In my last post, I mentioned how Tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be an extremely useful tool to have in your toolkit. (And If you haven’t already grabbed your copy of The 10-Minute Toolkit, where I give several quick exercises to help you find peace of mind, you can do so HERE.)
I explained how it works to calm your body’s flight, fight, or freeze response when you are facing a perceived threat. (And perceived is an important part of this scenario. Just because your amygdala thinks you’re in danger doesn’t mean you actually are in danger.) This post covers the actual process of Tapping.
So, what is Tapping? Tapping is a practice of gently tapping on specific acupressure meridian points while you work through a challenge you’re facing. Tapping is a multi-situation resource. It works equally well for physical pain, anger, insomnia, and a host of other situations we find ourselves in on a daily basis.
The process of Tapping starts with identifying your problem and assigning it a number from 0 – 10 on the Subjective Units of Distress (SUD) scale. So if you’re just a little worried, you might rate your SUDs at a three. If you’re heading for complete melt-down, you might register a nine or ten.
Once you’ve assigned your situation a number, you will begin the Tapping sequence. I’ve included a video below of Nick Ortner, author of The Tapping Solution”, as he gives a brief overview of the Tapping process. (It’s much easier to understand via a video rather than in text).
After you’ve done a few rounds of Tapping, do a check-in regarding your level of anxiety. Are you registering above a two or three on the SUD scale? If so, do a few more rounds, noticing any decrease in your physical tension. When you start to notice a decrease in negative emotion, you can switch to more positive statements as you repeat the tapping sequence. “I am becoming more trusting of my instructor”, “I’m calmer and looking forward to my ride”.
After you’ve gone through your positive statements a few times, check your SUD level one more time. You should have a significant reduction in your stress level.
Here are a few examples of “Setup Statements” for anxiety around horse-related situations.
- Even though I’m frustrated that I have a hard time doing posting trot, I deeply and completely accept myself.
- Even though I’m scared of mounting, I deeply and completely accept myself.
- Even though I’m feeling angry that I can’t catch my horse, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Once you go through the process a few times, you’ll find it easier to come up with your own Setup Statements and Tapping phrases. Tapping can bring about positive results in as little as five or ten minutes, and it’s completely portable, making it especially useful at the barn.
Have you tried Tapping? How did it go for you? Do you have other stress-busting techniques you’d like to share? If so, please leave a comment below.
Here’s to a happy, relaxed time with your horse.