Now that you have had a chance to try tapping on something physical we are going to try tapping on something emotional. Tapping is a great tool to use for any emotion that we are feeling.
Once again to make it easy I have created a simple step-by-step process for you to follow. As you are doing this make you have a piece of paper and write down the answer to each of the questions because we will use your answers in later steps.
1) Name The Emotion
This is very easy to do. I want you to think of an emotion that you have that you don’t enjoy. This could be anger, sadness, overwhelm, stress, or frustration.
2) Name A Specific Instance
In as much detail as you can come up with describe one specific instance of when you felt this emotion. Talk about who was there, what was said, what you were thinking, what you are thinking now as you remember it, and all the outcomes of the situation. Imagine you are sitting across from me in a coffee shop and telling me exactly what happened as if I know none of the details.
3) Rate The Emotion
As you tune back into the story how big does the emotion feel? On a scale of 0–10 rate how strong the emotion is right now. 0 would be no emotion and 10 would be that you are totally consumed by the emotion.
4) Describe The Physical Sensations
In as much detail as possible describe the physical sensation(s) that go along with the emotion. In which part (or parts) of the body do you feel it? Is it hot, tight, heavy, itchy, stiff, or some other feeling? Does your face feel flushed, does your chest feel tight, or do you feel butterflies in your stomach? Do you feel it in more than one part of the body? Describe each part separately. Is there some sort of mental dialogue going on as you feel the emotion? What is the internal voice saying? Who does the voice sound like? Who does it remind you of?
5) List 3 Things That Went Wrong
Because of the instance you describe above what are (at least) three things that went wrong and how were/are you impacted by these outcomes? Sometimes one moment can impact later events and moments. Don’t just think of what went wrong in the moment, but also how it impacted you later. Again, the more detail the better.
6) List 3 Outcomes You Would Like To Have Happened Instead
After something goes wrong there are ways we would have liked to have seen it turn out better. What are (at least) three hopes you have for the future? Is there a relationship you would like to mend? Is there something you would like someone to do? Is there a lesson you would like to learn? It is helpful to name how we would like things to turn out.
7) Re-rate The Level
After doing these steps I always like to re-rate the level of emotion. One of three outcomes are possible. First, the number could go up. This is because you have now spent time thinking about the issue in detail. Often this tunes us into the issue more sharply so that we notice it more, making it feel bigger.
Second, you may notice that the number goes down. Many times simply getting something out of your head will take the power out of it. Our minds can be relentless echo chambers, taking negative thoughts or emotions and just bouncing them around over and over again. When we drag them into the light of day they lose their intensity.
Finally, there might be no change at all. This simply means that more tapping is needed to shift the emotion.
8) Start To Tap
Go back to the top of your page and just start reading out loud what you have written. At the end of each sentence move to the next tapping point. This is not a race. There is no reason to rush. As you read the words out loud pay close attention to what you are saying. If you are describing what happened, re-live what you are saying. If you are talking about how you would like to see things turn out in the future really tune into the emotion of having the new and better outcome.
9) Take Notes While You Are Tapping
As you re-read what you have written it is possible that new details will come into focus. You might also notice new and even better possible outcomes around this issue for the future. If these things come to mind it is worthwhile taking the time to write them down. Not only will you learn things about this particular issue, but you will also learn things about yourself and the larger scope of this emotion.
10) Re-Rate One More Time
After you have read through what you have written and have tapped along, re-rate the issue to see where it is now. If you are down to a zero you are finished, if you are not (which is more likely) then you have the chance to move back to the top of page and tap again.
Hopefully you feel a little bit (or a lot) better. And yes, it feels really weird to tap on your body and have emotion release like that. Don’t worry about what just happened or why it worked. Just trust the process.