I was introduced to the concept of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) years back by a wise friend. I love it because you can modify your own belief patterns, behaviour, habits, phobias, stress levels etc. If you get the chance, it’s worth researching, but in the meantime I’m going to offer you a modified version of EFT called Thought Adjusting Process (TAP). I developed TAP alongside Flojo’s Easy Detox Course because it’s a quick, easy, and free way to seriously strengthen your resolve when you are striving towards a healthier lifestyle. Those who regularly practised TAP on my detox courses had far better detox results than those who didn’t.
“I used TAP when I was getting in a panic and it completely calmed me down” Karen C.
First you’ll need to find or create a motivational phrase that suits your needs; I’ll give you a few initial examples to give you some ideas in a minute. You’ll notice that the first parts of each of these phrases are based on how you actually feel right now, and the second part tells your conscious how you want to feel right now. Destructive habits are often rooted in simple emotional needs; the trick is in accepting that the habit itself isn’t always appropriate as the resulting satisfaction is short lived and unsustainable. You want to reassure that out-of-control part of your brain that you have everything you need, and more, in abundance.
You know when you’re at a party and there’s that one person who’s drunk and making an exhibition of themselves? Slurring their words, staggering around, crying and ranting about how nobody loves them. You can try to ignore them, but chances are they’ll soon make a beeline for you and next thing you know you’ve got their arm round your neck, vodka and fag fumes in your face and a loud, somewhat incoherent monologue shouted in your ear. Do you just join in, down a bottle of tequila and deal with the hangover and mortification then next day? When you are dealing with stress by taking part in destructive behaviours you are joining in with the drunk, crazy person in your brain. You might chose to remove the heavy arm from around your neck, and tell it’s owner that they’re embarrassing themselves, but that can easily provoke a fresh bout of crying and shouting (and now everyone is staring at you too.) Maybe you send them home in a taxi and maybe you then spend the whole night worrying about them. While fighting your inner drunk can make things worse; ignoring them can leave you feeling that matters haven’t been satisfactorily resolved either. TAP is like taking your embarrassing, tear streaked, crazy friend into a quiet room, wrapping them in a blanket and sending for a cup of tea. After three sips they’ll be snoring on the sofa, leaving you and the rest of the guests free to enjoy the rest of the night.
Try one of these statements for size:
- Even though I really want a glass of wine I am feeling full of confidence already.
- Even though I am craving coffee I am focussed and strong.
- Even though I am craving cake I am already feeling cosy and contented.
- Even though I really want to eat ___ I choose to weigh ___ .
- Even though it all seems a bit too much I choose to stay calm and grounded.
- Even though I really want some chocolate I am already feeling satisfied and happy.
- Even though I’d love a biscuit I already feel energised.
- Even though I am really stressed right now I am breathing slowly and feeling grounded.
- Even though I am really tired right now I am breathing deeply and feeling more refreshed.
- Even though I don’t think I can be bothered to do some exercise I have loads of energy right now.
- Even though I am feeling really angry with___ I have lots of patience.
- I am feeling really angry/irritable right now but I choose to deal with it appropriately and effectively.
- Even though I want to buy this gadget / handbag / dress I already have everything I need.
- Even though this cash is burning a hole in my pocket I choose to get my adrenaline rush elsewhere.
Once you have chosen and adapted the TAP statement that feels right for you, you’ll just need to say it out loud while using the four fingers of your right hand to firmly tap or massage the “karate chop” area of your left hand – the side of your left palm between your little finger and your wrist (if you prefer, you can use your left hand to tap or massage your right hand instead). Can you try this for me? Right now? Just pick a statement and say it out loud while you tap the side of your hand. Not too difficult? Great! Can you do it twice more? Awesome! I’m proud of you!
You can do this it as often as you like during the day but the more frequently you do it the more effective it’s going to be. I know it seems like a simple thing, but doing this mini routine on a daily basis will make a massive difference to your motivation levels when you are trying to make changes in your life. Shake off that critical part of you that says, “Really? It seems a bit silly to me” and just do it. It won’t necessarily stop you craving a substance or stop a habit in its tracks, but with daily practice (give it at least a week) you will start to switch up your way of thinking, and this can have profound long term benefits.
“Since using TAP in the morning: no interest in coffee or biscuits. Not even a tiny inkling towards them. Marvelous.” Emma
Always make sure that you have told your subconscious that it already has what it wants; a bit like you might reassure a child who thinks they are losing out. “I know you want a new bike, but the one you have already is just perfect for you” is always going to be far more effective at stopping the whining than “You don’t need a new bike!”
Please note that I use the words “I am”, “I choose” and “I have” because they are empowering words. “I want” suggests that you accept that you might not get it! Equally, make sure that the second part of the statement is set in the here and now. I choose to weigh X lbs is better than I choose to lose X lbs.
Here are a few suggestions for actually remembering to practise TAP on a frequent basis:
- Stick a post-it on your bathroom mirror – that’s at least twice a day sorted when you brush your teeth.
- Set yourself reminder alarms on your smart phone for morning, afternoon and evening; you may even be able to program your statement to flash up on the screen.
- Keep a reminder note in the kitchen so that you remember to use TAP each time you prepare a meal.
- Get in the habit of doing it every time you go to the loo.
- Stick a post-it on the inside of your front door, bedroom door, office door, fridge door, garage door…
- “I put post-its on the board by my computer in work, including the wording, so I don’t forget.” Mandie B.
- “On the front of my journal” Lindsay I.
”I think you must have re-programmed my brain or something. I don’t even want to buy a creme egg and I normally count the days after Christmas until they appear on the shelves! Instead I love crunching carrot sticks with hummus or plain crisps No I’m not a complete angel but it was a bit of a revelation to me. I used to get home from work, put the kettle on and reach for the biscuit tin and wouldn’t stop till I reached double figures!” Karen.
Let me know what you try and how it works out for you!