This is a great simple version of EFT that you can use anytime you’re feeling stressed or upset about anything. It’s a great place to start if you’re not sure what else to do.
Steve Wells and Dr. David Lake, a team of energy psychologists from Australia, developed this simplified version of EFT that they appropriately call the Simple Energy Technique or SET for short.
The basic idea is that activating these acupressure points is healing in and of itself. You don’t necessarily need to go through the formal process of EFT to reap the benefits of this technique. You don’t even have to tap on the points; you can simply rub on the points or just touch the points as we do with PEP and receive the benefits.
They have found that you don’t even have to say any kind of reminder phrase aloud. In fact, all you have to do is tap on the points in whatever order you want, in whatever combination you want, while you’re focused on the issue that you want to clear.
The benefits are cumulative as well. As you continue to activate the acupressure points every day, not only are you releasing old patterns within you, you are also re-training your nervous system to remain in a more open, peaceful state no matter what’s happening in your life.
Illustration of the points as a quick reminder for you
Use SET when you’re really stressing
While I recommend using Positive Energy Psychology as a daily practice, I find SET to be very effective for dealing with intense emotional reactions as they are happening.
So, if you find yourself getting upset about something, just start tapping on the points. You can say whatever is on your mind if you want to but you don’t have to.
The issue is already active in your energy system, so when you are tapping on the energy points you will be clearing whatever anxiety or negative emotional pattern you are experiencing in the moment.
This works very well when you are in overload and you can’t seem to calm down. It works for any intense emotion that you may be experiencing: fear, anxiety, dread, regret, anger at yourself or others, sadness, grief… anything.
All you have to do is just keep tapping while you’re feeling it.
For some people, touching or rubbing the acupressure points is more comforting than tapping and can be just as effective as tapping the points. Try these alternatives out yourself and see which method feels best to you in the moment.
Secret Finger Technique
One of the best ways to deal with anxiety or any other negative emotion when you’re out in the world is to use the finger tapping technique outlined by Dr. David Lake.
All you do is touch, tap, or rub the four finger points back and forth using your thumb whenever you are feeling anxiety or any other negative emotion or thought that you would like to discreetly let go of in the moment. You can refer to the illustration of the hand points above to show what I mean.
So, using your thumb, you simply touch, tap, or rub each of these four key finger points back and forth. I find it most effective and calming to touch these points with a medium amount of pressure for a second or two in sequence back and forth — index finger to pinkie and then back again over and over.
Although this may seem too simple to work, it is actually a very powerful technique. Dr. Lake talks about working with a woman who had severe obsessive-compulsive disorder and the only way she could deal with her anxiety about leaving her house was to check the locks, the stove, and everything else for two hours before she could leave.
Dr. Lake had her just tap on these four finger points as she walked through the house doing her regular routine of checking on everything. After a week of this, it only took her an hour to check everything. After two weeks, she was down to 30 minutes. And after a month, it took just 15 minutes. And all she did was tap on these finger points as she walked through her house doing her regular checking routine.
This is a great subtle technique for dealing with anxiety or other feelings whenever you need it. If you find yourself feeling off emotionally when you’re in a meeting or at the store or anywhere you might feel awkward doing the full EFT sequence, just begin touching those four finger points back and forth.
If needed, you can intensify the calming effect by saying a simple phrase to yourself in your mind such as “relaxing” or “calm and relaxed,” or “peaceful well-being.” I go more into this Positive Energy Psychology technique on this PEP page.
And nobody will know you’re doing it, unless they’re using this same technique to calm their own feelings as well. 🙂
Tap and Vent
You can use this SET technique to release underlying issues and painful feelings as you’re experiencing them or talking about them to yourself or someone else. I call this the “tap and vent” technique and it can be very helpful. Just start activating the points as you’re talking about the situation you experienced and how you feel about it.
If you find yourself talking to someone about what happened or reviewing it in your mind, you might as well just start activating the points as you’re there and allow yourself to begin releasing it as your thinking about it. This can really help relieve your negative feelings and give you a greater sense of understanding and peace about whatever happened.
