it’s specific enough when you can take a mental picture of the moment it happened/is happening/will happen, or if you can say “that one time when…”
For example, you could ask yourself “what’s one thing that is frustrating me?” To this question your answer might be something like: “John always comes into meetings 5 minutes late and disrupts everyone.” This is more specific (which is good), but it’s still not specific enough. You need to focus on one time that he did that and tap on that one memory that you have. For example: “Even though I feel frustrated when I remember yesterday, John came into the 10 o’clock meeting 5 minutes late and disrupted everyone, I deeply and completely accept myself.” - that’s specific.
Let’s say you’re experiencing something in the present. Perhaps you’re anxious because you can’t figure out a problem, and it needs to be solved today. Then you could tap on: “Even though I’m anxious because I can’t figure out this problem, I deeply and completely accept myself.” You could even get more specific here with something like "Even though I'm anxious because I can't make ____ computer program do ______, I deeply and completely accept myself"
You can also use Tapping for something in the future. For example: “Even though I feel nervous when I think about giving my presentation next Monday at 11am, I deeply and completely accept myself."
The second important element
Once you have a specific event, you then want to get even more specific by tapping on aspects. Aspects are what you perceive through your 5 senses (what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch) plus your thoughts and emotions.
If you think back to the example of John coming in late for the 10 o’clock meeting, there are multiple aspects you could tap on. Tap on each aspect individually ie: tap through a whole round focusing just on one detail until the intensity for that one detail has come down sufficiently. Here are some examples of tapping on aspects:
“Even though I saw john coming towards the office 5 minutes late, and I feel this frustration in my chest remembering that, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I heard him close the door so loudly and it makes me irritated, I accept myself."
“Even though he disturbed everyone as he sat down, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
(this is a thought that you have about the situation)
“Even though I felt so distracted afterwards and I’m disappointed in myself for that, I accept that this is how I feel” etc
You may be thinking “but won’t that take me forever if I have to go through every little detail in every event?” The answer is yes and no. There’s something called “the generalisation effect” that comes into play. It has been observed that when you release the emotional charge around just a few of the main events around a particular subject, the rest often dissolve without you needing to address them all individually.
For example, you probably won’t have to tap on every memory you have of John coming into meetings late. Tapping on one memory (or sometimes a few) is generally all it takes to release the charge around all of them. Thus, the effect generalises to the other events.
And when it comes to aspects, often there are just a few aspects (or sometimes even just one) that are the linchpins. Tapping specifically on that one can release the charge around every other aspect and the whole memory.
So while it may take some time, you don’t actually have to go through everything. And the end result is very liberating and worthwhile.
The third important element
Now that you understand the fundamentals about tapping on specifics, there’s one other key element, that is: “the problem is never the problem”. What is meant by this is that in almost every case, the distress you’re feeling about a situation is caused (or at least being exacerbated) by previous situations in your life that still hold some emotional charge. The current situation is resonating with the past situation(s).
Much like if you place two guitars facing each other that are equally tuned, plucking the E string on one guitar will cause the E string on the other guitar to vibrate and thus create more sound, even though you never physically touched it.
This sound that is being produced by the other guitar is similar to the “sound” or emotional intensity being produced by a past situation(s).
If you resolve the past situation(s), that are at the source of your distress, the present situation will often dissolve (or at least mostly dissolve) in the process.
This link between the present situation and the past situation is rarely logical and linear. It’s not something to be approached with your conscious mind. You will get much better results if you have a little trust in the powerhouse of your subconscious mind to bring up what the true source of your troubles are. If you find yourself saying “this situation/memory that’s come to mind has no relevance to what’s troubling me now”, I challenge you to tap on that earlier situation and see how working on that affects your current situation.
The most common way to find what the source is, is to tune into the sensation in your body that you feel in the present when you focus on the situation. (sometimes this is easy and sometimes it’s hard - that’s OK, just give it your best shot). Then ask yourself “When was the first time (that I can remember), feeling this feeling?
Sometimes something comes to mind immediately, sometimes multiple things pop up. Other times it can take a minute of sitting with that question for something to show, and other times still, nothing comes up at all. If nothing comes up, just keep tapping on the current situation you’re working on, and maybe try asking yourself that question after you’ve done a bit more Tapping.
If something does come to mind, follow the same instructions as before ie: get to a specific event, and tap on specific aspects.
You’re always Tapping on what you’re experiencing right now. Let’s say someone said something really mean to you at work. At the time, you may have felt overwhelmed and in complete fight-or-flight mode with your heart racing. However, looking back at the event now, you might feel angry at the person for saying that. Or you might be disappointed in yourself for being affected that way.
With Tapping you’re releasing the current distress around the situation so that it no longer affects you now (even though it affected you in the past). However, note that it is possible to feel the same way now than you felt back then.
Tapping allows you to process what hasn’t been processed at the level of your nervous system and subconscious mind. There are some things that we’re able to process and move on from without any need to actively process them, but sometimes things get stuck, we play them on repeat consciously or subconsciously, and that’s where Tapping can help.
You can free yourself and grow from past struggles rather than being weighed down more and more with each bad experience. Those experiences are cumulative. If you have one unhealthy meal, you probably won't notice a bad effect on your health in the long run. But if you continually eat unhealthy meals, things will probably go down hill exponentially. This is also the case with past situations.
A muscle grows when you challenge it, but if done poorly it can cause injury. Similarly, challenging life experiences can help us grow, but if done poorly (if we don’t process them and integrate the experience, if we get stuck), we are worse for wear.
When it’s OK to not be specific
Having emphasised the importance of being specific, there are some exceptions. When you’re trying to find a specific event, you may not find one right away. You might realise that the situation reminds you of a school bully from when you were in primary school, but you can’t think of any one specific event. In this case, just keep tapping and tuning into whatever you’ve got and allow it to be a process of getting more and more specific over time.
Another exception is when there is something that is highly traumatic. There are ways to release the distress gently, and I highly recommend working with a trained practitioner for these situations.
Remember that these are the most important elements to your success with Tapping, they’re not everything. Nor is this the only method you can use. I encourage you to seek out a practitioner (whether myself or someone else) if you want to make big and efficient strides towards your goals.
The EFT manual by Dawson Church