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- An emotion is a body sensation with a label attached to it.
- Why am I worried?
- Where do I feel this in my body?
- Use EFT on your vivid description of the body sensation and the emotional label.
by Rick Wilkes
See also: Energy Tapping (EFT) – Quick Start Guide
An emotion is a body sensation with a label attached to it.
The problem is that most of the time we focus on the emotional label and the conversation going on in our heads. Very little attention is given to the body sensation (the actual feeling). Change your approach to emotional relief, and you may find that you are a lot less emotionally distressed than you think you are.
Let’s say you have the thought, “I am worried.” As soon as you have that thought, your brain asks itself, “Why am I worried?” And believe me, your brain will always come up with a reason! As you think about this reason, you will likely feel even more worried. As more intense feelings of worry arise, you will naturally think of more and more reasons why you are worried (and should be!).
Do you see the trap? Do you feel it?
Hearing the question, “Why am I worried?” is enough to send most of us into the mental trap of thinking about all the personal and global reasons we “should” be worried. The more numerous or intense the reasons (real or imagined) and the greater the mental energy we apply to our worries, the bigger the burden on our physiology… after all, in order to have an emotion, we have to feel it in the body.
Do you believe that emotions have to be felt to be real? Test it! Put a big, silly grin on your face and sing out, “I am so depressed!” Didn’t work, did it? We can’t really feel the emotion of depression with a big silly grin on our face and a smile in our voice. To make the emotion of depression real, I would have to slump my shoulders, lower my voice, and think of all the reasons I have to be depressed. That would work, wouldn’t it? I’m feeling down already…
You see, the emotional thought has no power except as it is reflected in our body. Unless the nervous system, body posture, hormones, and organs get on board and start behaving depressed, or worried, or angry, we won’t experience the emotion. We won’t feel it. There are many ways this can be used to our benefit as we apply Energy Tapping.
First, we change our mental approach. When we have the thought “I am worried,” we stop asking “Why?” Instead, we ask: Where do I feel this in my body?
Is it in my wrinkled brow?
Do I feel a tightness in my throat?
Is my stomach churning?
Do my shoulders feel tight and constricted?
Is my breathing fast and shallow?
Is my heart galloping?
Next, describe the body sensations specifically:
Is the sensation big, small, hard, soft, smooth, sharp, burning, stinging, stabbing?
Is it churning, rising, sinking, or stuck?
Is it a red hot poker, cold as blue ice, or black and empty?
Notice the body sensations. And then pay attention to them using Energy Tapping. Use the colorful description along with the emotional label as your Energy Tapping setup, and start tapping. Here are some example setup phrases to get you started. (You would tap on the Karate Chop point while saying the phrase 3 times, then repeat the reminder phrase as you tap through the points. We bolded a sample reminder phrase in each example).
“Even though I have this twisted knot of worry in my forehead, I deeply and completely relax myself.”
“Even though I have this strangling fear in my throat, I choose to feel safe and at ease.”
“Even though I feel this foul, churning, green anxiety in my stomach, I am okay.”
“Even though I have this huge mountain of responsibility crushing my shoulders, and it’s no wonder I feel tired and overwhelmed, I’ve decided to set the mountain down and climb it one step at a time.”
“Even though I have this angry corset crushing the breath out of me, I choose to relax and take deep breaths anyway.”
“Even though I have this red hot knife of betrayal stabbing me in the heart, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
We live in a “heady” culture. We think that we can think our way out of our negative thinking! If that were true, we’d all be emotionally free! The reality seems to be that that which we continually think about just gets bigger, and Bigger, and BIGGER. It’s the law… the Law of Attraction.
What I recommend is that we all learn how to quickly move from a negative emotional thought into an accurate description of the body sensation. Then, immediately use Energy Tapping on the actual feelings, as they appear in the body. If the body sensations move or change, follow them. Chase the pain! And notice, as I do, that you lose much of the desire to “figure it all out.” You’ll be out of your head, and feeling peace, calm, and confident in your heart. And that is where we belong.