Taking a moment to breathe is the go-to de-stressing advice given by everyone from master yogis to your mom. But sometimes, your stress-fest calls for something…bigger.
When you need anxiety relief (like, yesterday), wellness expert Kelsey Patel has a simple trick that she swears by: Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT.
The exercise involves mindfully facing whatever is bugging you out while tapping on acupressure points to release negative energy (psst: it also works for flight anxiety). By facing your stress head-on—and taking ownership of it—you’re able to control your response, she says.
You control your stress, not the other way around.
And according to the reiki pro, it’s legit. “[EFT] is something I use with my clients day in and day out,” Patel says. “They have always told me they feel a very profound shift after doing these exercises, even for 60 seconds to 90 seconds.”
So on the days you don’t have time for that 75-minute mid-day yoga class (wouldn’t that be nice), try this method on a quick coffee run or office bathroom break. Serenity, like, now.
Watch the video to let Patel guide you through the exercise, and scroll down for detailed directions on how to use EFT as a stress fix.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) for stress
1. Prepare to release your stress by cultivating self love. Begin tapping the outside of your left palm with your right hand. Make sure you can feel the pressure from the tapping, but it shouldn’t hurt!
Repeat this mantra: “Even though I feel so stressed out today, I deeply and profoundly trust myself. Even though I feel so stressed out today, I deeply and profoundly give myself permission to release it. Even though I feel so stressed out, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.”
2. Then, directly address your stress. Transition the tapping from your hand to between your eyebrows, and move around your head from the outside of your eye, underneath your eye, underneath your nose, on your chin, underneath your collar bone, underneath your left arm, and on top of your head.
As you keep tapping, repeat the phrase, “I feel so stressed out today.” Acknowledging your stress out loud keeps you from repressing it, and helps you prepare to let it go.
3. Stop tapping, close your eyes, and exhale the stress out of your body. Patel encourages you to take ownership of your ability to expel your stress. You control your stress, not the other way around. “Give yourself full permission to know you can let go of that extra stress. You don’t need it. It’s not serving you. So let’s get rid of it.”