Jesmond Library meeting discusses stress levels

Danuta O'Neill at Jesmond Library

Danuta O’Neill at Jesmond Library

How to deal with stress, fatigue and everyday issues through a few simple steps was the subject of a talk held in Jesmond Library on November 5th by Danuta O’Neill.

A survey by YouGov conducted in April 2015 found 29% of Britons felt stressed “always or often”, while one in four said they frequently felt anxious, making it difficult for them to enjoy life and perform to the fullest. According to O’Neill that is one of the reasons that the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a technique developed in the 1970s, is becoming more popular.

EFT’s core principles are taken from acupuncture, but without the presence of needles.

The technique relies on placing pressure on specific energy points. Before starting the demonstration O’Neill noted that “we should listen to what our body is trying to tell us. Be honest to ourselves, instead of supressing our feelings”. Then she demonstrated how to practise this technique. The first step is the repetition of the affirmation “Even though I am feeling… [your feeling]….I accept myself and how I feel” while tapping the side of our palm with the index and middle finger.

Participants then continue tapping the other pressure points, which are the eyebrow, the side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin, collarbone, under the arm and top of the head, while repeating a shorter version of the affirmation, like “feeling stressed”. The rounds of tapping continue until participants feel better.

EFT measures stressful feelings that individuals deal with on a scale from 1-10, where 1 indicates almost no stress and 10 represents being extremely stressed. Tracking this is important, as O’Neill said: “one should measure his emotions before proceeding with the tapping, to be able to determine his progress”.

The Emotional Freedom Technique is not a solution for serious and chronic problems, but those who believe in its effectiveness claim it is an easy way to make it through the day when feeling overwhelmed.