Why Tapping On The Small Stuff Can Make A Big Difference

Image courtesy of bogenfreund

Image courtesy of bogenfreund

Lots of people who learn EFT are impressed that it can handle large emotional issues with grace and speed.

Watching the resolution of a life long problem or painful memory with some skilled tapping can make a profound impression on the learner.

Sometimes big results can give people the idea that EFT is only for the big stuff – major life crises that need strong intervention.

I think just having EFT as part of your ‘Disaster Repair Kit’ is a mistake, there is so much more to tapping than just the big stuff.

You can change your life if you use EFT on the stuff that usually gets ignored in the day to day experience.

Rather than waiting for big tappable issues to come along, you could be using the minutiae of daily life as the basis for systematic, organic change. It’s not particularly glamorous, it may not make it on to YouTube as a video but it will help you grow.

Life is full of challenges, occasionally these challenges can be overwhelming and difficult, but most of the time the challenges are mild and workable, often they may be barely noticeable.

Every tapper has a ‘tapping threshold’, the point at which things get bad enough that they feel compelled to do some tapping to take care of it.

Below this level of pain and stress they don’t notice anything is amiss, or adopt one of the common ways of dealing with stress or problems in our culture:

  1. Try to ignore the problem hoping that if they don’t look at the problem will go away.
  2. Distract themselves from it by eating, drinking, smoking, watching TV and all the other freely available methods of distraction.
  3. Tough it out by cursing, gritting their teeth, tightening their muscles and getting on with it.

In the long run each of these ‘solutions’ have their own problems, because the stressors and the stress reactions they provoke are untouched by these strategies.

In my experience most people have this ‘tapping threshold’ set very high, only thinking to use tapping when disaster strikes.

However, since stress accumulates they have to cope with high levels of stress and distress that could easily have been settled with a little tapping. This approach is like brushing your teeth only when you have toothache.

Not using tapping for the daily challenges of life has another, more serious disadvantage, each time we skip working on a stressor we miss a simple opportunity for personal growth.

Each problem is an opportunity

Each ‘problem’ is a reminder to our system that there is something in our experience that we are not yet handling very well.

When you get angry at your spouse when they fail to help with the housework, or scared of your boss when they call you into their office, or resentful of your friend’s success, etc, etc, etc, you are receiving an invitation to expand your capacity to live your life.

Looking at it this way, if you choose to work with the problem rather than avoid or ignore it, the problem is not a block, it’s a gateway to a bigger life.

Once we recognise that whatever it is that is bothering us could be a gateway to a freer more comfortable life we can change the way we think and feel about these ‘problems’.

Even small problems, irritations, blips of anger, distress, disappointment or sadness are opportunities to become more competent and content with life, they are invitations to change.

Benefits of using everything

If we take advantage of the invitations and opportunities to change that are given to us in everyday life we can expect the following benefits:

  1. Opportunity mindset: Working with whatever is available and getting the benefit from the changes you make will help you develop the mindset that helps you switch from a ‘problem is a problem’ to ‘a problem is an opportunity’. Whatever mindset you have life will still present you with problems, having an opportunity mindset helps you adopt a more resourceful approach to each difficulty.
  2. Confidence: It’s a lot easier to develop confidence in your skills if you practice with the small stuff. As you work with small and easy to handle difficulties you begin to develop confidence in what you are doing and how to deal with the stressors in your life. If you have a reservoir of confidence it will be much easier to process the bigger challenges that life will send your way.
  3. Responsibility: As you resolve problems it becomes easier to believe that there is something you can do about the challenges of your life. Rather than be helplessly swept from one difficulty to another, you can develop your ability to act on your own behalf and become more willing in the future to step up and handle life’s challenges rather than being at the mercy of them.
  4. Courage: As you work with more issues and find that they yield to your efforts, you will become more courageous and less fearful of life’s difficulties. Rather than wanting to hide you can start to face and work with whatever is going on for you.
  5. Choice: With practice you can develop more confidence in the idea that you have some choice in how you handle your life. These choices may not be easy, but at least you have the sense that there are choices, rather than be a victim of your circumstances you are able to choose how to handle them.
  6. Humility: As you work through a wide variety of problems you may begin to notice how you tick. Coming to terms with your own idiosyncrasies and unfortunate emotional responses you can develop a greater sense of humility and compassion for the human predicament. It can be both sobering and reassuring to realise that we are all working with similar issues.
  7. Clarity: As we become less susceptible to stressors and triggers we can have more clarity about our experience. The less we are battered by the stressors in our lives the easier it is for us to see what is going on. Noticing what is going on from a clearer and less painful perspective makes it easier to understand what is happening and therefore the easier it is to choose an appropriate course of action.
  8. Resilience: Resolving and dissolving our stress responses make us more adaptable and resilient as we face the challenges of life. Untreated stressors can sap our strength both physically and emotionally. When these stressors are resolved we can have more resources available to us to be in our lives.
  9. Flexibility: the more practice you have with working with different triggers, thoughts, feelings and memories the more skillful and effective you will become. Lots of practice with lots of issues gives you a range of responses and possibilities when it comes to dealing with new challenges.
  10. Rhythm: Using EFT occasionally is like exercising occasionally it’s hard to get started and keep going. It’s difficult to establish a habit and a regular way of working. If you commit to working with something every day then you will establish a rhythm of tapping that makes it easier to do the work and compounds the cumulative benefits. Forming a tapping habit can help you get the most from these approaches.

EFT is not complicated, you can learn enough to help work with regular day to day issues in less than an hour, but to get the benefit from it you have to use it.

If you want to learn some specific techniques for using EFT on a daily basis you might like to investigate The Tapping Habit, a free 10 part e-course explaining how to use EFT in daily life.

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