Can You Tap Your Way To Happiness?
I’m a Coach. My work involves a blend of counselling skills, performance coaching, neuro-linguistic programming, and an understanding of basic neuroscience and mindfulness.
I’m particularly interested in the benefits of nature on our body and mind, and I talk about it from a research and theory perspective. My brain understands science, and I’m not religious or spiritual. If you’ve followed my work for any length of time you’ll hear me talk a lot about my ongoing research into the science of the brain. I use this perspective to inform my work with clients.
Keeping An Open Mind!
However! I’m also a trained holistic therapist and qualified 14 years ago in aromatherapy, reflexology and Indian head massage as well as many other therapies, and of course as a Coach I’m also trained to be non-judgmental and open minded. I really respect individuality, it’s one of my core values. I completely believe we should treat people through considering their whole being, and so, when my clients in IGNITE+GLOW recently asked for a monthly theme which blurs the lines between science based theory and woo woo spiritualness, I’m certainly up for giving it a go!
Enter Emma Johnson of Inner Smile!
Emma is known in the wellbeing world for helping clients really understand what’s happening in their body and mind. I love this angle as there’s less assumption involved, unlike other spiritual practices and I don’t have to believe blindly in something without getting answers!
And she’s my guest expert in IGNITE+GLOW for the whole month of April.
Here’s she’s going to share with you a little more about Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and give you some top tips for how EFT can help you reduce stress and bring more calm into your life.
I have to say EFT is something that I have tried myself in the past. It worked wonders and helped me heal some unhelpful beliefs BUT I’ve always been a little sceptical about whether it was the tapping that helped or whether it was just the dedicated time and space to talk through my problems.
The Science of Tapping
Emma’s been helping convince me… Here’s some snippets from a recent conversation.
Emma says: “Emotional Freedom Technique is also known as tapping. It’s like acupuncture but without the needles! We tap on points on the face, top of the body and the hands, and it sends calming signals to the amygdala in your brain. When you are in a stress response, whether that is in real-time or because of something you’re remembering, tapping on these points sends a calming signal to the amygdala to tell your brain that there is no threat, you are ok its fine, and it works on multiple levels that I work to help people understand.”
Knowing all about the brain’s stress response system and how we have the ability to use techniques to reduce our stress and take action to prevent future things stressing us, I was so far keeping up with what Emma was telling me!
Emma continues: “The first level in which EFT works is that by tapping on these specific points, we send a calming signal to your brain and switch off the stress response after about 60-90 seconds. It then releases serotonin and dopamine which is very soothing. The body’s natural painkiller. This can really help if you’re having a panic attack.
The second way EFT can help is by dissolving the connection between a memory of something that happened in the past that may have really upset you or made you angry, and the sensation you are feeling in the present (and then potential subsequent behaviours). Whenever we remember things there will be an image that comes to your mind, whether you consciously see it or not, the image will be in your head and you relive the memory/experience. EFT dissolves the connections in the hippocampus between memory and sensation and then therefore the behaviour that it offsets in your body. Once you have dissolved that connection you can remember something but it doesn’t re-trigger you again. How cool is that?!”
Emma had me totally intrigued at this sentence! Just the pure fact that she was using words like hippocampus and amygdala, referencing parts of the brain and different hormones that go around your brain, meant that something that previously felt totally woo woo and way too fluffy was making sense!
Using EFT To Reduce Stress
Emma: “When you remember something upsetting, I am sure you know that the brain struggles to tell the difference between fiction and reality. Your brain doesn’t know that the upsetting situation you’re remembering isn’t happening again right there and then. It doesn’t know you are remembering it or telling a friend, it just has that same sensation going on from the first time it happened.
Reviving is a term we use to describe using EFT to get rid of consistent low grade stress you experience on a regular basis. Consistent, low grade stress, that we get everyday is actually affects our gene expression. Our genes are affected by the environment around them, so stress is a major source of decay in cells and a very unpleasant offshoot of exposure to all that stress is premature ageing.
When your body is in stress response, you are releasing cortisol and adrenaline all the time. We used to metabolise that stress in ancient times by running away from the sabre-tooth tiger that was causing our stress! We don’t do that anymore.”
Emma’s absolutely right. We live in a world where we are bombarded by stressors. We don’t get to release the stress like we would have previously by fighting or fleeing the tiger chasing us! We are surrounded by pressures, opinions, expectations and competition. I’m completely intrigued to find out more about EFT and any techniques that can help my clients manage stress, I am all for.
Find Out More About EFT
Emma will be sharing masterclasses, a more in depth interview, challenges and top tips over in IGNITE+GLOW throughout the whole of April.
IGNITE+GLOW is an online virtual campfire! A place for women to come and build their confidence and happiness. A place to connect with likeminded women, to learn tips and techniques to stop that consistent plate spinning juggling of life and to start prioritising themselves a little bit more.
Every month we have a different theme and feature a top guest expert and you can come and join the tribe for the same price as a couple of latte’s at www.hayleygillard.com/igniteandglow