As we enter into week eight of quarantine as a result of COVID-19, some of us may be tearing our hair out and putting on the pounds due to inactivity and emotional eating. There may be a greater compulsion to open up the fridge and cupboards simply out of boredom or anxiety surrounding the unknown.
Many among us describe feeling an abundance of fear, uncertainty and overwhelm and are finding it difficult to rely on coping skills that may have worked in the past, but no longer do. The “what ifs” in terms of how bleak the future may look, the fear of destitution for the most vulnerable, and the many losses that have been the byproduct of this pandemic can be devastating and terrifying. Obliterated dreams, severe health challenges and unexpected new realities all wreak havoc on our stress levels. With no official pandemic expiry date on the horizon, hope may seem quite elusive.
Even those who are physically safe in their isolation and adjusting to a new normal (or abnormal) may find themselves with disrupted sleep patterns and might be experiencing nightmares in which they feel helpless and under attack. Many are experiencing existential crises, wondering what the meaning of life is in the age of Coronavirus. Without the former daily rituals that tend to give shape to our lives, reliving Groundhog Day each and every day can leave us feeling uninspired and directionless. How then can we help ourselves to stay positive and optimistic about the potential for a brighter future?
Here’s how Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or meridian tapping can help! Tapping on emotions such as guilt (Being at home safe while others are putting their lives at risk/Having a job while your neighbour lost theirs); grief and sadness (losing one’s loved ones or livelihood and life as we knew it pre COVID-19); anger (Why me? Why Now?); and fear/anxiety (How long? What if?) can help to regulate a dysregulated nervous system.
Scientists and key researchers in the field of Energy Psychology such as Drs. David Feinstein, Peta Stapleton and Dawson Church have published numerous articles in various academic journals over the past decade showing how EFT favourably impacts the body’s stress response. Studies conducted by Church and Stapleton demonstrate how tapping on acupuncture points (acupoints) in the face and upper torso can lead to a reduction in the stress hormone Cortisol.
Simply by tapping on the acupoints for 2-3 rounds or 5-10 minutes, while an anxiety-evoking memory or thought is brought to mind sends signals to the brain that turn off the anxious response in the moment and rapidly alters the brain chemistry that maintained that response. This helps to calm the amygdala (threat detector) in the emotion centre of the brain which in turn takes you out of the fight-flight-freeze response. Becoming more regulated, calm and clear-headed is the end result.
Using this technique whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, burdened by life’s pressures or having trouble sleeping, EFT tapping can help you face COVID-19 with less dread and renewed energy. Anxiety-prone days and restless nights may just become a thing of the past.
Oh! And did I mention that tapping can nip those sugar cravings in the bud? I don’t know if I’m quite ready to tap on that one yet.
Click here for more info on the research supporting EFT’s efficacy. Additionally, links to 5000+ articles can also be found in The EFT & Energy Psychology Article Library as well as as well as the ACEP (Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology) research page.