tapping out anxiety

Not long ago, I received a series of “tapping”* treatments in which my parasympathetic nervous system was activated to benefit my healing process. This was accomplished by tapping on my body to help rewire the nerve pathways and tap out or diminish the physical pain of my scars.

The parasympathetic nervous system is, “part of the involuntary nervous system that serves to slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity, and relax the sphincter muscles.” according to a definition on MedicineNet. In other words, when activated, it makes you feel relaxed and safe.

I noticed between treatments, that I was looking forward to the tapping. It made my whole body feel like it was taking a sigh of relief and that I could easily slip into a deep sleep.

In fact, the tapping was such a benefit, I began doing it at other times, whenever I felt anxious or rushed. I became aware of the immediate impact on my emotions and state of mind.** I have come to the conclusion that tapping seems to release anxiety and in turn, I feel calm and focused.

I’ve only begun experimenting with this process and don’t even know if there is an actual name for it, but I wanted to share it with you because it has had such a positive effect on me.

Want to give it a try? Here we go.

1 Find a quiet place where you can do this exercise without being interrupted. Sit down and make yourself comfortable. Breathe normally. Make a note of your emotional state. Anxious? Sad? Tired?Busy mind?

2 Close your eyes. Now place your hands horizontally just below your collar bones, on either side of the center line.

tapping out anxiety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Hover the hands just about the upper chest area and gently begin tapping 3 times with left hand and then 3 times with the right hand. Don’t rush. Repeat for a few moments. When you stop the tapping observe your breath and your body. Are there any perceivable changes? Do you feel quieter?

If you are feeling particularly anxious it may take a few rounds of tapping. Be patient, dearest friend, because releasing the anxiety/stress from your body is not only important, it is achievable.

Once you feel the shift, take a moment to sit in the calm and allow your nervous system to reset. I usually add a few positive affirmations to finish off the tapping session, as the calm or quiet begins to ripple out: “I am safe.” “I am peaceful” “I like this calm and peaceful state” Open your eyes.

And that’s it we’re done!

If you need assistance or guidance with this exercise or any others, I am here to help you with techniques such as these and others that create emotional freedom, mental clarity and uplift your spirit.

One more thing, be sure to share this post with loved ones, colleagues and friends who may be in need of real transformative tools to help them to relax, become more focused or kick start their lives in a positive direction. Let me know if this works for you and your loved ones.

Thank you until next week!

* This is not the same as EFT

** With deeper trauma-related anxiety or panic attacks the tapping may give some relief but I recommend working with a professional.

 

Gregory Colbert - Girl with elephant

I just had a big cry a few hours ago during a yoga class. It had all the classic traits: big, fat tears, snot, sobs, and to top it all off, I  judged myself for the tears, for being a wimp and wondered why I was still swimming in these turbulent waters 6 years after the trauma event? Argh!

I have heard many women say that they have cried during their yoga class too.

I haven’t had an easy relationship with tears or crying. I remember my father telling me that I shouldn’t be such a crybaby when I was about 8 or 9, so I vowed to never cry in front of anyone ever again.

I hardened myself to not feel. I became tough to the point that I couldn’t understand why a friend was crying when her boyfriend broke up with her. I thought she was wasting her time and being a wimp (internalized papa wisdom in action)

It wasn’t until my mid-20s that crying came up again in a conversation. A friend was sharing how she liked to have a good cry. “Why would you want to have a good cry?” I wondered.

I couldn’t understand the purpose of crying that way, however, her words hit on something deeper in me.

It was then that I decided to revisit my relationship with tears and crying.

I‘m still not comfortable crying but the tears no longer care if I am at ease with them or not. They come during sappy scenes in movies, they come in tender moments with loved ones and they come when I move my body in yoga.

They are teaching me that in some places, I am still sad, hurt, and healing.  That  even though my mind is free, my body experienced things that it is still working its way through. And that this body, my body needs to cry sometimes to become free.

Today’s tears were especially healing because a dear friend who was also in the class wrapped her arms around me and created such safety that I could let go of my resistance to crying in public and heal the part of me that was hurt.

My eyes are a little puffy still but I can feel a quiet settling where turbulence ruled just below the surface of my awareness. I feel the pull to become quieter and more still, to close my eyes and allow the peace to fill me.

I wrote this post in part to honour the journeys we are all on and to recognize that some parts of the journey are arduous, so fraught with uncertainty and in such darkness that we believe we are all alone. That was me today in yoga class and with the help of a friend I was able to cry and find my way back.

It is my hope that if you find yourself in such a place that you will have:  a good friend, a way to move your body to find those tears to cry and in turn for the healing to unfold.

I send you, my blessings.

Phew! That was a challenging post to write. Now your turn. Do you find it easy to cry? Or do you avoid tears? I know people who cry beautifully and others who just let it rip. Whatever your relationship to tears we’d love to hear from you.

 

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I remember wanting to fit in.

I didn’t want to be a coconut, you know? Brown on the outside and white on the inside. But I did want to fit in.

My sister had talked my auntie into giving her a haircut with bangs (fringe) to fit in. She wanted to be cool. At first, I believed my 501’s would do the trick. Later attempts included drinking at parties, letting loose, swearing and so many other ways  to be one of the cool kids. To get a pass and belong.

Growing up a child of immigrant parents I was acutely aware and constantly reminded of how we were not “them”. They were the white neighbours, teachers, and friends, all of whom seemed to move with the ease and confidence of knowing they belonged. England was home to them and their ancestors. Their stories had a continuity connected to the place they called home.

I wanted to feel and look like them. I believed they didn’t have to face the struggles and challenges that were a common reality for me.

It doesn’t  surprise me that we are drawn to mimicking the practices, mores, and the ways of those who are successful or seem to be mastering survival. Currently, global homogenization – driven by marketing wizardry focused on our fears of scarcity and not belonging –  is hitting home run after home run.

“You need this Apple watch to be cool.”

“You need to look thin, have straight hair and drink Patron to be sexy.”

“You need to have all these apps, mods and hacks if you want to be cool like your friends.”

“You need “likes” to feel better about yourself.”

It seems to me that our deeply ingrained survival instincts lead the way to some degree in who/how we choose to mimic but it is heavily influenced by what we see on tv, ads in magazines and the repetition of those messages.

For example, in many Asian, middle eastern and African cultures fairer skin is now deemed more desirable, or kinks and curls are forced straight as we attempt to belong with those we believe to be successful. I don’t even want to mention butt surgery but thank you Kim Kardashian and family.

However, what happens to our individuality when consciously or unconsciously we become just all the same? When beauty, body shape, identity are  homogenised to such a degree that we can’t distinguish nor appreciate different cultures and values of let’s say, having a flat chest, or wearing head scarves or turbans?

Is there something to be said for valuing individuality or uniqueness? Can we belong and be unique? In order to achieve sustainability, we are going to have to.

I would like to propose that we look at ourselves through loving eyes and choose to be ourselves: dark or pale skinned, bony or thick, English speaking or not, flesh-baring or covered.   That we allow others the same freedoms to be themselves. Let us not harm ourselves or others through the exercising of our right to be ourselves, but in order fulfil our rights and dreams: we must all choose to be who we are and fit in with ourselves.

How do you fit in your family, community or country? Do you value yourself just as you are or do you feel you have to acquire goods or make changes to yourself to fit in?

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