Shifting From Anxiety to Emotional Freedom

Anxiety often occurs when we dread something that may happen in the future and this dread creates emotional pain. We spend a lot of energy trying to avoid or stave off this dreaded situation, and miss out on noticing the good in our lives.

Childhood Family Patterns Live on in Us

For example, here is a man whose mother was depressed and had no energy to spend with a child. He worried about her all the time, and unconsciously started to take on the job of keeping her happy and engaged with him enough to give him his basic needs. Since he was only a child, of course he often didn’t succeed.

Emotional Pain Dogs Us

Now, as an adult, he has a grown son who is also often depressed. Although the son has been independent and has always worked, the man is constantly terrified that he will lose his job and end up having to live with his father, our man. Whenever something negative happens at his son’s job, or if he gets depressed, this huge dread and anxiety arises in the man.

Anxiety Can Be Our Nervous System’s Attempt to Protect Us

Strangely, the fear that the man had as a child when his mother got depressed, and his subsequent attempts to help her emotionally started as an attempt to protect himself, to make sure she was ok enough to provide him with food and a place to sleep when he was too young to do it for himself. Unconsciously, the fear seemed the important variable and that part stayed with him.

Family Pattern Anxiety is PTSD

The fact that this specific anxiety pattern, now triggered by his son’s depression, is etched into his nervous system, is a sign of PTSD—Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

EFT Tapping Helps

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is often very effective in healing PTSD. For example, this man came to the realization that, even if his son were to have to live with him, it would not be the end of the world. He was able to really feel that, if it came to that, something else would come after that, that is, it would not be permanent. The relief was palpable, and it lasted. This is emotional freedom.

For more information on how EFT helps with stress, trauma and PTSD, check out my pages on Stress and Trauma, EFT and EFT Case Studies. My home page gives an overview of my Psychotherapy and Organizational Consulting work.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë

EFT for After-Effects of Accidents

Most people who have been in a vehicular accident—car, bike, whatever—notice that after that, they’re more nervous on the road—some people even feel panic or unexplained anger. That’s because, when something scary like that happens, our nervous systems automatically go into “threat mode.” No matter how much we tell ourselves that it was an accident, it’s over, it’s not likely to happen again, our nervous system is saying, “It happened once, now I have to be alert all the time.” This is PTSD.

Accidents Create Nervous System Defensive Responses

Most accidents, by their very nature, happen very quickly. A lot is going on all at once, and our body and emotions are trying to react to all of it, but they can’t. The reactions are called “defensive responses.” Think of taking a martial arts class: somebody comes at you and you go into a defensive posture and as they make contact, you follow through with your defense. You’re learning how to do that in the class, and you practice by doing it slowly, over and over.

When you’re in an accident, something is coming at you, and your body and emotions automatically try to move into defense, but they don’t get a chance to follow through on anything. Many defensive responses get stuck—and stay stuck—inside you. That’s why you have those automatic flinches and shots of adrenaline going through you in traffic.

Clients Who Have Had Accidents

One person I know gets these shots of adrenaline when she’s a passenger in a car and the driver gets too close to the car ahead—she once had an airbag go off in her face. When she’s sitting in the front passenger seat, she also pushes the seat back as far as it will go.

A client who had been hit by a car on her bike when the car suddenly swerved into her lane could not face going through the intersection near where it happened. She not only had trouble riding her bike, she was constantly having near-panic reactions whenever anyone came from the left.

Automatic Fear Reactions After Accidents Persist

These are “normal” automatic reactions after accidents, and they don’t tend to go away. If a person has had more than one accident, the nervous system reactions tend to get stronger over time.

 EFT Tapping is Effective for Healing Accident After-Effects

I’ve used EFT Tapping with a number of people who have been involved in accidents—cars, bicycles, falling, and others. I’ve found that EFT is extremely effective in helping people get over the nervous system after-effects: phobias, fears, nervousness, anxiety, panic, difficulty sleeping, intrusive memories of the accident, unexplainable anger, physical pain and emotional pain. In my experience, they are all quite quickly alleviated with EFT.

For more information on how EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) works, see my EFT and EFT Case Studies pages, and my page on Stress & Trauma.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoe

*Denver EFT*Boulder EFT*Colorado EFT*EFT Wherever You Are!

EFT Helps With PTSD, Part 3

PTSD: Everything Startles You or Makes You Mad

 When you’ve been terrified or hurt, either once or many times, one after-effect can be that you’re hypersensitive to anything that happens inside you or around you that reminds you even slightly of that event or pattern of events. Automatically and immediately, your body reacts with fear and your emotions ratchet up. Your heart rate might go up, you might get hot or go into a cold sweat, you might have trouble breathing, your muscles may tense up—when other people would just notice something and not be affected at all. One word for this is “hyperarousal.”

Tornado Across the Alley

I had a client whose neighbors’ house was demolished by a tornado. My client was in his own house, just across the alley, and heard that horrible roar and saw the black swirling cloud out his kitchen window. The tornado missed his house, but his body, mind and emotions continued to feel the threat. A year later, he still couldn’t sleep, small unexpected rushing sounds still made his heart beat faster, and he had sudden unexplained anxiety all through the day and night.

EFT Tapping Eliminated PTSD Symptoms

Usually several sessions of EFT tapping—moving through tapping on the sound, the sight of the tornado, the terror, the anticipation, seeing the neighbor’s house being mowed down, the general feeling of helplessness, the fear of a recurrence—will clear up the symptoms of PTSD from an event like this.  With this particular client, there had been previous trauma, and so we started with earlier events that brought about anxiety reactions similar to those brought on by the tornado. Within one session, he was able to sleep again and within a couple more, his general anxiety was down.

Emotional Freedom With EFT

Usually one to three EFT Tapping Sessions clears a single frightening or painful event. More complicated situations—such as when a person has PTSD from multiple accidents, a pattern of childhood abuse or neglect, war experiences, and other more complex traumas—will take longer. But relief often begins quickly and PTSD symptoms, including hyperarousal, generally continue to drop off quickly. And generally, whatever symptoms have been eliminated are permanently eliminated. The definition of emotional freedom!

For more information on PTSD, see my previous blogs, EFT Helps With PTSD, Part 1Part 2–Self-Destructive and Impulsive Behavior , and my website, EFT-Emotionalfreedom.com .

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë