As someone who has struggled with major depression and anxiety, I have researched and tried many emotional freedom techniques over the years. I can honestly say that I have found a peace, joy and happiness in my daily life that I could have only dreamed of years ago. So, my hope is that this article is helpful in pointing you in the right direction with some ideas for your own emotional freedom! These are what I would consider foundations and essential practices to get you moving in the right direction. Please comment below if you would like to connect and discuss this further.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
You may have come here looking for more information on the Emotional Freedom Technique and other Energy Psychology topics specifically. If that is the case, I would suggest checking out a free resource to introduce you to EFT. It’s a 60-page book called the EFT Mini-Manual (Affiliate Link).
Finding Emotional Freedom in Your Journal
OK, before you say “I’ve heard that before, it’s never going to happen!”, hear me out. I have learned to be my own therapist and work through emotional challenges in real time by writing my thoughts down in a journal. In fact, I have made an entry in my journal every single day for as long as I can remember. First, here are some foundations tips to make this work for you:
The first secret is to not overwhelm yourself with keeping a journal
My only rule is – write at least 1 sentence every day. That’s it. This gets you in the habit of writing and gives you a habit to build on. Some days a lot, some days a little. All based on what you feel like doing that day!
Make writing in your journal as convenient as possible
I like to use an electronic journal that stores everything in the cloud. (Like Microsoft One Note or Evernote). This way, if I am out and have a thought that I want to write down, I open the app on my phone and start writing. I just add to it whenever I want from my desktop or laptop.
Use your journal as a tool to help you know yourself better
Develop your own way of highlighting important things that you want to return to later. For example, when I have an insight I don’t want to forget, I put ## in front of it. Then, about once a month, I do a search through the document for ## and read the insights. You would be amazed at how many insights you had and forgot. This has been CRITICALLY important to my ongoing emotional freedom and spiritual growth. You can also develop other symbol combinations to help you track specific things in the same way.
What to write in your journal and how to use it
Now that we have some basic technology and organization down, let’s talk about what to put in your journal and how to use it:
- This is for your eyes only. So, be completely honest with yourself. Don’t write what you are “supposed” to be. Write reality, no matter how ugly it is. Write out as many thoughts as you can. Over time, you will see thought patterns that your aren’t currently aware of and that are not serving you at all! I have become so much more self-aware by doing this.
- If you are particularly sad or anxious or afraid, take the time to write out exactly why you are feeling that way. First of all, it helps to process the emotions. But, it also helps to separate issues that may be jumbled together in your mind. For example, I woke up anxious a while back. When I started writing about it, I realized that there were four separate issues bothering me. I could have never sorted that out in my head without writing it down. So, I wrote down the best mindset that I could have for each one and got a better handle on the situation! Sometimes, when you have several things stressing you out at the same time, they just get conflated into this giant ball of stress and overwhelm. Your conscious mind can only handle a decision or two at a time.
- Observe your thoughts and write down what you notice. Are you kind to yourself in your thoughts or are you your own worst enemy. I’ll talk more about this in the next section. One of the biggest changes in my life has been going from my own worst enemy and critic to my best friend. Observing and writing down my thoughts helped me to realize how bad the situation was and to change it.
- Take time to periodically review your journal. It’s a great way to get to really know yourself. Self awareness is so important. I have learned so much about myself by doing this. And it has allowed me to better look at my life as an observer and look at myself more objectively.
Finding Emotional Freedom Through Loving Yourself
OK, that heading may sound a bit strange or trite. But again, hear me out. When I was discussing my journal above, I mentioned the importance of observing your thoughts and writing them down. I realized through this process just how bad my self-esteem really was. Not only that, I was able to see destructive behavior patterns in myself that I never noticed before. My self-esteem was so bad, that I spent most of my life making decisions based on trying to please other people. By first observing my thoughts, and then replacing them with better ones, I was able to be kind and compassionate with myself. My self-esteem improved. I started validating myself and making decisions that were best for me! It changed everything.
Make a habit of being kind to yourself in your inner dialogue
When you first really take the time to observe your thoughts, it can be overwhelming. You might find it quite ugly inside your head, as I did. Try to approach it as a detached observer at first. Observe out of curiosity. Then, realize that you have a choice over your thoughts. You can start by recognizing that a thought is not empowering to you and replace it with something that is. It will be awkward at first. You will find resistance at first. But if you keep at it, you will change your inner dialogue completely over time. And that will change EVERYTHING!
A continuum of love and compassion
When you stop judging yourself and start loving yourself unconditionally, something interesting starts to happen. You also become more loving and compassionate toward others, because you realize that they have wounds and struggles just like you. So, it becomes this beautiful love that permeates every aspect of your life! And, you will start feeling better. Because, love is the highest thought and love feels good! We all need human kindness. Start with yourself!!
Emotional Freedom Through Meditation
Obviously, meditation is a very popular topic these days, and for good reason. For the purpose of this article, I want to keep it simple. It is helpful to your emotional well being to quiet your mind and body. Try sitting in a comfortable position and taking slow, deep breaths. Focus on your breath and keep your body still. Stay with it and accept where your mind is at as you try to quiet it and relax. You don’t have to be a guru that can be still for hours. Start with 5 minutes a day and build on it to your liking. Over time, quieting your mind and body and taking the deep breaths will help you become more emotionally resilient and peaceful.
I hope this article has been helpful to you and that you will be able to find more emotional freedom in your life through the emotional freedom techniques I discussed. I briefly mentioned the Emotional Freedom Technique and suggested that you check out the 60-page book called the EFT Mini-Manual (Affiliate Link). Next, I discussed the importance of journalling. I know of no other way to better get to know yourself and to see yourself accurately (and then start to make changes that empower you). Next, I talked about the importance of monitoring and changing your internal dialogue to treat yourself with love and compassion. I also briefly mentioned meditation. If you would like to explore changing your thoughts to be more positive and loving, I recommend reading Dr. Wayne Dyer. Here are 3 of his books that are worthwhile (Amazon Affiliate Links):