Emotional Freedom Technique for Anxiety in Teens and Adults
It’s 2019. What’s relevant in your life? Do you have a comfortable home, a career, the right car, a strong reputation for being trustworthy and always doing a good job? Have you mastered the art of looking good to the world and yet feel like you’re on a rollercoaster of stress and anxiety? The inner feelings of anxiety may seem like a mystery but the reality is that they could very well be from beliefs you learned as a child.
Pregnancy Through Age 7
Science tells us that from the last trimester of pregnancy through age seven, our subconscious mind is downloading every thought, every behavior, every word and every signal of right and wrong that our parents and community experience including their positive or negative responses. Every human on earth is in download mode during this time. We come into the world needing this all-important download to build our subconscious minds through observation.
The predominant brain activity during the child’s first two years of life is delta, the lowest EEG frequency range. Between two and seven years of age, the child’s brain activity ramps up and operates primarily in the range of theta. While in the theta state, children spend much of their time mixing the imaginary world with the real world. The predominant delta and theta activity expressed by children younger than seven signifies that their brains are operating at levels below consciousness. Delta and theta brain frequencies define a brain state known as a hypnagogic trance, the same neural state that hypnotherapists use to directly download new behaviors into the subconscious minds of their clients. Think of it as downloading personal software. Locked and loaded forever…until anxiety pushes its way into your daily life.
Your children may be experiencing this same anxiety as they enter sixth grade through high school or younger. The stressors that our students are faced with are nothing like what most parents experienced during their teenage years. The speed at which technology is advancing far surpasses most parents’ ability to stay up to date enough to even communicate with our teens.
Teens were born into the age of technology, unlike most parents. You may be frustrated with your child if he or she always wants to play video games, is constantly texting friends or is always head-down interacting with a device. You may resist your child’s behavior because it doesn’t match up to your personal software. This natural disconnect puts parents and teens into stress mode simply because their personal software is not the same. What is the same are the inner thoughts causing the anxiety that parents and children share.
Can You or Your Teen Relate to Any of These Thoughts?
- I have so much to do
- It all needs to get done now
- People will judge me if it’s not 100% right
- It’s not ok to make a mistake
- Everything is riding on my performance
- I have to live up to my family’s expectations
- Perfection is the standard
These thoughts may be buried deep within you but the ripple effect that touches your entire family is at stake here. Just as your mother and father taught you by example, you too are teaching your children these same standards. The combination of our 20th century standards and our children’s 21st century culture is the perfect storm for high anxiety and stress. 25% of US college freshmen arrive on campus with prescription medications, making campus mental health facilities part of the decision to apply. Stress relief is as urgent for teens as it is for adults. Untreated stress can lead to depression and anxiety as well as unhealthy eating and emotional behaviors. Over 100 clinical trials have shown that EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), also known as “Tapping,” is an effective method for improving mental health.
EFT Tapping Method
My colleague, a clinical psychologist, Peta Stapleton, PhD, has written a book adapting the EFT Tapping method for use by teens. In EFT for Teens, she shows how to use Tapping for common problems such as peer pressure, body image, puberty, family conflicts, taking exams, social phobias, eating disorders, sports performance, and weight management. Dr. Stapleton focuses especially on feelings, and how EFT can reduce sadness, anger, doubt, jealousy, and fear. She applies the proven techniques of EFT to typical problems teens face. These include bullying, academic performance, public speaking, divorce and parental conflict, sleep, and procrastination. She is keenly aware of the conflicts and contradictory drives that can bewilder teens, as hormones, academic priorities, disappointments, and the need for social acceptance all pull them in different directions. She realizes that people can’t just “get over” these problems and that a stress reduction method can help teens navigate the transition to adulthood.
EFT Tapping combines elements of conventional therapy with acupressure to provide fast and measurable relief from stress. Recently, a new client walked into my EFT studio holding up my article in the last issue of ELM Maine and said, “This is why I’m here, because I have most of these symptoms of stress. Will EFT help me?” The answer was and is Yes.
Karen St. Clair, AAMET Certified EFT Practitioner is a highly skilled professional with a true gift for facilitating her clients’ life-changing outcomes. She specializes in EFT Tapping and is the founder of Reiki Tap Renewal℠, a modality that combines the energy psychology of EFT and the healing energy of Reiki. Book an appointment today at Touch Point Studio or via Facetime or Zoom video conferencing: 207-878-8315