How To Use EFT To Solve Everyday Problems

EFT is a great tool for self-help, easily clearing unhelpful emotional responses to life’s little (and not so little) difficulties.

It is very easy to learn, but one of the problems for people who have learnt EFT from a book, or a training, is that when they want to use EFT by themselves for a difficult situations they:

  • don’t know where to start.
  • don’t know how to break the situation down into tappable issues.
  • can’t keep track of progress.

So they do nothing or make a half hearted attempt and give up.

This simple, step by step process is designed to help newcomers to EFT (and old hands) by giving them:

  • a place to start.
  • a way of breaking a problem situation down into tappable pieces.
  • a way of keeping track of progress and knowing what to focus on next.

How To Break Down A Problem

Any difficult situation in the present can be divided into three parts:

1. The Situation: This is what is going on: The argument, the loss of the job, the illness and all the other difficult situations that people find themselves in.

2. The Others: Unless you live alone on a desert island most difficult situations involve other people who have a part in what is going on for you.

3. Your Self: Last but not least, you and all your feelings, reactions, behaviours, ideas, beliefs, previous experience and all the rest of you are present in this situation.

Each of these parts of the problem can be unpacked and worked on using this very simple process.

Try this

Before we go any further:

  1. Pick a modest problem – tune into it for a few moments.
  2. Now complete the sentence “It is … ” (where “it” is the problem).
  3. Something will come to mind, write it down.
  4. Now complete the sentence “It is … ” again.
  5. Something else will come to mind, write that down as well.
  6. Continue until no more “It is …” statements come to mind.
  7. Now you have a list of tappable issues.
  8. Give each one a “distress score” from 0 .. 10

Now you know where to start with the tapping.

You can use this kind of process to unpack the three parts to the problem.

It is …

Completing “it is …” sentences will uncover:

  • the description of the situation (the argument, the letter, the phone call)
  • the emotional charge of the event itself.
  • any judgements about the situation (it’s not fair, it shouldn’t have happened to me etc)

Once you have listed the statements and scored them from 0 to 10 you can use them for simple EFT setup statements and reminder phrases.

Even though it is …, I accept myself and how I feel

“Even though it is not fair, I accept myself and how I feel.”

You don’t need to think up any extra clever wording what you have written down is perfect.

They are …

Completing this sentence will unpack all the things the other person or people did that contributed to this situation and your reactions to that including:

  • judgements about the other people involved
  • blames
  • hurts
  • resentments
  • what they are doing

Once you have listed and scored all these phrases they can be used to create simple tapping statements like this:

Even though they are …, I accept myself and how I feel.

“Even though they are unreasonable, I accept myself and how I feel.

Note: You can change “They are …” to “He is …” or “She is …” if that fits better.

I am …

Completing I am … statements will uncover all the stuff that is going on in you and for you as a result of having this experience.

  • feelings
  • beliefs
  • reactions to the situation

Once listed and scored, these statements can be tapped on using setup phrases like

Even though I am …, I accept myself and how I feel.

“Even though I am disgusted, I accept myself and how I feel.”

In each of these cases all you need to do is complete the sentences, score the results and put the sentences into a setup statement and reminder phrase then get tapping

How this process might work

Let’s imagine that someone crunches into your car leaving a big scrape on the bodywork.

If you complete the sentence “It is … “ you might come up with something like this (probably in much more colourful language)

  • It is outrageous (10 / 10)
  • It is criminal (9/10)
  • It is devastating (7/10)
  • It’s just my luck (4/10)
  • It’s not fair (10/10)

Completing “They are …” might lead to:

  • They did that deliberately (6/10)
  • They must be stupid (10/10)
  • They should be punished (8/10)
  • What were they thinking of (not quite the “They are …” format but it’s still about “them”) (6/10)

Completing the “I am …” statements might lead to:

  • I am shocked (8/10)
  • I am devastated (10/10)
  • I am upset (7/10)
  • I am furious (12/10!)
  • What am I going to do? (8/10)

Now you have some tappable issues to work with

Notice that at the end of all this tapping about the car, it will still have a scrape in it. This won’t cure that particular problem but it will put you in a calmer more resourceful state of mind to do what needs to be done.

The next step

There are two reasons for doing all this tapping

  1. To neutralise all the negative emotional charge around the situation so that you can at last feel calm about it and be in a better state about the situation.
  2. To put you in a more resourceful state so that you can take whatever action you need to take in this situation rather than just suffer knee-jerk reactions to it. However you feel about the problem there are probably things you need to do about it.

The next step is simply to ask yourself these questions:

  • “What is my next step?”
  • “What do I need to do now?”

How to decide what to tap on first

There are three ways of deciding what to tap on first. You may find one instantly appealing or you may need to experiment to find the one that works best for you.

  1. Unpack the whole thing then tap: Complete all the sentence stubs for each part from the first “It is …” to the last “I am …”. Then decide which one to tap on first and work your way through the list.
  2. Clear one section at a time: Work your way through each section, starting with I am … tapping out each charged statement, then move on to the next section.
  3. Find the worst item first and start there: Work your way through the parts completing the sentence stubs until you land on the one that has a big charge for you, clear that one and then continue.

Summary Of The Process

  1. Get a piece of paper (or download the  It is ... Tapping Worksheet  for this process)
  2. Briefly describe in writing the situation giving it an overall score
  3. Start with “It is …” – Make a list of sentences that start with this until you have run out of reactions.
  4. Give each “It is …” statement a 0-10 score
  5. Write a list of sentences that start “They are … “ – continue until you have run out of statements
  6. Give each “They are …” statement a 0-10 score
  7. Write a list of sentences that start “I am …” – continue until you have run out of statements
  8. Give each “I am …” statement a 0-10 score
  9. Find the most intense statement and start tapping using the statement as part of the setup statement
    1. Even though it is …, etc
    2. Even though they are … etc
    3. Even though I am … etc
  10. Work your way through the lists neutralising the charge on each statement.
  11. From time to time check how you are feeling about the situations.
  12. When the emotional charges have been settled ask yourself the question “What am I going to do next?”

That’s all there is to it. No deep insight about the situation required, just working with what is present in experience can give you relief.

Important: This process is designed for every day challenges not major catastrophes or traumas. If the situation you are facing is very intense or difficult then get appropriate professional help to sort it out.

Image courtesy of stuartpilbrow
Practical Wellbeing Newsletter

The Practical Wellbeing Newsletter is a twice monthly email newsletter about personal change, self-acceptance, self-sabotage and psychological EFT.

This newsletter is for you if you are suspicious of miracle cures and pat answers to difficult questions. If you are looking for a quick fix, this would be the wrong place to look.

My experience is that personal change happens over time and usually takes some effort. This newsletter is for you if you are willing to engage with your own experience and try things out.

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