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):
The Essential Wayne Dyer Collection
Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao
Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life
16 thoughts on “Emotional Freedom Techniques”
I’m very interested in the section of the article where you introduce us to journaling as a way of getting to know the real you better – a fascinating way to see how you’ve evolved over small periods of time, and good for your self worth one expects!
You indicate that you should really write down any sorts of thoughts you have – what about thoughts of stress and negativity aimed at others? Should we also include these ‘dark sides’ to our personalities that pop up from time to time?
Thank you for your comment! That’s a great question about thoughts of stress and negativity aimed at others! In my opinion, it is extremely important to be 100% authentic and honest with yourself in your writings. So, I have written about negative thoughts towards others (and myself) on many occasions.
When I combine that with the self love and compassion I mention later in the article, I find that I am able to work through negative emotions toward others and view them through a lens of compassion and forgiveness as well. It can take some time, though! So, give yourself the time and freedom to go through whatever process you need to in order to let it go.
I hope that helps.
Thanks Mark, I have enjoyed reading this post. Having been through a lot of ups, downs and down belows in life, I can relate to this post and to writing down ones feelings. I have notes on my iPad where I write very personal stuff. It’s amazing how after some time you go back to read those writings, and realise you have improved from the time you did the writing!
Thank you for the comment! I’m really glad you have found taking notes on your iPad helpful! How often do you journal?
I like the idea of writing in a journal. I tend to let things get to me. Sometimes it is just not appropriate to speak your mind, as that would sometimes just make things worse. So I like the idea of writing things down. I think that it would still work for getting things off your chest, do you think?
Thanks for the comment. I like to write everything out and work through issues I have with other people internally as much as possible. Of course, sometimes we do need to talk through issues with others. Th question I like to ask is am I trying to get this person to change their behavior to make me happy or for their good? If I need them to change their behavior to make me happy, then the problem is with me. I think the statement that happiness comes from within is so true and I want to continually grow in finding happiness within – apart from external circumstances.
I hope that helps!
Thank you so much for your experience through your writing. I do something similar I write whole articles under another name. For publication using it as an outlet for my feelings. I use to do as you do journalling and loved the freedom I felt from it. So I just took it to the next level. Great article writing certainly emotional freedom.
What a great idea to just write articles under a different name as a type of journalling! Thank you for your comment and sharing that idea!
I am happy to have landed on this article in my search for emotional freedom,I am struggling with self doubt and a low self esteem due to many unjust circumstances in my life. I have felt really emotionally weak and felt stuck, I have learnt that I can start to heal myself by journalling all the thoughts going through my mind both positive and negative.
I want to also try out meditation to calm my nerves. I suggest that you please write a more detailed article on meditation and breathing techniques that can help many people like me find some emotional freedom. Thank you
Thank you for sharing such a personal comment. I’m glad the Emotional Freedom through your Journal section was helpful to you. I do plan on writing a more in-depth article on meditation. So, stay tuned!
I am familiar with EFT and the many uses for it. My chiropractor has used it with me following an auto accident where I was hit from behind (for third time) at an intersection. It can be very helpful with PTSD. In this post, you offer the basic starting point of getting in touch with the inner self through journaling and meditation. Journaling is a helpful tool. Like you said, start with writing one sentence every day. When journaling, there have been times when I’ve sat and looked at a blank sheet of paper or a blank page in an app where I planned to journal. Sometimes with all that’s coming at us in life, we need to pause and be still. If words don’t come to write down, then try doodling and maybe then the words will come. Doodling is less serious than writing down our thoughts, but it can be a great precursor to journaling. Thanks for the post!
Thank you for sharing your experience with EFT. I like the idea of doodling if you don’t have anything to write! This emphasizes a point that I may not have stressed enough in the article. We all need to customize what we do for our own needs. In my case, just having to write a sentence keeps the habit going without too much pressure. I used to try to write a page a day and that was too overwhelming. But whatever works for you that you will do consistently is the key.
Being a fellow anxiety and depression sufferer, I totally get what you are saying. I love the idea of keeping a journal. I kept one years ago, but kind of gave up on it as time and responsibilities and the lot of life began to take all my time away. Marking insights is also something I used to do. I would star or put an * by the things I wanted to remember so I could more easily find them when I wanted to.
I have used some Wayne Dyer meditations in the past and have felt my mind free itself of the clutter of day to day worries. I have bookmarked your site and will be excited to read more of your insights.
Just a quick question, when you are journaling how do you get started? I mean, it’s been a long time since I’ve done it and I just feel “out of it”. What do I start with? Any suggestions?
Thanks and I look forward to your reply.
Thanks so much for sharing your personal experiences with depression and anxiety and journalling! I agree that Wayne Dyer has some great affirmations to get your mind on the right track!
To answer your question about getting started with journalling, I would say a couple of things. First, go easy on yourself. Don’t try to get yourself to write pages of eloquent prose! This is for your eyes only. I personally start out with a morning routine with writing in my journal as a part of it. I just write out what I am feeling. It may be something as simple as “I woke up in the middle of the night with a lot of anxiety about…” Then, I like to incorporate the self love into it as well. Sometimes, I will write something like. “It’s ok if you feel nervous right now, Mark. Allow yourself to feel it without self judgement. I love you and you are worthy, now and forever.”
By writing out your thoughts and feelings as much as possible, you get a better sense of your internal dialogue and can see how kind or unkind you are being to yourself. My goal is to process my feelings in a healthy way and to be my best advocate and best friend, validating myself and always being compassionate and non-judgemental.
I hope that helps. Please comment back if you would like to discuss further.
Hi Mark, thank you for the opportunity to visit your website. I found it useful and enlightening. One of my favorite authors is Dr. Wayne Dyer, I find him quite inspirational.
Your site is well put together, implementing ideas to get out of being in a depressive state. For example doing a journal.
I suffer from depression, anxiety and I do fear going outside of my home. I have taken so many medications in my life and been in several hospital mental wards.
Your site has given me a certain degree of hope, and alternative methods of dealing with my illness. I thank you Mark and I am glad to hear you are doing better. I wish you all the best and I hope more people get acquainted with, “Emotional Freedom Techniques.
Thank you for sharing on such a personal level. I am glad the site has given you some hope. Please feel free to reach out anytime and comment back. I will also be putting my social media links on the site soon, but you can reach me on Twitter (I will be changing the handle soon, its @InvestorMRW right now) I also have a Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Healt…