Dear Gary (Originally published on Emofree.com),
My client “Jay” was a corporate executive who became increasingly afraid to fly in the months after 911. He said that he had watched way too much news coverage and obsessed about it too long.
Jay needed to travel to corporate meetings, so it was quite disturbing to him when he felt more and more paralyzed. When he first came in, he was canceling all of his flights (about twice per month). Sometimes the anxiety would continue long before and after the plane flight. Jay felt claustrophobic, and he identified a number of different aspects – a fear of small spaces, fear of dying, fear of being unable to breathe, fear of being unable to see (while waiting for the plane to take off), fear of suffocating, etc. Jay felt disoriented and had physical symptoms – tightness in his chest, etc.
Jay had a history of panic attacks. Like many people who experience panic attacks, the worst fear is the fear of having another one. Anxious people tend to anticipate the worst and scare themselves with thoughts of what “could” happen. The anticipatory anxiety can feel unbearable.
We started with statements such as:
EFT For Anticipatory Anxiety
Even though I get anxious just thinking about the plane flight, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I am worried about the flight, I choose to know I can calm myself.
Even though I am scared every time I think about the flight, I choose to have complete
confidence in my ability to handle whatever comes.
Even though I am apprehensive about the flight, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I’m not certain how things will go, I choose to let it be fun and easy.
Even though I am afraid of having another panic attack, I deeply and completely accept myself.
EFT For Specific Fears
Even though I am afraid I won’t be able to breathe, I deeply love and accept myself.
Even though I am afraid of dying, I choose to feel safe and calm on the plane.
Even though I am afraid of suffocating, I choose to know there is plenty of air and I can breathe freely.
Even though I feel terrified to get on the plane, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though unexpected things can happen, I choose to stay relaxed and confident.
Even though I am afraid I won’t be able to see, and I’ll have to wait, I deeply love and accept myself.
Even though I feel overwhelmed, and I HATE how I feel, I choose to embrace all of my feelings.
EFT For Physical Symptoms
Even though my chest and gut feel tight, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though my palms are sweaty, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I feel like I can’t breathe, I deeply love and accept myself.
At this point, Jay was more confident, but there was still something there. I asked him about specific events in his past in which he may have had similar feelings.
He was able to identify one specific event from childhood. His older brother used to pin him
down under the covers. He was in complete darkness and couldn’t see or move. He felt completely panicked (which he described as “enveloped”) and had to struggle to breathe while he fought his way out. No wonder he was afraid of small spaces!
Even though I felt panicked and I had to get out, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I felt completely “enveloped”, I deeply and completely accept myself.
(Notice the importance of using the client’s own words).
Even though I couldn’t breathe, I deeply love and accept myself.
Even though I couldn’t move, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I was terrified and afraid I would never get out, I am open to the possibility of
forgiving my brother.
I helped Jay work through these issues and other anxiety-related issues over several months.
Neutralizing the emotions of this one event (although it happened more than once) brought his anxiety level down to a zero. The last time I saw him, I asked him how his recent plane flight had been. He answered in one word – Zero! Zero anxiety!
I recently had the opportunity to speak with him by phone. Now he flies regularly 2-4 times per month without fear or apprehension. It’s nice to know that we get lasting results with EFT. He even said that it’s fun!
Carol Solomon, Ph.D.