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A Quick Remedy for Your Over-Committed Life

June 15, 2012
By Nick Ortner
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What was I thinking? It’s so often what we ask ourselves when we look at our insanely busy schedules. It’s also a very good question! Being over-committed has become our cultural norm—what people expect of you, and maybe also what you expect of yourself. But what’s the cost of all those commitments? How do they affect your energy, your wellbeing and health, both physical and mental/emotional?

When you look below the surface, there’s a layer to our over-commitment that most of us don’t talk about, a belief that if we’re not over-committed, we’re under-achieving, less valuable even. Ironically, it’s that very need to keep going, going, going that can cost us our sanity, our quality of life, our careers, relationships—and yes, also our health.

I was recently reminded of this during an EFT Tapping session with Kris. For those of you unfamiliar with Tapping, it’s a blend of Eastern acupressure, or “meridian points,” and Western psychotherapy. Tapping does a great job of regulating your body’s stress response, quickly lowering cortisol levels. Known as the “stress hormone,” cortisol is released in your body when you feel stressed, creating an imbalance that can accelerate aging, promote weight gain, interrupt sleep and cause any number of health and wellness issues. Tapping is also a powerful way to treat physical pain.

During this particular EFT Tapping session, Kris and I were discussing the subtler stressors in life, the little events, interactions and tasks that make you just a little bit miserable. They may not seem to be interrupting your life in any noticeable way, but they’re there, and they can pile on top of each other, and contribute to your growing sense of overwhelm and unease.

To address those little stressors more specifically, Kris began sorting through her email inbox as we tapped on the emails that brought up topics, commitments, people and situations that were causing just that little bit of discomfort. As she looked at her inbox, each email brought a different feeling, from a subtle stressor, “This is something else I have to get done today…” to more pronounced stress, “This is going to require a big commitment, and I need to say no, but just don’t know how” and so forth.  So often, those little stressors highlight areas in your life, career, family or business where you may need more help, clarity, attention or focus.

As we looked at her inbox and tapped, Kris gained clarity on each particular issue.   Since tapping sends a calming signal to the amygdala, lowering the stress response, doing tapping while focusing on these subtle stressors reduced that negative charge.  The result? When we aren’t stressed about a situation, we then have the mental resources to make better decisions, to come up with solution and to move forward in a positive way.

Kris was able to do just that, making clear choices about what to do in each situation and reprogramming the stress response she was having.  As is often the case when I work with a client, I benefited as well! Faced with similar challenges and demands, I also tapped on my inbox and felt a degree of relief around all those demands that I haven’t experienced in ages!

If you’ve never tried Tapping, I encourage you to check out this free 4-minute video from my sister Jessica Ortner explaining the Tapping points. One of the great things about Tapping is how easy it is to learn, and how quickly you can begin integrating it into your life. The practice requires no equipment, costs nothing and gives you a powerful way to relieve stress and create wellness inside and out.

For those of you who already use Tapping, I’m including some Tapping scripts below that you’re welcome to use to begin your discovery process around how you feel about your schedule, and the many commitments already in your life.

The first step is always to pinpoint the issue, which I’ll assume is being over-committed and overwhelmed, and then assign it a number. On a scale of 0 – 10, with 10 being the most intense, give your overwhelm a number before you begin Tapping.

Now let’s get started:
Karate Chop: Even though I’m overwhelmed by my schedule and all my commitments, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Karate Chop: Even though taking time out for myself feels stressful, I choose to relax now.
Karate Chop: Even though I simply have too much to do, it’s safe to let it go.
Eyebrow: So much to do.
Side of the Eye: So many places I have to be everyday.
Under the Eye: It’s just too much.
Under the Nose: So much pressure.
Under the Mouth: So many people relying on me.
Collarbone: I feel like I can’t stop.
Under the Arm: But I’m exhausted.
Top of the Head: And I know I need to rest now.

Check in with yourself. From 0 – 10, how overwhelmed are you now? If it’s still a 5 or higher, do some more rounds of Tapping until you’re feeling more relaxed.

Keep in mind, with Tapping it’s really important to begin by clearing out the negative energy. Rather than rooting you in negativity, Tapping clears it out, so you can then align yourself with the positive in a deeper, more meaningful way. It’s like building a house. Before you can start laying the foundation of your beautiful new house, you have to clear the debris, the root rot and old tree stumps from the area. Then, once you’ve removed the negative energy, you have a clear field for “building” your positive energy.

That’s what we’ll do now.
Eyebrow: It’s time to take a break.
Side of the Eye: It’s time to relax.
Under the Eye: I need to take care of myself now.
Under the Nose: There’s only so much I can do, and that’s okay.
Under the Mouth: I’m more than the sum of my achievements.
Collarbone: I can stop to relax at any time and still be valuable.
Under the Arm: Releasing this need to keep going and going.
Top of the Head: Letting go of this need to get it all done all the time.
These are just a few tapping statements, keep tapping and focusing on your specific issues until you find relief.  You can even try the “inbox” tapping, simply going through your inbox or “to do” list and tapping as you read through it, focusing in particular on whatever stresses you out most.

How do you feel now? Do you feel more able and willing to press the pause button on some of your commitments? Take a moment to share your thoughts below, whether about you busy life or your experiences with Tapping.

For more on Tapping, visit thetappingsolution.com

Photo credit: Jason Rogers



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5 responses to A Quick Remedy for Your Over-Committed Life
  1. Wonderful, thank you so much. So needed!

  2. Great post! So many of us are feeling overwhelmed these day.. Thank you!

  3. Brilliant strategy — I’m going to tap my inbox today!

  4. Fab! I tapped on it whilst working with a full inbox and feel so much calmer now to take on the world!! Thank you so much for this, going to do this everyday to feel less stressed out by doing too much.

  5. I just got the cortisol levels down from yet another “let me just call and dump all my frustrations on Jennifer without so much as a hello or a pretense of actual conversation” phone call, sat down and looked at my Inbox (1250 unopened), and decided to tackle some of that before heading to the shower. This was exactly what I needed. The rest of the emails can sit — I’m off to sing (and tap) in the shower!