A common question I get as people get started with EFT Tapping is: can you do Tapping wrong?
The short answer is no, but you might think you’re doing it wrong when you feel more agitated after you start, run out of things to say, or aren’t addressing the situation from many angles.
Feeling more agitated after you start Tapping
Sometimes you Tap on an issue and you end up more upset or angry than when you started. You might wonder if focusing on it is making it worse. This is a sign that your subconscious mind was a bit more upset than you were consciously aware of. You may have been avoiding thinking about it fully until this moment, in an attempt to keep your emotions in check.
This reaction is a great indication of how important it is for you to be Tapping now, but you’ll need to spend more time on your issue. Continuing to Tap as you talk through what’s on your mind lets your nervous system know that you’re safe to relax again. Give yourself another 10-15 minutes of Tapping before moving on.
You might feel like you don’t have that kind of time, but if you’re like me, rehashing the situation several times in your mind, complaining to a few people, and feeling mentally exhausted can easily steal a couple hours of your productivity. By working through these emotions with Tapping you’ll be better focused for the rest of the day.
How to do that?
Get more specific
Money worry is what got me to try Tapping. I was constantly thinking about how I wasn’t earning enough money, and I was feeling very deprived. My mind was in a cycle of fear and lack.
I worried and complained about money so much that it distracted me from sitting down and doing focused work, or thinking creatively about new options.
When I began Tapping on this issue, I started by saying “the money I have just isn’t enough” several times. Then I moved on to more specific words as they popped into my mind:
- $1300 a month just isn’t enough.
- I don’t know how I’ll pay my credit card bill.
- I can’t go to dinner with my friends this weekend because I can’t afford it.
- I’m letting my husband down by not contributing equally.
- I never get to buy any new clothes.
- I don’t see a possible way out of this financial situation.
By getting honest and specific in my Tapping I was able to let go of the emotions and feel a lot more content. I didn’t win the lottery or anything that day, the facts were the same, but I was able to happily focus on the work I could do then.
The following month was August, which is typically a low month for a nutrition business, but I brought in 67% more income than I had the prior August. And then the next month I opened up to the idea of renting a room on Airbnb, which was a great income boost.
Negative self-talk is a distraction from our purpose and the tasks at hand, and using specific Tapping will bring us back into focus.
Look at all the “aspects”
There are many different parts of any issue, and addressing it from all these “aspects” can get to the root of it. If you aren’t making progress ask yourself:
- What was said?
- What did you see when this happened?
- Which part of your body do you feel this emotion in?
- Did this trigger a memory of a past experience or trauma?
- Did it trigger a worry about the future?
Let’s go through these aspects with an example of when you’ve said something stupid and embarrassing. The kind of gaff where it’s all you can think about now.
- I was confused and said something really stupid in a work meeting.
- My colleague gave me a weird look and everyone snickered.
- I feel this tension in my chest and my shoulders are pulled forward.
- It reminded me of that time in 2nd grade where I said a wrong answer in class and all the kids laughed at me.
- My boss might decide to pick someone else to work on the upcoming project that I’m really excited to be part of.
Replaying the incident in your mind doesn’t change what happened.
Taking a break to Tap through all these aspects will calm your nervous system and get you back to the headspace where you can offer a confident apology, if needed, and figure out what you might do to fix the situation.
You can only do Tapping wrong by not giving it a try
You’re on the right track when you’re saying the things that are already running through your head as you Tap. Follow that stream of consciousness and Tapping is easier than you imagined.
There goes your mind again trying to make things more complicated than they need to be. 😉
You’ve done Tapping right when you feel calmer at the end than you did when you started.