What we do in the moment can make all the difference. Whether it’s 3pm or 3am. Even if your therapist is on speed dial. Therapy is ultimately about empowerment, self-empowerment. What are these tools for self-empowerment?
It can be using a mantra, an affirmation, or focusing on your breath. Long deep inhales and longer still exhales, all the way down to the toes, seeing your soft belly rise and fall with each in- and out-breath.
The key is to stay in the present, with whatever is happening. It may be uncomfortable. It may be painful. It may be darn scary.
The idea of what is, what it could be, is often far more terrifying than what it actually is.
Suppressing what you are going through, with drugs or alcohol, or distracting yourself with external pleasure only buries it, springloading it with greater tension. No one really knows when this “stuff” will be triggered.
The more we ignore what needs to be looked at, the more we learn to dissociate from it. The relief is only temporary as our separation from our body becomes more poignant and the effects filter throughout the areas of our life. We also learn to live with pain and in time, forget what true wellness feels like.
So what can we do when it comes to the crunch? Try these 4 simple tools for those tough moments. These are tools for self-empowerment to build up resilience and confidence, especially to dose-measured stress.
Tools for Self-Empowerment
① Bach Flower Rescue Remedy®
For millions of people worldwide RESCUE Remedy® has become an emotional ally.
Carly Harding, Registered Bach Practitioner
First made by Dr Bach in the 1930s, this flower essence combination is effective for all sorts of emergencies. From being unsettled doing public speaking to full-blown accidents.
Made from five flower remedies, Rescue Remedy® helps put the calm back into play. That’s because Rock Rose is for terror and panic, Impatiens for irritation and impatience, Clematis for a lack of focus, Star of Bethlehem for shock, and Cherry Plum for all the irrational thoughts that invariably circle ’round and for a lack of control.
The original formulation uses alcohol as a preservative. The range now includes a glycerin formulation for kids and pets. Also available – spray, pastilles, cream, and gum.
How to : For acute situations, put 4 drops on the tongue. Continue with 4 drops in a glass of water and sip throughout the day. For people and pets who don’t like the taste, put a few drops on your hands and rub through their body. Note that the pastilles with its sugar substitute and chewy texture are not suitable for animals.
Other “rescue remedies” – Emergency Australian Bush Flowers and Five Flowers Formula by Flower Essence Services (FES). The FES version of the rescue remedy is also based on Dr Bach’s original formulation and is organic and biodynamic. Some people feel the Five Flowers is even more effective at helping emotional issues.
② Jin Shin Jyutsu
Have you ever put your hands on the small of your back to breathe better?
Or rubbed the spot above your eyebrows to spark a memory? What about sucking your thumb?
If you have, you already know Jin Shin Jyutsu. It’s natural – our innate wisdom. We know to place our hands where they are needed. Whatever name we give it.
Jin Shin Jyutsu, an energy healing modality, is based on that knowledge. It can be as simple as holding a finger or a little more involved, using sequences of points on the body. What Jin Shin Jyutsu does, is to harmonize our body, mind, and spirit. You do not have to be a practitioner to start using it. Jin Shin Jyutsu has a self-help component that is simple and easy for everyone to use.
Here’s an easy acronym on how to get rid of Worry F.A.S.T.
Worry : Thumb
F-Fear : Second finger
A-Anger : Middle finger
S-Sadness : Ring finger
T-Trying : Pinky
You can hold the finger corresponding to what you are feeling and wishing to harmonize.
Are you having a panic attack because you are worried about a huge project? Hold your thumb. Catch yourself trying too hard? Trying to be Supermom? The son you think your mom would be proud of? Hold your little finger. Whenever you are feeling these emotions – worry, fear, anger, sadness, and the need to try – grab the corresponding finger. Not sure what you are feeling? Try the second finger. Fear is the root of all “negative” emotions.
How to : The beauty of Jin Shin Jyutsu is that there is no wrong way of doing it. Simply wrap your left fingers around a finger of your right hand or vice versa. Or hold any part of the finger – a part or the whole finger. Hold for as long or as short a time as you like. Feel the change within. Jin Shin Jyutsu is a wonderful self-help to add to your healing toolkit.
③ Access Consciousness™
Are you a talker? You would love this one, especially if you like asking questions.
Asking questions shifts awareness and focus and helps us access greater consciousness.
Questions like, what if.
What if there was nothing wrong with me? What if I’m not as screwed up as I thought/people told me? What if life is not meant to be a struggle?
