Mastering Anger with EFT

2153047151_9f720bb561.jpgIn a previous article Hidden Anger: How Your Journal Can Help You Let off Steam in a Healthy Way, I talked about how to use a journal to externalise and begin working with feelings of anger and frustration.

In this post I want to share how to use Emotional Freedom Techniques to further process the words on your page that cause you anger, injustice, or hurt. If you aren't yet familiar with Emotional Freedom techniques you can read a quick 5 minute walkthrough of how to do EFT here. You might like to print it and have it handy while you work through this exercise.

Before we begin, here's an account of one very angry man and how he used EFT to get control of his anger once and for all.

How Sam Conquered His Anger with EFT

Sam used anger to get him by. He looked fierce and he responded with anger in a heartbeat to any situation that he found challenging. But he was beginning to notice an unwelcome side effect, he was lonely. His family were unhappy with his outbursts and were uncomfortable being around him and so he found himself living alone and feeling all the more angered by his unhappy situation.

Sam's turning point came one day at work. He worked on a building site, where he felt prickly and angry towards his co-workers most of the time. On this particular day another builder on the site was sarcastic to him and Sam exploded. He picked the man up and threw him down a flight of steps. Luckily the man was not seriously injured, but Sam knew if he didn't get help he would cause serious harm to someone sooner or later and that would mean him returning to prison.

Sam booked into a local natural health centre to seek help, and that's where I met him. He told me he wanted help controlling his anger, and as I looked into his face I could see just how angry he really was. His face was a mask of rage. As much as I love EFT for diffusing negative emotions, I will admit that on that day I was edgy about suggesting something so simple as tapping on a few meridian points to a man who had such serious anger issues. But that's what he had come to do and so we began.

After just ten minutes of tapping through the EFT sequence while Sam spoke about his feelings of anger and frustration, he sighed and said that he was beginning to feel calmer than he had done for years. His face softened, and his shoulders relaxed as we continued using EFT to get more specific about situations that had consistently made him explode in the past; and he began to get ideas of how to handle things differently in the future.

The next time I saw Sam he looked very different, he smiled as he told me that his family had noticed a change in him and were willing to spend some time with him again. He felt more positive about his future and had learned to walk away from situations at work that used to spark his anger. All this from just learning to tune into and resolve his emotions with a simple acupuncture based exercise.

Mastering Hot Emotions

You don't have to be as angry as Sam to use EFT to turn down the heat. Many of us are living with less obvious anger that eats at us from the inside. We've already discussed how to develop awareness of that anger with your journal. Now we'll look at using EFT to diffuse it and become calm and free from any associated stress or tension.

How to Reduce Anger Related Feelings with EFT:

- put your quick guide to EFT (link) where you can see it

- now skim through your journal and find an entry that holds some emotional intensity for you

Now note:

1. how do you feel when you read those words?

2. where do you feel that emotion in your body?

Now you're ready to begin using the instructions on your EFT sheet pick your set-up statement by filling in the underlined areas in the statement below with your own observations:

"Even though I have this (feeling) in my (body area) when I think about (person/event), I accept myself."

Now picture a thermometer in your head with the number zero at the bottom and the number ten at the top. Zero means cool calm and collected and ten means boiling point. Where does this issue rate on your thermometer as you think about it now?

Keep that in mind and begin tapping through the EFT sequence on your instruction sheet.

When you're done, take a deep breath and have a quick stretch, now check in on your internal thermometer again? Did you reduce the heat? If so keep going. Keep tapping and breathing deeply and calmy. If not go back over your choice of words and make sure you picked words that really got in touch with your feelings on the matter.

Once your internal thermometer is down to the lower numbers of around 2-3 you can change your set-up statement slightly. Something like "Even though I have this remaining (feeling) in my (body area) when I think about (person/event) I now choose to feel (what would you choose  (calm / relaxed / neutral / forget it and let it go?) and I deeply and completely accept myself."

Start tapping again and continue until you feel relaxed and at peace with the issue.

Noting Success

Once you're done and feeling relaxed and content that you have freed yourself of some internal aggravation go back to your journal and note your success, this is an important part of processing your experience and reminding yourself to use EFT again next time you feel upset.

Now you've healthily processed one situation you can go on to pick others any time you choose to do so.

Using Letters to Lighten Your Load

Another way to use EFT to free yourself from feelings of anger, injustice, hurt, or frustration is to sit down and write a letter about it. It might be a letter to a friend describing how you feel about a given event, or it might be a letter addressed to someone who has angered you or  hurt your feelings. You can use EFT to work through the hot spots in your letter until you feel calmer about it's contents. If it's a big issue for you, you may need to invest a little time in being thorough, but it will be well worth it. When you're done and feeling calmer and lighter, you could burn your letter in a private ritual of freedom and release.
“Always write angry letters to your enemies.  Never mail them.”  James Fallows
Photo Credit: WaterNymph by jurvetson

What's Next?

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Related Resource: The UK's Bestselling EFT Home Study Kit


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