We all have our anxieties. They pop up in expected and unexpected circumstances, serve a hard ball at us and suddenly there we are, out of control, and anxiety is calling the shots. Its like anxiety never stops playing the game – even when we are off the court and want to relax. Well here is something you can try with EFT to catch anxiety out and take back control. Just have a go with a playful attitude.
First step is to personify anxiety
“My anxiety gremlin is like a….”
Maybe it’s a creature or a cartoon character or a voice or a shape or a colour, let your imagination find some representation. For example: my anxiety is a spiky blue bouncing gremlin. When you find, or make up, your representation tap with… Karate chop three times:
“even though my anxiety gremlin is a ……..I accept myself anyway”
Go around the tapping points and describe your personification of anxiety in specific detail as you go. For example: “spiky blue” “squidgy, bouncy” “nasty eyes” “gremlin” “blue gremlin” “spikey” “blue and squidgy” “nasty eyes”
Picture the gremlin again and notice what has changed.
Carry on and tap another round with the new description, take a playful approach. For example:
“Even though anxiety is less bouncy and less spikey but still has nasty eyes, they look shocked to be seen, and I accept myself”
When the anxiety gremlin is looking less scary you can move on to the next step which is how anxiety plays the game.
Second step, how anxiety plays the game
Describe to your self what your body response is to the anxiety gremlin’s game, for example: my palms go wet and my heart pounds.
Describe how the anxiety gremlin gets that body response. What is its strategy? Does it put thoughts in your head or does it show you pictures of catastrophe to get that body response, for example: the anxiety gremlin tells me I’ll make a mistake and they will laugh.
Now put that together and tap the karate point with your own words, for example:
“even though the anxiety gremlin makes my palms sweat and my heart pound by telling me that I will fail and they will laugh I accept myself anyway”
Now go around the tapping points a couple of times: “the anxiety gremlin makes my heart pound” “by telling me that I will make a mistake” “and they will laugh” “and it makes my palms sweat” “and my heart pound” “the anxiety gremlin tells me I will make a mistake” “and they will laugh” “that’s how the anxiety gremlin does it” “that’s how the anxiety gremlin gets to me”
Now test by imagining the circumstances or testing the truth of the thoughts. Notice what is different. Has your body response changed? Notice what you can do now that you couldn’t do before.
Third step: the real truth
Repeat aloud what the anxiety gremlin shows you or tells you and ask yourself what is the real truth here?
For example: the anxiety gremlin tells me I will make a mistake and the real truth is that all beginners make mistakes and that is how they learn.
Then tap a round with Karate chop:
“even though the anxiety gremlin tells me ……. and that feels true……the real truth is ……….”
Tap a round with “the anxiety gremlin tells me…..”
Then tap a round with “and the real truth is…..”
Be prepared for the gremlin to play a tricky game, to put sneaky thoughts in your head as if they were your own and all you have to do is to catch those thoughts and put them through EFT because now you can play anxiety at its own game.
“even though the gremlin tells me ……..and makes it seem like that’s my own thought, the real truth is…..”
Repeat these steps until you experience the gremlin, the gremlin’s strategy and your body response differently.
When you feel confident to do so, go out and test in the real world.
This way of catching anxiety at its own game is based on the work of Reid Wilson, psychologist and you can read more at his website www.anxieties.com
Gwyneth Moss EFT Master