Tap away negative thoughts

Our minds can hold on to negative thoughts or memories for years, but by following these exercises, you can learn to release them


Tap away negative thoughts

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) unlocks deeply held limiting beliefs, by ‘tapping’ or stimulating acupressure and meridian points to neutralise the negative voices in our head. ‘As we tap round our negative feelings, the underlying thoughts and memories which formed these beliefs surface,’ says EFT practitioner Angie Ross. ‘If you hate your thighs, you might be remembering the bully at school who called you ‘thunder thighs'. But once this memory is released, you’ll be able to see your thighs as essential parts of your body that help you move.’

The following exercises, done in sequence, can help you achieve this. For a cumulative effect, do them morning and evening for a fortnight.

1 Accept the feeling. Assess your negative feeling on a scale of 0 to 10 (0=not painful at all, 10=overwhelmingly painful). Establish a ‘set-up statement’ based on acceptance of your negative feeling. This will help you accept where you are now, and to move forward.

For example: ‘Even though I have this feeling that my thighs look horrible, I love and accept myself.’ As you say this statement out loud, tap on the karate-chop point on each hand — the fleshy point between the base of the little finger and the beginning of the wrist.

2 Keep it simple. Create a reminder phrase, such as: ‘I hate this feeling that my thighs are fat,’ or simply, ‘This feeling that my thighs are fat.’ Now tap the following acupressure points with two or three fingers on both sides of your face and body, and say the reminder phrase out loud:

• The beginning of your inner eyebrow, close to your nose

• The outside of your eye on the bony orbit area

• Below your eye, just under the pupil on the bony orbit area

• Under the nose, above the upper lip

• Under the lower lip on the crease in your chin

• The collar-bone point, where a knot would go in a tie (you can tap this with the flat of your hand)

• Under the arm on the side of body, where your bra-strap would be

• The crown of your head Tap firmly enough so that you can feel it, but not so hard that it hurts.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you feel that the negative feeling or emotion has shifted and that its intensity has been reduced.

3 Develop a new attitude. When your painful feeling is reduced to an intensity of 5, you’ll be open to approaching it in a different way. Now create a more positive set-up phrase: ‘Even though I have all these feelings about my thighs, I choose to accept them and to change the way I feel about them’, and use the karate chop.

Now create a positive reminder phrase: ‘I want to accept my thighs, and I love and accept them anyway,’ and repeat the tapping sequence again.

More inspiration:

Read Don't hug a tree by Jane C. Woods on LifeLabs for more on unhelpful and helpful thinking

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