Right now I’m having trouble with cravings. There are times I crave Diet Dr. Pepper, but I don’t like the taste. I almost feel like a person possessed. I must consume it even though I don’t enjoy it. How do I use EFT to kill this type of craving?
My favorite part of this question is the phrase, “I almost feel like a person possessed. That is exactly what cravings feel like, a force that seems to exist outside of us, that comes into us, and draws us to choices we don’t want to make – choices we often know are bad for us.
In the article “Cravings Killing (part 1)” I wrote about using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) for cravings in terms of our resistance to change, a simple way to eliminate the craving, how to deal with withdrawal symptoms, and how to plan for success.
In this article I’ll take this a step further. I will show in greater detail how to kill a craving for something we really want and (as in the case of the question) how to kill a craving for something we crave but don’t like.
Eliminating the Craving of Something We Want
The first step is to tune into the level craving that you have. To do this, simply rate how strong the craving is on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 represents no craving at all and 10 is I must have it now and I am willing to knock a little old lady over to get it.
Once you have rated your craving level we can begin tapping. The way I like to work on cravings is to simply repeat these 6 steps, using chocolate as an example:
- Image the smell of the chocolate
- Image what the chocolate tastes like in your mouth
- Image where the craving lives
- Image the part of the that the chocolate is going to fill up
- Say with passion and feeling, “I want this chocolate”
- Say with passion and feeling, “I need this chocolate”
For each of these steps you tap on one of the tapping points. Simply keep working through the steps as you move from tapping point to tapping point.
After you have tapped for a round or two. re-rate the craving level. If you have not reduced the craving level to a manageable level, repeat the process.
As you do the tapping, don’t be surprised if the actual smell of the item you are craving changes. Many times as the level of the craving goes down, the desirability of the smell is reduced. The thing you crave goes from smelling good and tasty to smelling bitter and gross.
[Note #1: I once had a client get very angry at me as we were working on a craving. Within a few rounds of tapping she not only didn’t desire chocolate chip cookies, she could no longer smell them. She yelled, “You’ve ruined chocolate chip cookies for ever!” I reassured her that this was not the case. The good smell of chocolate chip cookies would come back. This was only temporary— a way to get through this moment of temptation.]
[Note #2: Remember, when working with cravings you only need to reduce the craving to a level where you are going to make healthy choices. If you get the craving down to a 3 and are able to choose not to eat chocolate then you don’t need to tap anymore.]
As an alternative, you can do all six steps on each tapping point before moving on to the next point.
Eliminating the Craving of Something We DON’T Want
At first I was surprised the first time a client shared this type of craving. She described in great detail how she was consumed with a craving. How when it came up she couldn’t think of anything else. Sometimes the distraction was to the point where she could barely drive because the craving was all she could think about.
The surprising part was not how strong the craving was but that she was craving something she didn’t like the taste of. She talked about how much she needed to consume it, but at the same time how much the taste repulsed her. As time passed, more of my clients shared stories of craving for things they didn’t like.
The technique I described above is based on you tuning into the most desirable part of the craving. In this case, that technique is ineffective because there is nothing desirable about the substance itself.
In these cases I recommend a combination of argument tapping (where you state both sides of an argument as you tap) plus some statements about why we might have the craving.
Once again begin by rating the craving between 0 and 10.
The tapping phrases might look something like this (we will use chocolate as the object of craving again):
I really want some chocolate…No, I don’t…Part of me needs chocolate…I don’t even like the taste of chocolate…but it would make me feel so good to eat it…I should only be eating the things I want to eat…No. I really need this…I can’t stand its taste…but I am incomplete without the chocolate…but I don’t want the chocolate…the chocolate is only serving a short-term need…it is only filling some other hole that needs to be filled with something else…I know my body is craving something I don’t want because it sees it as some sort of medication…It’s craving this thing I don’t want because it will make me feel better…but it will only make me feel better in the short term…it isn’t something that will help me in the long-term…even if I don’t know what the underlying cause is for this craving…even if I don’t know what the emotional root for the craving is…I let those emotional roots go…I thank my body for the craving because the craving is trying to help me deal with those emotional roots…I have other better ways of dealing with these emotional roots…eating this thing I crave right now will only dull the emotional roots…it’s not dealing with them…by tapping on this craving right now I am allowing my body to let go of the emotional roots…even I don’t know what they are…this is a healthier way to deal with whatever is going on…in the future if I want to eat this chocolate I can…but I will only do it because I want to eat it…not because I need to eat it
[How to use these tapping phrases]
Re-rate the craving level. If the craving is still so strong that you are going to have a hard time resisting it, tap through this series of phrases again.
When doing this, also pay very close attention to the things that come to mind while tapping. With this type of tapping patter the emotional issues that cause the craving often surface, giving you great information for future tapping sessions.
Only Takes A Few Moments
Getting rid of cravings with EFT is a very simple task. The more you do it, the more likely you are to reach for EFT when you experience cravings. The more successfully you do this, the more control you will gain over your own eating.