By Steve Wells
Tip: Tap while you read this article!
We surveyed our subscribers and asked:
What are your greatest challenges with using tapping?
The answers were totally clear.
The greatest challenge MOST people have with tapping is... (drum roll)
Doing it on regular basis and integrating it into their daily life.
41.2% of those who responded mentioned some variation of this!!
Here's some sample responses from our survey:
Remembering to do it when I need it most
Just actually making time to do the tapping.
Using it the minute I need it. Not just to use it as a "fix it" tool after the event has happened.
Finding a fixed time slot in my (high travel) life-style, that will help me to concentrate.
The big one is remembering to use it when I most need to.
Keeping it as a regular practice. Keeping focused on what (changes) I am tapping for.
Getting started. Once I start it does its magic, but it's harder and harder to start the more I get caught up in the "reality" of the story and resulting emotion.
What's the solution to this challenge?
How can you make tapping a regular part of your day and be sure that you use it when you need it?
First of all, we need to clear up some misconceptions. One is that you always need to find a fixed time slot to do tapping. Another is that you always need to do focused tapping in order to get the benefits.
Sure, if you can find some time to sit down and focus on your problems in a specific way and for a set time then you can potentially work through a lot of the problem aspects. However, this direct and focused form of tapping isn't the only way of getting the benefits of tapping.
You can tap as you go about your daily business.
This indirect form of tapping has great benefits and over time can settle down your overactive nervous system and increase your general feelings of wellbeing. We call this Energy Toning and we have seen it have great benefits to those who are able to establish a daily tapping routine.
What do you focus on?
You don't need to focus on anything! You can simply tap mindlessly, as you go about your daily business, and still get great benefits. Ok, many people prefer mindful tapping where you pay attention to whatever is happening in your mind and body while tapping. Either way is fine. The key is to focus more on the quantity of tapping you do, and get it into your life every day. We have found that those who do tap each day, even without specifically focusing on their problems when they do, tend to experience reductions in their stress and anxiety, an increase in energy and optimism, and they tend to discover to their delight that many of their problems improve without ever having been focused on specifically.
So how DO I establish a daily tapping routine?
I'm glad you asked. What works best is to add tapping to the daily routines you already have. These are things you already do every day that you can simply link tapping to. For example, my wife taps every time she comes to a red traffic light. She taps on the finger points so people in the other cars can't see. In some trips she might get as much as 15 minutes of tapping or more. I tap each morning while waiting for my blender to whip up my fruit smoothie. It's just one or two minutes but I do it every day. I also tap every day on the way home from work. My office is only 5 minutes away from my house but again I do it every day. It's a ritual which allows me to clear any negative emotions and energy associated with work challenges and reorient myself before I get home.
Just get started
If you can use a cue to get you started then you are likely to persist. The key is to find something that already provides a daily cue that you can link tapping to. Research on changing habits says that the best way to create a new habit is to use the same cue that initiates an existing habit. Perhaps you can tap for a couple of minutes, as I do, immediately on waking. Or while walking the dog. Or while watching television (Given what many of us are watching, tapping while watching TV is highly recommended!!) Or tap for a few minutes as you lie down in bed at night just before you turn out the light. At bed-time I recommend gentle finger tapping, or even just lightly touching the points. This can be a great calming ritual to send you off to a good night's sleep.
Just add tapping!
Another thing that works very well is "grafting" the tapping to the places and times where your problem occurs. If you simply add tapping in those situations where you are already tuned into the problem that will have several benefits. One is that it will typically reduce your emotional intensity as you go and the other is that over time it will tend to reduce the severity of your emotional reactions in that situation. Obviously in most cases where your problem occurs in public it is best to use a more discreet form of tapping such as the fingertip tapping where you tap on the fingers of the same hand using the thumb of that hand (See this video for more).
Book an appointment
If you prefer to do direct and focused tapping where you spend some time focusing on a particular issue and working through the aspects of that, it can help to book an appointment with yourself. Otherwise if you wait for the time to arise it probably won't happen. Just as our bills tend to rise to meet the money available, there always seem to be more jobs waiting to be done, and crises keep coming up seemingly out of nowhere there are simply too many distractions that get in the way of this sort of practice. One of my clients booked herself into a hotel for a weekend in order to tap through some very significant life challenges. That may be a little much for many people, but even 30 minutes of uninterrupted time can be good. I simply go to bed a bit earlier some evenings and spend that time tapping. The key is to find something that works for you.
Another way of getting a lot of focused tapping is to attend a live tapping workshop. Many of our previous workshop participants have said they really value the opportunity this affords to go away and focus only on themselves for a time. And if that feels too selfish to you, I suggest you tap on it!
You need to realize that when you go home in a better place you are better for everybody!
You will find a listing of all our upcoming workshops, including online programs here.
Keep a record
When tapping by yourself it can help to record the tapping you do. A great deal of behaviour change research has shown that the simple act of recording increases your likelihood of making a change last long term. Keep an account of the time spent tapping each day, and add up the totals. If you accumulate up to 30 minutes or more per day of tapping, for most people this will add up to great benefits over time. The key is to persist until you create a regular habit, and keeping a record is one of the best ways to ensure you will do this. Also, journaling what you are tapping on and the changes you make as you make them is a great way of being able to see your progress which will encourage you to continue.
Phone a friend
If you will not keep an appointment with yourself, it can help to tap with someone else, whether that be a friend who you just get together with for mutual support, or a practitioner. Most people are more likely to keep a commitment to someone else than they are to keep a commitment to themselves. So take advantage of this and set up a regular appointment for a joint tapping time with someone else.
Also, let's face it, we all need help, and none of us can do it all alone. And some of our problems we are too close to. I know with some problems I tapped for hours without much success yet within just a few minutes of working with someone else the whole problem opened up and things started to move. You can find a list of practitioners on our website.
Do it, just!
The main thing with tapping is to do it, and do it daily. Worry less about whether you're doing it right and just get it into your day every day every which way you can. Don't worry about what you say (which is a hangover from traditional EFT), whether you are tapping on the right points in the right order (research shows no evidence of particular sequences being better than others), whether you can find the perfect place and space to tap in (wherever you are is fine), or whether you have been able to identify your major core issue (most problems have lots of contributing parts), and simply do it.
Tap amidst the chaos rather than waiting for a break in the chaos to tap.
If you do that every day you're likely to get better results than many people who are fruitlessly searching for the holy grail of the one specific event or the one core belief or looking for that big breakthrough.
And the best time to start is right now.
What do you think?
We would love to hear from you and read your comments.