EFT Tapping meditations for fear, anxiety, forgiveness, gratitude, goals, and general stress

Tapping Meditations with Words

WHAT’S UP: Learn how you can integrate short EFT Tapping meditations into your daily self-care routine by adding a cognitive component (adding words) to your EFT practice. EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques, also known as just ‘Tapping’) is a collection of stress management techniques. It’s practiced daily for self-care by kids and adults all over the world.

Tapping meditations can assist us with navigating a wide range of life stressors and strains. EFT has been around for more than 40 years and researched now for more than 20 years. The 250+ published journal articles show it positively affects a range of biochemistry in the body related to stress reduced stress and improved well-being (e.g. positive changes in brain activity, cortisol, and DNA expression). 

You will find a reference list at the end of this article if you would like to learn about some of the research papers I referenced above. 

Disclaimer: At no point should EFT be substituted for traditional medical care. All information and self-help exercises are provided as general knowledge and viewers need to take their own responsibility for their health and getting help when needed.


One way that you can tap with words is by repeating certain words or phrases that feel helpful for you as you tap on each of the 8 Clinical EFT Tapping sequence points. 

We don’t always need to start by tapping on the Side of the Hand to help us ‘tune in’ to what we are feeling when tapping for self-care. When an emotion is already present, we can literally just start tapping through the 8-point Clinical EFT Tapping sequence, as you see me demonstrating in the first 4 examples.

Clinical EFT Tapping points

Below you will find 5 examples of how you can tap with words to help you improve your well-being by repeating a positive affirmation or fill-in-the-gap prompts as you tap on each point. 

Next, you will find a guided 12-minute EFT meditation for relieving stress. I will guide you through a classic way that you can tap away excess stress from your body by using words to acknowledge what you feel in your body when you think about a stressful event or situation.


If you are feeling anxious right now, and you’d like to give this self-care EFT Tapping meditation a go, click on the image below to have a go!


Tapping when fear comes up can be done without words. You can just tap through the Clinical EFT Tapping points to self-soothe and help calm your body’s stress response. 

But if you want to add words to the 8-point tapping sequence, one way you can do that is by repeating a short positive affirmation as you tap through the 8-Point EFT sequence. 

It could be something simple like “Right here right now, I am safe.” Or even just “I am safe” if you find that feels more comfortable for you.


Another way you can add words to your daily EFT meditation practice is by filling in the gap (see below) through a gratitude tapping meditation approach.

We now have research that shows how beneficial gratitude practices can be for our overall happiness and wellbeing. 

But before you go any further, note that this gratitude exercise is not appropriate for people who are in an abusive relationship or environment. In these situations, safety is the priority. Get help. 

If you are in a safe place, then this is relevant for you.


Yet another way of tapping with words is to tap for forgiveness, either of yourself for a mistake you made or of someone who recently hurt you. The Washington Post has just published article on called “Are You Ready to Forgive”. It highlights “(r)esearch conducted across five countries shows that when forgiveness is taught, practiced, and achieved, the result is better mental and overall well-being.” 

But as with the previous Gratitude Tapping meditation, I’d like to caveat that with a reminder that this forgiveness exercise is not appropriate for people who are in an abusive relationship or environment. In this case, safety is the priority.

If you are not in an abusive friendship or other personal or professional relationship, and you feel ready to work on forgiving yourself or someone who hurt you for a recent injustice, try this simple but powerful forgiveness practice for emotional freedom and well-being. Baby steps; less haste more speed!

Did you notice the interesting word choice of “I forgive _____by 1%” (see above)? I learned this “by 1%” tip from training with Clinical Psychologist and EFT Researcher, Dr. Stapleton, in her Evidence Based EFT training programs. 

Forgiveness involves letting go of painful emotions like anger and bitterness that we may be repeatedly experiencing to the point where they’ve almost become habitual experiences. That’s why integrating principles of effective habit change to our tapping word choice helps us change our emotional habits, particularly when we are ready to start working on a challenging pursuit like forgiveness for a big recent hurt. 

