Everyone gets stressed, be it from their job, their partner, or even just reading the news. For me, my typical solution to a stressful situation is to go on a walk and think about something else. When I get back to my desk or that fight with my boyfriend everything doesn’t seem quite as bad as it did before I went on that stroll.
Recently The Wall Street Journal spoke to several experts about different techniques to deal with stress. There were a few of the usual suspects, such as identifying the cause of your stress or focusing on your breathing, but there was also a unique one: Tapping.
I’d never heard of tapping until the article, but after reading it was interested in trying the idea.
Julie Barthels, a licensed clinical social worker, explained the technique to the Journal. Also called the “emotional freedom technique”, the way it works is pretty simple. First, you have to say what you’re stressed about out loud and then rate that stress from one to 10.
For instance, you might say, “I’m stressed I won’t finish this big project in time.”
Afterwards, take two fingers and tap the top of your head while repeating what you’re worried about. Then do the same on the inside of your eyebrows, outside of your eyebrows, under your eye, on your chin, on your collarbone, and then finally on the side of your torso.
When you’re done determine what number from one to 10 you’d rate your stress at. If it’s still high, repeat the process again until you can say your stress is a one.
“It sounds hokey, but it works,” Barthels told the Journal.
I gave it a try this week, and she’s right. A few runs of this had the same effect for me as detaching myself from the situation with a walk. That said, I work from home, which puts me at an advantage against office workers. I don’t know that I would do this in a cube where people could watch.
If you just need to quickly regain focus and get your stress in order, it can be a great trick to have in your arsenal.