We are offering a weekly blog series with a collection of diverse and effective coping techniques and exercises that can help reduce stress, improve mental and emotional well-being, and perhaps make you even more effective in achieving your individual goals. Check back every Wednesday for the newest skill of the week. Try them all out and find what works best for you.

This week, we hear from Erin Staniszeski, LCSW on Resource Tapping:

Resource Tapping helps to strengthen the inner resources you already have. Examples of inner resources might be a memory that makes you feel comforted or calm; an experience in which you felt proud, confident, or brave. Maybe there has been a person in your life who’s been loving and kind to you or someone who makes you laugh. You can also think about what brings you joy such as petting your dog, eating your favorite meal, or sitting outside on a warm, sunny day.

Ways to tap:

• Alternately (right-left, right-left) tap on your knees, tops or sides of your legs.

• Cross your arms across your chest and alternately tap each shoulder

• Alternately tap your toes/feet

• You can tap as slow or as fast as you want – find a speed that feels comfortable to you.

This is an exercise I frequently use with my clients as we’re nearing the end of a session. For a moment, think about whatever is upsetting you right now and notice where you feel that in your body.  Maybe you’re holding tension in your shoulders or in your jaw.  Or maybe you feel the “yuck” in your chest or stomach.  Once you can feel it in your body, give that sensation a color.

Now, think about something that feels good.  Really concentrate on how you feel when you think about the “good’.  Where do you feel the “good” in your body? Give that sensation a color.

The next thing you’re going to do is focus on the “good”, seeing and feeling that sensation in your body, and begin tapping.   Don’t worry about counting the taps – just focus on the “good” feeling.  After about 30 seconds, stop tapping and quickly check back in with the “yuck” and notice if it has changed or not.

Go back to the “good” and begin tapping again.

Continue tapping in the “good” and briefly checking in with the “yuck” and returning to tapping in the “good” until the “yuck” has gone away or feels more manageable.