For EFT to work at its best, we need to be “tuned in” while we tap. In other words, we need to bring the issue to our conscious awareness and connect to how it makes us feel in our bodies, and then the tapping tends to work. This is because, when we are able to do that, we are activating the neural pathways and energy pathways connected to the issue, that the tapping then uses to diminish or release our unhelpful reactions and triggers.
Now, when we are talking about the need to “activate” those pathways, there is an “Optimal Activation Zone” we want to aim at. In other words, we don’t want to be “not activated at all” (on one end of the spectrum) and we don’t want to be “overly activated” (on the other end of the spectrum) either. That’s why it’s called the “Optimal Activation Zone”.
We don’t need to be exactly in the middle of that spectrum (EFT is a very forgiving process), but in general we do want to avoid being on either end of the spectrum.
To prevent us from being “not activated enough” it’s useful to come up with specific memories or future events, and notice if by focusing on certain sensory details, we can then tune in more to what we are feeling. For example, imagining my boss’s facial expression as he listens to my upcoming presentation at work.
Sometimes it’s helpful, for the reminder phrase, instead of just naming the emotion (e.g “this fear”), to name the “golden nugget” emotionally charged statement, such as “my boss’s stern facial expression as he listens to my presentation”.
To prevent us from being “overly activated” where the emotional intensity becomes too much, we can use some of the Gentle Techniques, so as to create some safety and distance first, instead of diving head on into something that might be too much for our system at the moment. It’s recommendable though to enlist the help of a certified practitioner when we want to work on a traumatic memory.
So, to recap, for EFT to be most effective, you don’t want to “tune in” to your issue in such a way that is “too cold” nor “too hot”. Instead you want to be in the “Optimal Arousal Zone”, which is where tapping tends to work best. And this is something that a practitioner can help us with.