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Stress knows no season, so even as autumn offers fresh opportunities, new challenges will surely arise. Tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), can help you take stress relief into your own hands.

By locating the acupressure points on your body’s meridians and tapping them repeatedly with your fingertips, you can lower the stress hormone cortisol, according to research published in the journal Psychological Trauma.

Researchers have also found that tapping lowered anxiety levels in students prepping for an exam, reduced PTSD symptoms in veterans, and improved sleep in study participants.

Before you begin an EFT session, identify your leading emotion and describe its intensity on a scale of 1 to 10, advises Jessica Ortner, author and creator of The Tapping Solution app. Then create a “setup statement” to use while tapping. An example might be “Even though I feel this anxiety about my upcoming event, I accept how I feel and give myself permission to relax.”

eft tapping points illustration


A. With four fingers, tap the soft outer edge of your other hand (point 1) while repeating your setup statement three times.

B. Move through the next points, continuing with the eyebrow point closest to the bridge of your nose (2). Tap each point five to seven times, naming your concerns aloud with a simple statement like “This upcoming event is causing me anxiety,” or “I care so much about the outcome of this event,” which will help you stay focused on the issue you are trying to address.

C. Work your way around your face by tapping the side of your eye on your temple (3), directly underneath your eye (4), under your nose (5), and on your chin directly under your lower lip (6). Make sure to take deep breaths as you tap. You may focus on the points on one or both sides of the body.

D. Continue by tapping on your collarbone (7), under your arm approximately 4 inches beneath your armpit (8), and finally, on the crown of your head (9).

E. After completing the sequence two to three times, reevaluate the intensity of your emotion. If you feel it remains above a level of 3, repeat the entire sequence until you feel a sense of calm.


How to Tap with Jessica Ortner

Watch as Jessica Ortner, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence, and producer of The Tapping Solution, demonstrates how to use EFT.

Illustration by: Clare Owen
Profile picture of Courtney Lewis Opdahl
Courtney Lewis Opdahl

Courtney Lewis Opdahl is Experience Life’s managing editor and a member of the Inclusion Council at Life Time.

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