Handling Stress

In my practice, I encounter many clients who say their main problem is stress. One of the primary principles of EFT is that the more specific we are, the better results we get. From this perspective, it's clear that tackling the general issue of "stress" is a lot like trying to catch a greased pig. It's bound to escape.

The first step in reducing stress is to focus on its sources.

Who's Doing It to You?

We often think that stress has external causes. High-pressure jobs, children with problems, world disasters, and economic catastrophes are enough to make anyone stressed, aren't they?

Yes and no. The above circumstances may be real, but we need to consider them in terms of the Law of Attraction. If what we send out in terms of vibrations is fear and anxiety, we'll attract to ourselves more circumstances that make us feel fearful and anxiety. Breaking this vicious cycle starts with us. We can, with EFT, change our response to circumstances.

The Force of Fear

Whether you feel it as fear, anxiety, or worry, something bothers you, and you feel powerless to eliminate either the emotion or its source. Fear may have known causes: illness, loss of money, a dreadful fate for you or a family member. It may also show up as a fear of the unknown: you don't know what's going to happen, but it's sure to be something awful.

Using EFT to Reduce Stress

Because fear is an emotion common to many people, I am choosing it for my example, with a focus on a known fear.

Let's say you're worried about losing your job. You're also afraid of that fear, because you think that if you act nervous and unsure about holding your position, it will affect your job performance and make you a likely candidate for the axe. You're probably right.

Begin with the Setup Statement. Here are some possibilities.

Even though I'm afraid of losing my job, I have confidence that I do my work well.
Even though I've been nervous and jittery at work, I choose to be calm and confident.
Even though I'm worried that my nervousness about losing my job will make me lose my job, I choose to do my work well.
Reminder statements might include:
I'm so nervous.
All this nervousness is affecting my work performance.
Whenever I think about losing my job, I get so upset.
It's so hard to even imagine being relaxed under these tense circumstances.
I can hardly breathe sometimes.

Continue until you feel some release of tension. Remember to pause and take deep breaths.

Find statements that can inch you towards a more peaceful place. Examples might be:

I did a good job on that project the other day.
When I can forget my worries, I work well.
I can remind myself to focus on the work and not on the worries.
I promise to remind myself

When you feel an opening for more positive statements, say things like:

I've always done my work well.
I'm a valuable employee.
Being calm and confident will help me keep my job.
It will certainly make me feel better.
If I'm calm and relaxed, I can handle whatever may come up.

As always, these are only suggestions. As you allow the energy of tapping to release the blocked energy, you will find your own statements that fully express you.

One of the great things about EFT is that you can do it quickly. If you feel a rush of anxiety coming on, run into the bathroom and have a quick (silent) tapping session. Do this whenever you get tense. The more you can prevent the tension from building up, the more relaxed you'll be overall.

Other Sources of Stress

People often add stress to their lives. Why does someone who is a volunteer for several organizations (and complaining about not having enough time) join a new one? Why do some people turn a minor annoyance into a major catastrophe? Is it possible that stress has its benefits?

I have known people who recounted the number of things they had to accomplish during a given day or week. While they voiced concern over their schedule and sometimes declared that they were surely headed for a nervous breakdown there were undertones of satisfaction and pride in their voices. They felt important.

If someone has twenty-four projects going on at once she must be special, clever, and terribly interesting. If everyone has to call someone for advice he must be a great listener and a wise person.

Stress also creates a barrier to being in touch with our real feelings, and if we don't want to know what we're feeling, especially what's really bothering us, stress may seem like our best friend. Ultimately, though, it's our worst enemy, for the suppression of feelings that need to be felt, expressed, and released, only builds up more stress.

People who would never ask friends or family for relief may use their stressed-out condition as a silent (or not-so-silent) cry for help. Others may overwork in an attempt to win love from those whom they serve.


Those who would like to have more calmness and serenity in their lives will benefit from examining the internal sources of stress in their lives before looking at the external sources. The above examples may provide some clues, and I have also described below some strong personality characteristics associated with certain kinds of stress. In future issues, I will give individual attention to each of these issues.

font size="4" face="lucida calligraphy" color="purple">Weight of the World

This individual takes on not only her problems but also those of people close to her. If there's a family crisis she takes charge out of a strong sense of duty. She will go on after mere mortals have dropped, but there is not much joy in her fulfillment of responsibility.


These folks have genuine enthusiasm for their responsibilities. Their difficulty comes when they take on more than they can handle, and they feel like failures. Their basic problem is that they over-identify with their responsibilities and don't allow themselves to step into different, and more relaxed, identities

Saving the World

These are people responsible not just for families or organizations, but for the world, and they take on this task with more enthusiasm than most people could imagine. They have the answer and want to enroll everyone in their solutions.


Perhaps one of the most stress-inducing experiences is to know that there's something you have to do, maybe even something you'd really like to do, but you don't. You think about it a lot, you worry about it, you get angry with yourself for not doing it. And you don't.

The EFT Solution

You can use EFT on all of these conditions, for example:

Even though I feel overwhelmed, I allow myself to relax.

Even though the world is in terrible shape, my positive attitude will help to heal it.

Whatever the situation, use EFT, following the Basic Recipe, to de-stress and give yourself relief.

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