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Weekly Insights

Using Tapping to Quit Smoking – Dr Peta Stapleton

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We all know that if you quit smoking, you will experience the following benefits:

  • Feel better physically
  • Breathe easier
  • Save money
  • Smell better on clothes, face, hands and breath
  • Improve circulation
  • Be less winded when exercising

However, despite these known benefits, people have difficulty quitting their smoking habit. What stands in their way?

Cigarettes as Tranquilizers?

Clients wishing to quit smoking admit that they use cigarettes to avoid, numb or suppress a variety of feelings that are uncomfortable. Some people use cigarettes to relax and calm down, some use them to give them an energy boost, while still others use them to feel safe or protected.

When using EFT for smoking cessation, you need to investigate and address any underlying emotions that cause the person to reach for cigarettes. EFT can be aimed at feelings of loneliness, emptiness, rejection, anger, fear, etc. Once these underlying emotions are detected and treated with EFT, a person’s cravings to smoke and numb these feelings is reduced or eliminated. If EFT is new to you, check out ‘About EFT’ on our page here before you go any further.

Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the biggest fears clients share before we begin the quit smoking treatment is their fear of painful or uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. We interpret withdrawal symptoms as the body’s way of expressing anxiety, physically or emotionally, about giving up the drugs and chemicals in cigarettes. The body literally craves the drugs and nicotine, and war stories from friends who have gone “cold turkey” abound. EFT can be used for each specific symptom as well as the fear of the future and what withdrawal may feel like.

Favorite Times of Day to Smoke

When people quit on their own, they fail to honor the intensity of physical and mental associations they have with cigarettes. These associations are so powerful that they can lead a person to sabotage and failure as early as the first few days of quitting. Classic associations that must be addressed and treated are (1) smoking while on the telephone, (2) smoking while in the car, (3) smoking after a meal, (4) smoking during stressful times, and (5) smoking before going to bed.

All of these emotional links can be eliminated with EFT while stress in general is being neutralized. Ex-smokers feel quite confident that they can handle formerly difficult scenarios or times of day after learning the EFT procedure.

The Essential Questions!

  1. What is the downside to quitting smoking?
  2. What is the upside of remaining a smoker?

The answers to these two questions must be uncovered and treated in order for smokers to successfully quit. Examples of answers to question #1, What is the downside to quitting smoking, are as follows:

  • I won’t know what to do with my hands
  • I need the cigarettes for my identity
  • If I quit, I won’t know how to relax
  • If I quit, I will have to achieve more
  • If I quit, “they” will expect too much from me
  • If I quit, I’ll probably gain weight

Examples to question #2, What is the upside of remaining a smoker are as follows:

  • If I remain a smoker, I can hide from others
  • If I keep smoking, I will remain thin
  • If I stay a smoker, I can get away from people when I smoke
  • If I keep smoking, I can clear my mind on a regular basis
  • If I keep smoking, I will be like my father
  • If I keep smoking, I’ll feel better

Let’s Get Started! 

Even though I can’t quit as no one in my family has ever successfully quit, I deeply and completely accept myself  

Even though no one in my family has ever quit for good and therefore I can’t quit,I deeply and completely accept myself  

Even though I think it’s my destiny to be a smoker…..    I deeply and completely accept myself  

Reminder Phrases –

I can’t quit
No-one in my family has quit
It’s my destiny
I’m stuck with it

Even though I’m afraid to let go of this problem, I deeply and completely accept myself    

Even though I don’t believe in myself, I deeply and completely accept myself

Even though I don’t believe I can reach my goal, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway    

Reminder Phrases –

Don’t believe in myself
Can’t reach my goal
Afraid
Don’t believe

Be creative! Tap around with whatever presents itself. Pull out the cigarette and do some exposure therapy – whatever strikes you about the cigarette, tap on it!

How you can have More Energy Everyday! – Dr Peta Stapleton

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This is a favourite topic of mine! It seems to be a natural byproduct of EFT (Tapping) that you increase energy, or feel ‘better’ in general (even if you are not sure if the tapping helped the issue you were tapping on).

But what if you just feel tried all the time? And you haven’t yet tapped on it?

