So, I have Anxiety.
Technically, it’s not diagnosed, but I FEEL anxious. Often.
Turns out that most of us experience some form of anxiety at some point in our lives.
When I thought about it, I realized that I’ve had some form of anxiety for the majority of my life.
Over the last few years though, I’ve survived a decent amount of trauma and, as a result, my anxiety went from a few frantic (though overall random) moments to crippling, life-affecting, chronic anxiety; especially Social Anxiety.
As I am an intensely introverted, empathetic, and intuitive woman this confession may not come as much of a surprise.
People with these character traits can be easily susceptible to the influence of others + can often make us hyper aware of many things at once – including noise, light, and the emotional states of others – to the point where we can feel an overwhelming number of stimuli all at once.
As a yoga teacher, health coach, and somewhat public figure, it might be VERY surprising to learn that I suffer from anxiety and social phobias.
Anxiety is part of what drove me to pursue + cultivate my personal yoga + meditation practices; as a means to deal with the anxiety and find stillness in an over-complicated and intimidating world.
I can say for certain that, when I am aligned + consistent with healthy practices, my anxiety levels go down and I suffer fewer anxious moments than I do if I am not regularly practicing yoga + meditation. So keeping up with these practices is usually very important to me.
Even with all of the deep breathing, thoughtful movement, and mindful awareness I am still prone to suffering INTENSE anxiety sometimes.
The kind of anxiety that makes it difficult to hear what people are saying over the sound of your own heartbeat gushing blood through your ears
The kind that makes you walk away from a great party to go into the bathroom so you can hide + cry
The kind that makes you wonder if you’ll ever feel normal in social situations instead of always stumbling over your words, talking too fast or loud, or laughing inappropriately to cover up your nervousness.
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Sometimes it’s not always so easy to ‘block out’ distracting sounds, people, or social situations with just some deep breathing and a one-minute meditation. It can help, but the anxious feelings often linger or return quickly.
Enter –> EFT or “Tapping”
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique and has been used to solve a variety of health issues, including anxiety.
The theory of EFT stems from the practice of acupuncture. The practice is meant to work with the primary energy within the body [known as chi in acupuncture + prana in yoga].
Quite honestly, I don’t know the true science (if any) that exists behind this process – but I DO know that it really works for me EVERY. TIME. that I utilize it.
The primary affect this process claims to have though, is in calming the amygdala [a part of the limbic system within the brain, which is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory].
Here is a simple introduction video to EFT:
Granted, this video makes EFT seem like a panacea, and in some ways EFT really can be just that. But the concept of emotional contributors to disease is gaining more recognition in the scientific community and more research regarding emotions in conjunction with disease is currently being taken more seriously.
Anxiety is an emotional response that affects the physical body – so EFT as a remedy for anxiety makes a lot of sense.
How to do EFT Tapping
There is a standard formula, or recipe as EFT founder Gary Craig calls it, for performing EFT Tapping.
It basically consists of tapping on key points in the body while reciting affirmations of self love and acceptance.
These are specific points utilized in a specific order, but I often find that simply tapping the karate chop point silently in high anxiety situations is soothing enough for me. When anxiety is really intense though, taking a few moments in someplace quiet to go through the entire process puts me right at ease.
Watch Gary Demonstrate the EFT Basic Recipe:
It seems simple enough and, in practice, it comes rather naturally to me, though everyone is different.
Will the EFT technique work for everyone? All the time?
Realistically, no. Probably not.
A practice like this, as with any other holistic practice, requires a certain level of trust and belief that it can work.
We have to be open and receptive to healing for it to ever occur in the first place. But the will is a powerful driving force.
The human mind + body are incredible machines, ones that we are only just now beginning to truly understand.
While the mechanics + effects of EFT are still under study + scrutiny, I feel that EFT has given me a simple and effective tool to keep in my anxiety-reduction practice that I can utilize almost anywhere at any time. It helps me feel more at ease with myself + with those around me during otherwise intense moments.
Maybe it can help someone you love, too – including yourself.
Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have or ever would try EFT and, if so what was your result.
Namaste calm beings <3