The Tell the Story Technique
Another effective way to release the emotions and beliefs around a specific painful experience is called the Tell the Story Technique. This technique is very similar to the SET technique. All you have to do is focus on whatever incident you want to let go of while you are tapping, touching, or rubbing the energy points.
You don’t even have to talk about it if you don’t want to; you can just think about it. However, it can be very effective to just tell the story of what happened to yourself aloud as you tap on the points.
However, if the incident is too painful to recall in this way, then just use this basic EFT process or my recorded EFT process for releasing painful past experiences or adapt the script of that process to your unique situation.
After you finish going through one round of activating the acupressure points, stop and check your intensity rating. I recommend that you continue clearing this issue until the intensity rating goes down to a 1-0.
You can help release the intensity associated with key aspects of the incident by focusing on the details of what you remember as you are activating the points. You can focus on:
• how you felt emotionally
• how you felt physically
• the related sights, sounds, and other sensory details that you remember
• the thoughts that were going through your head at the time
• any other experiences this reminds you of
• any thoughts that may be going through your mind now about it
• anything else that arises as you’re going through the process of releasing this issue
It’s like you’re following a garden path and seeing where it takes you. You just want to make sure you’re activating the points as you do.
The Timer Technique
I find that it’s helpful to set a timer for five minutes and just tap, touch, or rub the points continuously as you talk or think about whatever comes to mind during that time.
At the end of five minutes, take a deep breath and check the intensity rating for whatever negative thought, feeling, or incident you’re targeting. If there’s still more emotional intensity to clear, reset the timer and repeat this process.
You’ll be amazed though at how much you can accomplish in five minutes.
Release the issue or memory in this way until you feel that the negative emotional intensity around it has significantly diminished or completely disappeared.
Once you do, it’s likely that the emotional intensity you’re feeling will have diminished significantly as well.
A side benefit of EFT is that people often find that they gain and a new level of understanding and compassion for themselves about painful past experiences once the issues have been completely cleared with these energy psychology techniques.
There you go
So that gives you a good feeling for how to do SET, or simple EFT. It’s a great technique to have in your toolbox, particularly when you’re feeling emotional intensity and you’re not sure what to focus on or when you want to be more discrete in your clearing work.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this technique or anything else and feel free to leave a comment below about your experiences with this as well. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂
Thanks and many blessings,
I like the idea of this Circle of Light. Is it possible to use SET for tapping without focusing on any issue or using any words? By that, I mean is it possible to do the tapping and allowing it to work where it will? This is a way of tapping I would like to use sometimes but only if it is possible.
Every blessing and good wish for the Circle of Light.
Hi Maureen and welcome! I’m so glad you like the idea… me too! And yes, you can use SET without any particular issue in mind or using any words. Just activating the points helps to open up those channels of energy and restore you to a state of greater calm and well-being. And yes, if there’s something there to let go of that you may not even be aware of, a subtle feeling of being off emotionally or whatever it might be, it will help to release that and whatever underlying pattern or belief might be triggering it. And by activating the points regularly by tapping, touching, or rubbing them, whatever you prefer, you are retraining your nervous system to experience this state more easily and more often as your natural state of being. So yes, that’s a wonderful idea! Thanks so much for your question and your good wishes, too.
Many blessings to you and let me know if you have any other questions.
Thank you Laura, this is very helpful. After sending you a comment last night, I read the PEP statements and two in particular ‘hit’ me. ‘Feeling peaceful wellbeing’ and ‘Feeling life energy within me’. I felt they said so much and I did a number of rounds of SET using those statements. I felt calm and relaxed but at the same time energised.
So glad to hear that was helpful for you. I like those phrases too and that’s a great combination. I find that’s true… there are certain phrases that speak to us. I do think that’s our inner wisdom guiding us, showing us the perfect phrases or processes for us to focus on. Blessings! 🙂