How tired is TOO tired? Fatigue is a lingering tiredness that is constant and limiting. With fatigue, you have unexplained, persistent, and relapsing exhaustion. Tips to fight fatigue include drinking lots of water, limiting caffeine, improving your diet and getting enough sleep (more on that in future blogs). Activity and physical exercise help fight fatigue. Fatigue can have a medical cause so please check with your doctor. Fatigue can also be a symptom of stress, anxiety, grief or depression.

For everyday tiredness, or general fatigue, you could try EFT.

Use some setup phrases such as:

  • Even though I am just too tired, I accept this is how I feel right now
  • Even though I wake up feeling exhausted every day, I choose to do something about this with tapping
  • Even though I can’t get out of bed / feel tired all day / feel tired after lunch / …. I deeply and completely accept myself.

Focus on the feelings, thoughts and beliefs that are present for your reminder phrases – or focus on any sensation in your body you might be aware of. There may be layers so stay with it.

Brad Yates (EFT leader) shares a video on tapping for tiredness and I include it here for your viewing pleasure.

Until next time, happy tapping!

How Tapping Calms the Body – Dr Peta Stapleton

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I am often reminded of how useful EFT, or tapping, is as a tool to calm the sympathetic nervous system, when it is running out of control.

The sympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system, which also includes the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system activates what is often termed the fight or flight response. While its job is useful when you are needing to flee, or fight, or faint or freeze (a few new Fs these days!), many people operate in this state daily – reacting instead to daily stressors like traffic jams, crying children, electricity bills, or burnt toast!

So, one of the more easy ways to calm down, if you don’t have time to meditate, take time out, or freeze the world around you for some peace, is to actually do some tapping to calm your nervous system. You might just think a little clearer about those other stressors in the process 🙂

Here’s a way to get started:

While tapping the side of the hand, on either hand, repeat these phrases out loud, (or change the words to fit your exact situation).

“Even though I feel completely overwhelmed at the moment, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway.”

“Even though I can’t believe what is happening in the world around me (my own backyard), I accept how I feel.”

“Even though I feel sad, depressed, lonely, overwhelmed, tired, exhausted……., I deeply and completely accept myself.”

***Now for the reminder phrases ***

Eyebrow: “I feel so tired”
Side of Eye: “I’m feeling overwhelmed.”
Under Eye: “I feel angry.”
Nose: “I can’t believe what is happening.”
Chin: “I can’t change other people and this is overwhelming.”
Collarbone: “I am SO exhausted.”
Under Arm: “I feel so much resistance.”
Head: “I don’t know how to change all of this.”

Tap around and see how your body feels after a few rounds. Try and identify areas which might be holding tension, emotions or overwhelm. Keep tapping until you are a 0 or a 1 out of 10 (10 being the most overwhelm, and 0 being complete calm). Jot down your notes to check in later.

Enjoy the calm you can create – whenever you feel the need!

An Easy Way to Improve your Memory – Dr Peta Stapleton

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I thought I would share a trick I have been using EFT for – remembering! Not just the ‘tap on my memory issues’ idea – but for everyday things like walking into a room, and asking yourself “why did I walk in here again?” Who hasn’t done that at some point?

So now I just tap. I stand there in the room, and start tapping (eyebrow, side of eye …) – and say something like “why am I here”, or “what was I going to do here?”

In a snap, it comes to me – none of this, I better walk out of the room and walk back in to jog my memory – this is much QUICKER. I never normally get through all eight points before I remember why I was there.

Try it 🙂

A Simple Way to increase your Self-Compassion Level

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Straight from the source, Dr Kristen Neff, self-compassion  involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are  having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like  about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff  upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in  this moment?

In contrast to self-esteem, self-compassion is not based on self-evaluations.

Research has investigated the relationship between self-compassion, health behaviors, and reactions to illness.  In 4 studies in 2013, self-compassion was related to health-related cognitions and affect for healthy and unhealthy participants, and it predicted participants’ reactions to actual illnesses beyond the influence of illness severity and other predictors of health behaviors. Self-compassionate people also indicated they would seek medical attention sooner when experiencing symptoms than people lower in self-compassion. Self-compassion was also related to health-promoting behaviors even after accounting for self-regulatory capabilities and illness cognitions.

Can we use EFT (tapping) to increase our own self-compassion levels? Absolutely!! Brad Yates has a great 5 minute YouTube clip you can tap along to.

You’ll find some other guided meditations and questionnaires to measure your own level of self-compassion here.