Though it's taken me many years to figure this out, I now feel that when using EFT on your own (as opposed to working with an EFT practitioner), one of the most powerful ways to proceed is by combining it with journaling.
That's because what you are, in essence, doing, is creating your very own customized tapping script. Every statement is tailored to your life, and your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about it. I love ready-made tapping scripts, and a lot of people, including me, find them very useful (which is why I have so many of them on my website for people to use), but having a script that you've written yourself is an even more efficient way to release a lot of pain and stress in a short amount of time.
The reason for this is simply that every single word of it applies directly to you. This is usually not the case with tapping scripts that were created by someone else, whether they're ones you find on my website, or elsewhere. These are some of the benefits you can expect to receive from the practice of combining EFT with journaling:
Freedom from painful emotions like sadness, anger, fear, and shame
Dramatic reduction in worrying and obsessive thoughts
Significantly lower stress level
Deeper insight into yourself, your relationships, and the circumstances of your life
Greater clarity about how to solve problems and overcome challenges
A noticeable feeling of peace and calm as you go about your day
HOW TO DO IT
Set aside some time when you will not be interrupted. That means phone(s) turned off and doors closed. Get a notebook and pen or whatever your favorite writing tool is (computer, tablet, etc.). You can either simply write whatever comes to you in the moment, stream of consciousness style, or you can be more deliberate, by picking an issue in your life that is really stressing you out or causing you pain. Then just pour your heart out onto the page (or screen). Don't try to be transcendent or diplomatic or evolved about it. Write how you really feel, even if how you really feel makes you feel ashamed, embarrassed, or disappointed in yourself. Meet yourself where you are, not where you think you should be.
If you do this, and combine it with tapping, whatever feelings you're having that you're less than proud of will be released, and you'll be free of both the painful feeling of hatred or judgment or rage or whatever it is, as well as the painful guilt or shame that's accompanying it.
If you don't tend to feel guilty and ashamed about your darker thoughts and feelings, all the better, as there will be less tapping for you to do. Like Julia Cameron, the author of the best selling book The Artist's Way, who created the uber-popular Morning Pages method of journaling, I recommend writing three pages, without stopping, just spilling onto the page exactly what comes into your mind.
This is just a suggestion, and if you don't have the time to do three pages, or don't want to, just do whatever feels right for you, whether that be one paragraph, three pages, or something in between.
Julia Cameron's three-page recommendation is based on handwritten notebook pages, so if you're typing yours, my guess is that that would be roughly equivalent to 1½ or 2 typed pages. However, like Cameron, I recommend writing your pages by hand. There's just something about the process of putting pen to paper that encourages reflection and focus.
Of course, it's also helpful not to have all of the potential distractions of your computer or tablet there, tempting you away from your inner work with the magnetic pull of e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Again, this is just a gentle suggestion. If the thought of writing out your journal entries by hand makes you cringe, by all means, type them! Once you've completed the writing, it's time to tap. Go back to the first page, and read it out loud to yourself while tapping through the points (if you need a reminder, here's a chart of the tapping points). If you prefer to read it silently, that's fine too, but reading it aloud has a power all its own, which I suspect has something to do with literally giving voice to how you're feeling. When you get to the end, ask yourself, "How am I feeling about all of this now?" If it still feels painful to you, or if you noticed a lot of emotion as you were reading and tapping, repeat the process. Read and tap, read and tap. Sometimes you'll feel complete with the process after reading what you've written and tapped through only once.
Other times, after tapping through it once, you'll notice that there's still a lot of emotional charge to what you wrote, and you'll want to repeat the process, maybe even reading and tapping through it as many as three times. Read and tap through what you've written until the emotional charge is either gone, or significantly diminished.
If it's not gone but you need to move on with your day, just remember that you can write and tap about the same issue the next day (or whenever you decide to journal and tap again). Also, if there are phrases or sentences that are particularly painful to you, you can focus on those, repeating them at every tapping point, until they feel neutral. Then you can move on to the next part of what you've written. What I hear more than anything else from my clients and students who want to do EFT on their own between sessions is that they don't know "what to tap on," i.e. they don't how to create effective tapping statements. Combining journaling with EFT solves that problem, because the thoughts and feelings you've put on the page are all tapping statements. If you haven't already tried journaling with EFT, I highly recommend it. If you do, I think you'll be amazed by how much healing you can do in a very short amount of time.
When doing EFT tapping on your own, if you aren't able to completely heal the issue you're working on, so that when you think about it, it no longer causes any stress, emotional pain, anger, or fear, I recommend working with a professional EFT practitioner. If you decide that this is the best course of action for you, click here to schedule a session or free consultation.
For a downloadable (and printable) PDF of this article, click here.
BY HEATHER AMBLER
Heather Ambler is a San Francisco Bay Area EFT practitioner and mindset coach. Through her private practice and online programs, she’s helped over 10,000 people in 78 countries recover from loss, heal trauma, release fears, increase confidence, and achieve goals. To schedule a session or free consultation, click here.