If you want to understand why “I forgive ____ by 1%” works better than if you just tapped on “I forgive __(myself/this person who hurt me)” without the “by 1%”, scroll down to the find the research reference at the end of this article. It will help you understand why starting small is a more effective way of bringing about a big change in your habits, including your emotional habits. 


One of my favorite ways to tap these days is for clearing blocks to achieving goals. EFT Tapping works so well for goals! You can start by being honest about how you feel about where you are at with your goal. Next, acknowledge all or the reasons or excuses you may have for feeling stuck. See example below.


We know that we can help a child who is stressed or anxious to feel better through co-regulation. But that’s easier said than done. Particularly if you are a parent who’s child is experiencing a health challenge or struggling with one or more aspects of their school/uni life. The 30 second video below if for parents who, for whatever reason, are worried about their child. 


Indecision and feeling unsure about what to do when you are in a difficult situation is another area where you can try tapping. We know that Tapping calms our emotional limbic brain so that we can access our ‘thinking’ and decision-making brain, so it helps speed that process up. See below for an example of how this works.


Last but not least, the most effective way to tap with words is to use your own words. This approach (see video below) to practicing EFT Tapping takes a bit more thought and effort on your part to learn, but it does work better. 

If you want to experience a guided EFT meditation for rapid stress relief, you can tap along to this general stress relief EFT meditation in the educational video below that will help you find your own words through ‘fill in the gap’ prompts.

Just be aware that EFT works best when you are specific. So if you still aren’t experiencing a shift by doing general guided EFT Tapping meditations like this, that’s probably a sign you may need to work with a professional EFT Practitioner to help you find the your blind spots and get even more specific.


  1. What’s your biggest takeaway from this article?
  2. Which of these EFT meditations have you tried so far for your self-care? 
  3. Have you got any questions? 


Cortisol (stress hormone) studies testing the effectiveness of EFT Tapping:
  • Anastasia, et al (2013) “Effect of the Emotional Freedom Technique on perceived stress, quality of life, and cortisol salivary levels in tension-type headache sufferers: A randomized control trial”, Explore, Vol 9.
  • Bach, et al (2019), “Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) improves multiple physiological markers of health”, Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, Vol 24
  • Church, et al (2012) “The Effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques on
    Stress Biochemistry: A Randomized Controlled Trial”, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol 200
  • Stapleton, et al (2020) “Reexamining the Effect of Emotional Freedom
    Techniques on Stress Biochemistry: A Randomized Controlled Trial”, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
fMRI brain scan studies testing the effectiveness of EFT Tapping:
  • Stapleton, et al (2018) “An Initial Investigation of Neural Changes in Overweight Adults with Food Cravings after Emotional Freedom Techniques”, OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine Journal, Vol 3.
  • Stapleton, et al (2022) “Neural changes after Emotional Freedom Techniques treatment for chronic pain sufferers”, Journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Vol 49
  • Wittfoth, et al (2022) “Bifocal emotion regulation through acupoint tapping in fear of flying”, Journal of NeuroImage: Clinical, Vol 34 
  • Wittfoth, et al (2020) “Emotion regulation through bifocal processing of fear inducing and disgust inducing stimuli”, BMC Neuroscience Journal, Vol 21.  
Research on EFT positively affecting gene expression (epigenetics): 
  • Maharaj, M. (2016) “Differential gene expression after Emotional
    Freedom Techniques (EFT) treatment: A novel pilot protocol for salivary mRNA assessment”, Energy Psychology, Vol 8.
  • Church, et al (2018) “Epigenetic effects of PTSD remediation
    in veterans using Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques: A randomized
    controlled pilot study”, American Journal of Health Promotion, Vol 32.
Research on forgiveness, gratitude, and wellbeing:

About the author

Eleni Vardaki works with individuals and schools, offering services and package deals that support parent, teacher, and student well-being. Her business mission is to help bridge the gap between mainstream education systems and the well-being skills we need to thrive. She believes that if we care about student well-being, it makes sense to also care about the well-being of those who care for them. If you want to book an obligation-free introductory meeting to see if it’s a match, you can email her at eleni@elenivardaki.com