Stress. We all suffer from it from time to time. Women (especially mamas) may suffer from it more than most. Yoga, deep breathing, exercise, and meditation are great ways to relieve stress naturally, but sometimes you barely have time to brush your hair, much less get on the mat or in a gym for half an hour. If only there were a fast, effective, and natural way to relieve stress.
Turns out—there is. And it’s right at your fingertips. Literally.
How Tapping Relieves Stress Naturally
As a tapping coach using Emotional Freedom Techniques and Thought Field therapy algorithms, I enjoy helping people get rid of their stress.1,2 Most of the time, both my clients and I feel refreshed and relaxed at the end of a session. I use a modern technique to tap into the centuries-old healing power of acupressure. The best part is you can use it on yourself, and it can work fast.
When I work one-on-one with people, we can go deep into sources of stress and change long-held patterns so that you simply don’t react to stressors the way you used to. But you can also apply what I call “first aid” techniques to de-stress in the middle of your busy day.
3 Different Ways to Relieve Stress Naturally
Here are 3 ways to relieve stress naturally, plus one fun idea you can do alone or with your toddler! Try one or all.
1. Connect To Your Heart
Close your eyes and put both hands over your heart. Let your mind bring up a favorite memory or place. Breathe a few gentle breaths as you enjoy the memory, not trying to alter your breathing, just letting it flow in and out like ocean waves. Be nice to yourself. If possible, give yourself a minute to bask in this feeling. If you don’t have a minute, try for five breaths. Almost any situation can wait long enough for you to take five breaths.
2. Tap Without Words
Simply notice what’s bothering you and where you feel it in your body. Then, use the first two fingers of one hand to gently tap these points:
- The inside corner of your eyebrow, right next to your nose
- Under your eye on your eye socket, about the center of your eye
- Underneath your arm on the side of the body, right about the middle of the bra strap (or a hands-width down from your armpit)
- Under your collarbone, just about an inch to one side of the middle of your chest.
Notice how you feel now about what was bothering you and how it feels in your body. You may be amazed at how quickly the intensity of the feeling will start to go down. You can repeat this technique to see how low you can bring it.
This is from Thought Field Therapy-Algorithms, one of the techniques I use with my clients.2
3. Tapping and Talking About It
Try this technique when it’s important to you to put things into words. You can do the following out loud or mentally.
Describe what’s bothering you, such as: “My to-do list is making me crazy!”
Name where you feel it in your body: “My stomach is tight.”
Give yourself self-acceptance: “I accept how I feel right now.”
Now, put all this together in a really simple statement of how you feel: Even though my to-do list makes me crazy and my stomach is tight, I accept how I feel right now. You can change the last part of the phrase to anything positive that makes you comfortable.
Now, starting at the inside corner of the eyebrow near the nose, gently tap on each point shown in the diagram several times (5 or more taps).
You can start at the top of the head and work down or tap in any order you like. You can tap on either side of the body or use both hands and tap both sides at once.
Silently or out loud, repeat brief reminders of your statement as you tap, such as “making me crazy” or “this tightness in my stomach.” Stick to the statement you started with rather than letting your mind wander and gather even more things to stress about.
One round will take under 20 seconds. Now, check in with the feeling, thought, and/or sensation you first identified. Notice a drop in your stress level, a change in your thoughts, or a lessening of the sensation? Great, that’s what you’re looking for. Feel free to repeat the rounds until you feel more relaxed and in control of your thoughts.
You don’t have to get 100% improvement. Even if you only notice a small shift at first, you may be surprised an hour later when you realize your mood has changed or your stress is relieved.
Bonus Tip: Play “Smell The Flower, Blow The Bubble”
Here’s a playful way to tackle your stress that I learned from Steve Gross of the Life Is Good Kids Foundation, an expert in using play to help kids heal from adverse childhood experiences.
This is something you can do yourself just for the fun of it. But if you have a child old enough to play pretend or follow your actions, it’s a wonderful way to introduce them to a relaxation technique.
Pretend you have a beautiful flower in one hand and a bubble wand in the other. First, bring the pretend flower to your nose and smell its glorious perfume. Then, bring the bubble wand to your lips and gently blow a huge bubble. Rinse and repeat.
See what you did there? You also did deep rhythmic breathing while playing pretend with a flower and a bubble wand. Good job!