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Articles & Ideas


Stress and Me and EFT

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

In this two part series, EFT Master Loretta Sparks explores the use of EFT for the every day stresses in our lives.

Hugs, Gary

Part 1
Part 2

By Loretta Sparks MA, LMFT, EFT Master

Part 1

Stress reduction and stress elimination is the heart of the work done with EFT.  We suffer limitations in our health, overall wellbeing and zest for life in direct proportion to the degree that stress has accumulated in our energetic systems.    

EFT as a therapeutic tool serves people with all kinds of stress reduction needs:

  • adverse childhood experiences,
  • traumas and losses in other stages of life
  • negative events that triggered a fear response that was never resolved. 

Regardless of what brings a person to EFT, learning to balance life’s seemingly endless demands with their available energy is a task where we all could use some assistance.  Regular environmental stress reduction is an important aspect of our self-care.

Easy with EFT?  Not always.  Before current environmental stress can be effectively dealt with, you must become aware of your own stress responses. The effects of stress are insidious and we often fail to notice them.  Our mind and body have a tremendous capacity for adaptation.  The more able we are to adapt to pressures around us, the greater the temptation to drive ourselves harder, beyond our capability.  Stress distorts our perception, so that we do not notice that this is happening. 

It is not unusual for people to accept stress-related symptoms as a normal and common part of life until, that is, they reach a point of overwhelm and their mental and/or physical health is impacted.  This is similar to the old story of placing a live frog in a pot of warm water on the stove and then turning the heat up so slowly the frog doesn’t notice the heat increasing until he is cooked. So it is vital that we learn to recognize the early signals of too much stress and deal with them as soon as possible.

Many of us have poorly developed ‘stress identifications’ skills.  We are often not able to identify ourselves as stressed!  We may notice our behavior in certain situations, even though we may never realize that the behavior is stress related.  The Stress Level Rating scale below was developed to help us identify ‘behaviors’ that reflect stress rather than ‘situations’ that produce stress.

Take a look at the Stress Level Rating Scale below.  You can see that the ‘water in our pot of life’ is beginning to warm up around Level 6 and continues to heat up until we are at a full boil at Level 10.   Take some time and review this scale.  Can you identify any of YOUR behaviors on this list?  Do you see your behavior as a stress indicator?  This scale is a useful way to identify and rate your stress before you come to a boil! Use this scale  several times a day to identify your stress level.  Then tap for your identified stress behavior.  Tapping when you identify your stress behavior will produce a significant reduction in your environmental stress.  



Engaging in excessive or addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, sex, spending, obsessive relationship or work; violence (verbal or physical).


Jumping to conclusion, not willing to listen, frequently disagreeing, threatening, sarcastic, glaring; feeling overwhelming loneliness, frustration, rage, resentment, and self-pity; saying always and never when hurt or angry.


Notice others not “taking care of business.”  Heavy use of denial, anger, bargaining, silence, withdrawal, blame, criticism, excuses, intellectualizing, rationalizing, evading, minimizing, moralizing, pleading or apologizing.


Not being present to situation at hand; can’t hear what is being said to you because of your own “self-talk”’ zoning out, getting lost in daydreams, etc.; do not notice stress is building in you.


Barely getting everything done, need help, but don't ask for it, tell yourself to “try harder, plan your time better”; start to let go of self-care activities; having a hard time saying “no”; do not notice stress building.

05  MANAGING OKAY             

Life’s demands and your energy (physically, mentally and spiritually) are mostly in sync.


Your physical, mental, and spiritual energy nicely in sync with life's demands.


Your physical, mental and spiritual energy exceeds life's demands.


Abundant physical, mental, and spiritual energy.


Total and complete sense of relaxation.

Part 2 will focus on the Stress Levels plus offer suggested Setup Phrases for dealing with YOUR level of stress.

Loretta Sparks

EFT Master

Part 2

The Stress Level Rating Scale (SLRS) provides a useful tool for people who are not aware of their stress as it builds up.  This scale provides a handy way to assess your behavioral response to situations as an indicator of stress.  Once the stress behavior is identified, it can then be readily addressed with EFT.

EFT deals quickly and effectively with simple issues related to stress behaviors.  EFT also opens opportunities to learn how well entrenched our negative behaviors have become a part of our personal dynamic.  As we do this work, we can see that our behavior under stress, while it causes problems, is not the problem.  Rather our behaviors are the key to the solution to our internalized negativity that we feel when our core issues are activated and block our essential self-care.

It is important to understand that without sufficient self-care we live a life that is in service of other peoples’ needs to the exclusion of our own basic health and welfare. 

Of all people seeking medical care in this country, 85% are doing so because of stress related health problems. Clearly, we cannot limit our efforts to stress management only; stress resolution is what is needed.  EFT and self-awareness are the two elements that will allow for that resolution.

In the first part of this article the complete SLRS was presented.  In this article Setups are offered for Levels 6 to 10.  The levels were our stress behaviors show up.  Please note the behaviors listed on the SLRS are not exhaustive – we humans are much more creative than that – but are examples of frequently experienced stress behaviors.  Approach these Setups with curiosity.  Ask yourself: the “who, what, when and why” questions regarding how these Setups are applicable to your life.  Answering those questions will expose another level of awareness that can be address with EFT.

For those not fully familiar with EFT the following is offered as a reminder. Using EFT with the Stress Level Rating Scale:


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.