Repair and Prepare: Tapping Your Way Out Of Repetitive Stress

How many times have you had the thought “Oh no, not again!”?

In my pre-EFT life I was a software engineer in a small image analysis company. I was given the responsibility of supporting a project that had several technical problems.

Every couple of weeks I’d get a call from our customer who was (rightly) concerned about the lack of progress we were making. By accident or design he knew exactly how to make me feel bad so that I would promise repairs and add new features to make up for the lack of progress.

Each call was more painful than the last one, as time went on I came to dread them. I was so knotted up with tension whenever he called I was surprised I could still string sentences together.

Each call made the next one worse. It was a vicious circle I couldn’t get out of, if only I’d had EFT then.

A lot of our daily stressors have a kind of repetitive quality, it’s the same thing over and over again.

It might be:

  • the way one of your colleagues treats you.
  • trying to get your teenager clean up their room.
  • those difficult phone calls with your mother.

What makes these situations particularly painful is they build on one another to create a cumulative stress.

Cumulative stress

As each difficult situation occurs and you get stressed and distressed about it. Unfortunately, that response gets embedded in your nervous system and primes you for the next event, which amplifies the stress response, and we get into a vicious circle of stress.

We are like Pavlov’s dogs, conditioned to drool when the bell rings or, in my case, tense up when the phone rang.

With each repetition of the event our brains associate the stress response with that event. When the event occurs again this conditioned response kicks in and our stress goes up while our resourcefulness goes down.

Fortunately, by using EFT we can reverse this vicious circle by repairing the effects of the last stressful situation, then preparing for the next one.

Repairing

One of the things EFT is really good at is defusing the emotional charge attached to a memory.

This has two effects:

  • It diminishes the distress caused by remembering the memory. You don’t have to lie awake at night feeling bad about what happened.
  • It dismantles the association between the original event and the stress response. Next time the event occurs you won’t be so triggered.

All you need is the standard ‘Movie Technique’ to soothe those memories.*

Preparing

You can go one step further and use the power of imagination to prepare for the next event using a tapping version of mental rehearsal.

There are several ways to do this:

  • In your imagination run a mental simulation of the upcoming event, then tap for all the stress responses that arise.
  • You can use the ‘It will …’ process, a future oriented variation of a process I teach my EFT Level 1 students about finding and resolving aspects.

Once you have taken the stress response out of the imagined future stressful situation, you might even use Pat Carrington’s Choices Method to boost your resourcefulness.

Cumulative resilience

If you repeat the ‘Repair and Prepare’ process for each stressful situation you will reduce the stress response during the event, lower your distress about the event afterwards and be less apprehensive about the next event that is coming up.

This will help dismantle the vicious circle and create a virtuous circle, where you go into each situation more resourceful and resilient than the last time.

Getting The Most Out Of Repair And Prepare

‘Repair and Prepare’ isn’t a guaranteed ‘one round of tapping and you’re done’ process. You may need to do it once, twice, five times, ten times or more for the best results.

It’s more helpful to think of it as a meditation practice or exercise regime. Something you need to do over time to get the best results.

Make a list of the ‘repeat offenders’ in your daily life.

Rather than trying to process them all simultaneously pick one and work on that until it is resolved.

Cross that one off your list then get to work on the next one.

*If the event was traumatic please get help from a skilled practitioner. Some memories are hard to handle by yourself.

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