Emotional Freedom Technique and Managing Anxiety

Times are challenging for us at the present time. Emotional Freedom Technique to manage anxiety can help promote a sense of calm.

Many of us may be managing illness, working at home with our children, home schooling, worrying about home finances or what the new ‘normal’ will look like once lockdown is lifted. For some of use, this may result in feelings of anxiety. Maybe you are ready for a fresh approach, having already tried techniques such as practising meditation, deep breathing or yoga, exercising, recording your feelings in a journal or talking to a friend or family member. Although these worthy methods may have some success, the anxiety does not completely go away.

When our bodies constantly go into fight, flight or freeze mode, we lose our sense of control and peace of mind to deal with a situation effectively. We become exhausted and distracted. Inside our bodies, our para-sympathetic system becomes overly sensitised due to related emotions from our past experiences. Programming kicks in and the new anxiety is added to our already overloaded system. This can make us feel ambushed.

Tapping can help shift feelings of anxiety by sending a calming signal to our amygdala (the part of the brain that governs our emotions), allowing our brains to slow the production of adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormone), helping to reduce the anxiety. The combination of tapping on the meridian points of our bodies, and speaking to the reasons for our anxiety, brings our mind and body into alignment. It reduces the automatic flow of anxious feelings when those memories get triggered by everyday life, until it stops them altogether. It may take a few rounds of tapping to clear particularly intense emotions.

A degree of anxiety is normal under these challenging circumstances. Be patient, be kind to yourselves and remember, things will improve. We are all in this together.

Before you begin, rate your level of distress from nothing (0) to very intense (10), then try the following:

Tapping Points

  1. Top of the head (Crown chakra)
    This is not one particular meridian point, rather a collection of many. Tapping on the top of the head opens the crown chakra and promotes spiritual connection, while ‘anchoring in’ new balance and alignment from your completed tapping round.
  2. Eyebrow (Bladder meridian)
    This can release trauma, hurt, and sadness and promotes peace and emotional healing. Tap on the eyebrow point, while saying, “this anxiety is overwhelming”.
  3. Side of the eye (Gall bladder meridian)
    This can release resentment or anger and promotes clarity and compassion. Describe the shape or colour of the anxiety in your body at this stage if it helps.
  4. Under the eye (Stomach meridian)
    Why we use it: Releases fear and anxiety and promotes contentment, calmness, and the feeling of safety.
  5. Under the nose (Governing vessel meridian)
    This can release shame and powerlessness to promote self-acceptance, self-empowerment, and compassion for yourself and others. Continue to describe your anxiety or continue to repeat your statements through the rest of the tapping points.
  6. Chin/Under the mouth (Central meridian)
    This can release confusion or uncertainty and promotes clarity, certainty, confidence, and self-acceptance.
  7. Collarbone (Kidney meridian)
    This can release the feeling of being stuck and promotes ease in moving forward for confidence and clarity.
  8. Under the arm (Spleen meridian)
    This can release guilt, worry and obsessing to promote clarity, confidence, relaxation, and compassion for yourself and others.
  9. Thumb (Lung meridian)
    Why we use it: Releases negative thinking, judgement, self-righteousness, grief and loss and promotes acceptance of self and others, healing from loss, ability to see the positives in life.
  10. Index finger (Large intestine meridian)
    Why we use it: Releases the difficulty of forgiving yourself and letting go of past hurts and promotes self-forgiveness, releasing the past, and being more joyful and peaceful in the present.
  11. Middle finger (Circulation-sex meridian)
    Why we use it: Releases anxiety and sexuality issues and promotes bonding, relaxation, generosity, acceptance of self and others, and trust.
  12. Little finger (Heart meridian)
    Why we use it: Releases smaller angers, annoyances, and frustrations and promotes unconditional love, forgiveness, compassion, and self-care.
  13. Gamut point (Triple warmer meridian)
    Why we use it: Releases repetitive thinking, obsessing, and worry and promotes hope, calmness of mind, clarity, and connection with positive possibilities.
  14. Wrist
    Why we use it: There are actually a few meridian points that can be accessed by tapping the inside of the wrists. Doing so releases anxiety and depression and can aid in reducing insomnia and heart issues.
  15. Karate chop (Small intestine meridian)
    This can release the ‘stuck’ feeling and can promote ease in moving forward, letting go, healing from grief, and the ability to be happy in the present moment. We tap on this area first while saying a set-up statement three times, such as, “Even though I feel anxious in my body, I accept how I feel and I am safe in this moment”. Use words that feel relevant to you.


See next diagram for tapping reference points.

Try to aim for a reduction in the distress number you gave at the start, ideally to as low as possible. Continue tapping for as long as you feel comfortable. Laughing, yawning or burping can also release tension during rounds of tapping. Now you know what to do, why not have a go? Take a look at the following website for further information: