Last week, we discussed EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and how it is being utilized to address test anxiety in students. This week, we are discussing how EFT actually works when applied properly. Read on to get started using EFT with your student.

  1. Start by measuring the intensity of the emotion your student is experiencing (on a scale of 1-10) trauma (in this case test anxiety).
  2. Pair that memory with a statement of self-acceptance; state it three times.
  3. As you tap with your fingers on a series of (9) acupressure points, state your conditioned fear. This tapping sends a signal to your brain that all is OK. Prior to this point, your memory has been sending to your body a conditioned stress response. What you are doing now is reconditioning your mind with a positive association. The tapping tells your mind’s stress machinery to stop, thus breaking the conditioned memory. Once this loop is broken it usually stays that way. Ultimately, if that traumatic memory recurs, the stress association is gone. By the way, this whole process takes less than 5 minutes!
  4. Reassess the intensity of the trauma (in this case text anxiety), if it’s more than 2, do the tapping again.

Here’s an EFT method and script developed by a certified EFT practitioner, Sue Syphers on eliminating test anxiety. She suggests to begin by finding the ideas to tap on.

  1. Get a blank piece of paper and draw a line down the center of the page. On the left write, “Self-Limiting Thoughts” and on the right write, “Opposites”.
  2. Sit quietly and focus on whatever is bothering you; ie. Fear of testing. Tell yourself that you will do just fine.
  3. Then listen to how your mind responds: “You never do well on standardized tests”, “You are stupid”, “You just can’t do it”, “I’ll never get scores good enough to get into college,”etc.
  4. Now in the “Opposites” column, write the opposite of what you just wrote on the left;“I am able to do well on standardized tests”, “I am smart enough to do well on the ACT (or PSAT)”, “I can do this”, “My scores will be good enough for many colleges.”
  5. Determine how much pain you are feeling relative to this problems on a scale of 1-10. (10 being the worst.) Write that number down.
  6. Now we begin the tapping. While tapping on the KC (karate chop point on the side of your hands), say the following 3 times, inserting your problem in the blank. “Even though I have this fear of doing poorly on the SAT, (insert your problem), I deeply love, accept and forgive myself.” Say this 3 times.
  7. Now begin tapping on the acupressure points (as indicated) repeating a summary statement of the problem or talking your way through the list you made (Self-limiting thoughts).
  8. Repeating a summary statement tapping at the following face and body points:
  • Inner eyebrow (EB), “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”
  • Side of the eye (SE), “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”
  • Under the eye (UE), “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”
  • Under the nose (UN), “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”
  • At the crease in the chin (CH), “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”
  • Middle of collar bone (CB), “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”
  • Under the arm (UA), “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”
  • Tapping wrists together (WT), “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT.”
  • Top of the head, (TH), “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”

9. Now reassess how you are feeling now on a scale of 1-10. If it’s close to 0, you’re finished. If you are still feeling some discomfort, you can use the same script and tap again. Or, you can use a script that takes each point you write down in the “Self-limiting Thoughts” column and say and work through those thoughts.

For example:

  • EB, “I never do well on standardized tests.”
  • SE, “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”
  • UE, “This test is just too hard”
  • UN, “I’m just stupid when it comes the critical reading”.
  • CH, “I just don’t get it.”
  • CB, “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”
  • UA, “I’ll never get scores good enough to get into college.”
  • WT, “Everyone scores better than I do.”
  • TH, “This fear of doing poorly on the SAT”

Here’s another type of script:

Say three (3) times:

“Even though I have anxiety about ____________(problem here, ie., taking the ACT or SAT, the SAT or ACT reading, pacing, math, etc.), I still deeply love, accept and forgive myself.”

Say each phrase at each point:

  • EB, “Increased heart rate”
  • SE, “Tension in my body”
  • UE, “Increased breathing rate”
  • UN, “ Can’t focus”
  • CH, “Stomach is in knots”
  • CB, “Feeling nauseous”
  • UA, “Can’t think”
  • WT, “Body is tensing up”
  • WT, “I accept that I get nervous doing the ing ACT”
  • WT, “I accept all of these symptoms of my body’s stress response”
  • WT, “This is how my body reacts to perceived stress”
  • TH, “Even though I secretly blame another person, I accept these nervous reactions in my body”
  • EB, “I am willing to release all of my anxiety about the ACT reading now”

Reassess how you are feeling on the 1-10 scale. If you’re close to zero you’re done, if not redo either script or both! There is no absolutely right or wrong way!

The above YouTube video is of Nick Ortner explaining how to rewire the brain using EFT. Ultimately, EFT has the power to change your self-limiting beliefs into self-empowering ways of being and doing.

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