So… What if there was nothing wrong with me? “Everywhere I decided that, times a godzillion, I destroy and uncreate it all”…And now add the Clearing Statement™ – “Right and wrong, good and bad, POC and POD, all 9, shorts, boys, and beyonds”.
Quite a mouthful but you absolutely do not need to know what it means for it to work.
If you do want an explanation of these words mean – listen to Dr Dain Heer.
Other questions and statements to try – Does this belong to me? What an interesting point view. How does it get any better than this?
Tip : Access Consciousness™ tools work whether you say the statements out loud or in your head. It’s a good idea not to say statements like “what an interesting point of view” outloud as some people may take offense. This statement is to help you move to a place of non-judgment and people unfamiliar with Access Consciousness may misunderstand.
Nothing comes closer to “magic” than the positive results I have personally witnessed using EFT on thousands of my patients who suffered from physical and emotional pain and illness.
Tapping is Emotional Freedom Technique, a copyright-free tool available to everyone (a gift from its founder Gary Craig). Thousands of people use Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT for relief from everything – phobias, chronic pain, emotional challenges, addictions, etc. Like in acupuncture and acupressure, meridian points are activated. With EFT, it’s tapping 12 of these points, just 5 – 7 times. It’s easy and it’s definitely painless – no needles is a bonus for many people.
Why does tapping like with EFT work? According to research at the Harvard Medical School, the “brain’s stress and fear response could be lessened by stimulating the meridian points used in acupuncture, acupressure, and of course, tapping”.
How to : EFT is easy! Identify how you are feeling, on a scale of 0 – 10 (10 =100% freaked out). Use the following structure –
- Statement of the issue – “Even though I have this/I am/I feel____”
- Acceptance and Reconciliation – “I deeply and completely love and accept myself and anyone else who contributed to this situation”
- Affirmation and Empowerment – “I now choose to be______”.
An example – “Even though I am feeling anxious and panicky, I deeply and completely accept myself and anyone else who contributed to this situation. I now choose to be confident and relaxed.”
Now, let’s get tapping. With four fingers, tap the karate chop point on the other hand. This is the outer edge of the hand. Repeat the statement a few times, while tapping this point. Then using a reminder phrase like “my anxiety”, “panic”, tap out the rest of the points in this sequence.
The points are the inside of the eyebrow, side of eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin, collar bone, under arm, and top of the head. These are points all on the same side of the body so you’ll have to use the left hand to tap the right point under the arm (where the bra strap would be). Some people like to tap both sides together.
After this sequence, gauge how you are feeling on the scale of 0 to 10. You can repeat the sequence, with the statement and tapping, until you get low enough on the scale that you feel comfortable once again.
Tip : “If you forget everything else, tap the karate chop point. It’s for psychological conflict. Use the karate chop point for those “damned if I do and damned if I don’t or I’m freaking out because I’m not okay” times. Alternatively tap the “ouch point”. This is the bunch of lymph nodes above the heart, four inches left of the sternum that goes ouch when you poke it. Although I prefer the ouch point for efficacy, the karate chop point is less obvious in public.” SiewFan Wong, Gallery Helios Singapore.
Stress is part of everyday life. In measured doses, we can use stress to train our muscles of resilience and to deepen our sense of self-awareness for personal growth. It is when stress becomes chronic and debilitating that it is unproductive. When we use tools for self-empowerment such as flower essences, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Access Consciousness, and tapping, we can change our threat response to a challenge response.
Studies show that when people feel challenged, rather than threatened, by a situation, the body marshals the energy for action and focus. When we see the body’s arousal as supportive rather than debilitating, we can feel challenged and more able to channel this energy. Because a challenge response still activates the sympathetic nervous system, we do need to reduce sources of stress, have downtime, and engage in restorative practices.
According to the Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel (2017), studies show that mindfulness practices such as meditation can reduce stress, and even help your telomeres to grow. Telomeres are the non-coding DNA at the ends of the chromosomes. They shorten with each cell division and determine the speed of cellular aging.
These tools for self-empowerment not only help in the moment but can transform our perspective of what is stressful and also support us on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels.
These four tools are also perfect as they are simple to do and can quickly become second nature. This is important especially when we first use them for tough times and emergencies since staying present enough to use them can be difficult. Choose one or two that you most resonate with and incorporate them into your daily routine. When a challenging situation arises, it will be that much easier to call on them to support you. Have fun and experiment with these tools for self-empowerment so you can live the life you dream of.