EFT for Political and Family Holiday Anxiety

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

By Steven Gottlieb (Reposted from EFT Universe November 2016.)

Considering how so many people are experiencing an especially uneasy time here in America, I thought it would be a good idea to create an impromptu gathering of my Emotional Freedom Meetup group. We just came through a very stressful and most would say shocking presidential election cycle. We are also just about to celebrate our national Thanksgiving holiday, a time when, traditionally, family members from all over gather to celebrate our national heritage.

Usually, Thanksgiving as a holiday event represents some stress for some of us. Meal preparations, travel plans and housing arrangements, and coming “home” already have built-in elements of stress. Another key issue of stress arises from the anticipation of inevitable conversations that often take place at holiday gatherings.

Most of us have already experienced, let’s just say, less than desirable impressions from heated conversations about politics, ideology, and anything else that might go wrong when enough family and friends gather and start speaking what’s on their minds, especially under the influence of perhaps a bit too much festive drinking. With a nation now in such an obvious crisis of its soul and identity, even the thought of being in the same room with someone we know has a different perspective on the political landscape than our own can be extremely stressful.

Those who thought the election would go the way most everyone expected it to are still processing their sense of shock and dismay, much more than any other presidential election before. Many are experiencing extreme disappointment, with strong elements of fear of the future unknown. Others may be celebrating with their sense of vindication for having supported the tide of movement toward radical change. People are protesting in the streets, and the war of words and feelings still wages in emotionally charged posts throughout social media.

The bottom line for all this, from an energy psychology point of view, is that our nervous systems have just taken a big hit and continue to be disturbed by expectations that our world may not be the same as we thought it to be, and that we may have to defend our thoughts and feelings with people we are “forced” to have to sit down to dinner with by virtue of family tradition. We might be feeling stressed out even more by the prospect of things going very badly at a time when we are supposed to be feeling thankful for family, country, and all our blessings.

At our tapping group, I framed our work together around the intention of taking care of ourselves and doing our best going forward in the context of what’s been happening to nearly everyone. Some were already somewhat familiar with EFT and some were new. All of us seemed to be on the same page once I carefully described how the real problem at hand is how our nervous systems respond to stressful events, not so much the issues themselves. Once everyone was up to speed with tapping, we did some general rounds to warm up to whatever might come up next in the group.

Even though my nervous system has taken a hit, I deeply and completely accept myself. Even though I’m so concerned about what might happen next… Even though I’m going to hear about it from Uncle Bob at Thanksgiving dinner…

As I opened the floor for some more specific discussion, a woman, let’s call her Mary, offered that one of the things that upsets her most is how so many women supported the winning candidate who openly expressed a great disrespect for women. It was this support that put this candidate over the top, and his opponent was a woman whose platform supported equanimity among all people. As it was quite obvious that Mary was indeed upset by this, I instructed the group to tap along as we heard her describe her feelings, which included disappointment, shock, and a sense of being destabilized.

After a few rounds of tapping seemed to clear some of these feelings I asked Mary if she would be okay with exploring this a little deeper and she agreed. I asked Mary if she could think back to an earlier time, perhaps childhood, that these feelings reminded her of. Mary said without any hesitation that it reminded her of how she felt when she was being hit by her father with his belt. She recalled a distinct memory (it just “came” to her) of when he took off his belt and threatened to hit her. Looking back, she realized she never felt safe. Not feeling safe was exactly how she felt after the election and in thinking about upcoming Thanksgiving interactions with some family members she knows feel differently from her about the election.

We tapped several rounds around the memory of her father threatening to hit her with his belt and soft tears flowed. Everyone was tapping with her and witnessing her emotional processing. We included the 9 Gamut process in our Full Basic Recipe with language reflecting her memories and projections:

Even though I don’t feel safe, I deeply and completely accept myself. Even though he tried to hit me then, I’m an adult now and I can take my power back. Even though they voted for the other guy and they are coming for Thanksgiving, I can stay present with my feelings and give my nervous system a treatment any time I need to.

When I asked Mary to tune in again with how she was feeling, she let us know she was feeling much better.