Yesterday, I had the experience of getting a wisdom tooth extracted. I must admit, I was feeling quite anxious about it. Deep down, I knew it was necessary, but that didn’t do much to ease my nerves. The oral surgeon had informed me that the procedure would only take about 10 minutes, but even that knowledge didn’t alleviate my unease.
As I sat alone in the waiting room, I could feel my heart racing, and I tried my best to focus on my breath to calm myself down. However, wearing a mask made it a bit challenging. To add to my anxiety, the radio was playing, and the DJ’s banter only seemed to heighten my nervousness. I didn’t dare touch the radio or lower the volume for fear of breaking any rules.
Finally, I was called into the room. I was asked to remove my mask and lie back in the chair. As I looked up, I couldn’t help but notice how bright the lights were. It occurred to me that the experience could have been more soothing and calming if there were dimmer lights or even stars on the ceiling. But, alas, that wasn’t the case.
The surgeon began explaining the procedure and the various injections I would receive, but I found it difficult to fully absorb the information. My mind was fixated on the thought that it was going to hurt. Despite this awareness, I knew I had to gather my composure and put my mind to work.
After all, I’ve spent the last nine years teaching others about the power of focused thinking. This was my moment to practice what I preached!
Instinctively, I started tapping. Now, let me clarify that I wasn’t tapping in the usual “even though I’m anxious about this massive needle” way. Instead, I softly tapped the acupressure points on my fingers. I couldn’t speak because half my face was numb and the surgeon was working in my mouth, but mentally, as I tapped each finger point, I expressed gratitude to the people in my life who introduced me to tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
By actively giving my mind something positive to focus on, I redirected my attention from the procedure itself. Additionally, tapping on the EFT points helped calm my central nervous system and my amygdala, which is responsible for processing fear and stress.
The result? The procedure was completed in less than 10 minutes, and I felt significantly calmer and more in control throughout. It was a remarkable shift.
So, the next time you find yourself visiting the dentist, doctor, or hospital, or even when you’re on public transport and feeling anxious or nervous, and you need to calm down and focus your mind, try this simple technique. Tap each of the fingers at the side of the nail, combining it with thoughts of gratitude.
You can think of all the people in your life for whom you feel grateful as you tap each finger point. Alternatively, you can focus on memories of past vacations that fill you with appreciation. Find whatever triggers a sense of gratitude in your heart, and notice the calming and soothing effect it has on you.
Interested to find out how EFT Tapping Therapy can help you? Book a free consultation today.
Sara Maude is an Edinburgh Hypnotherapist, Solution-Focused Psychotherapist, EFT Practitioner, Transformational Coach and International Wellbeing Trainer providing in-person and online sessions. Sara provides problem-free therapy which goes deep into the heart of the unconscious mind to create powerful lasting change.