Have you noticed that a lot of our stressful situations are repetitive?
It is often the same old things over and over again.
Perhaps you have:
- difficult meetings with your boss every week.
- to endure your idiot brother in-law's bad behaviour at regular family get-togethers.
- a particular kind of customer that just keeps showing up and making your life miserable.
- regular conversations with your teenage son that frequently turn into rows.
You survive each encounter with gritted teeth and dread the next incident.
When I was a software engineer the company I worked for had made a development agreement with a customer that it was my job to fulfil. He would call on a regular basis to complain about delays to the work and to add new requests for the development that weren't included in the original contract.
He was very determined and persuasive (he would have made a great lawyer). He seemed to remember every word of our previous conversations while I was blanking out with anxiety.
I hated each phone call, I got through each with gritted teeth and dreaded the next call. Whenever I was told that he was on the line wanting to speak to me I would cringe.
At the time I hadn't come across NLP or EFT so the best I could do was to hang on in there and suffer. Each phone call I took increased my apprehension of the next one.
The problem with these kinds of repetitive situations is that the previous ones condition our experience of the later ones. When we have a stressful encounter we are set up to be stressed in the next one, which could make the next one even more stressful, and so it goes on getting worse and worse.
Each time the situation occurs the emotional ruts we fall into get even deeper and harder to climb out of, making it harder for us to be resourceful and effective.
If this kind of situation resonates with you then the Ping-Pong process will help you relieve the stress of these repetitive situations and handle them much more gracefully in the future.
The Ping-Pong process is not a new tapping technique or script, it is a strategic use of what you already know about tapping to work with these kinds of difficulty.
Why Ping-Pong Process?
Imagine that you are a ping-pong ball.
When you have a difficult experience the paddle of the past whacks you towards the future with the angle and speed given to you by the last event. That whack probably hurts, what happened and how you felt about it sets your trajectory to the future.
You spend the journey towards the paddle of the future feeling bad about the whack you had last time and being anxious about the one that awaits you when you arrive at the next occurrence.
When you arrive at the future and have that next experience, the paddle of the future then becomes your past and whacks you back towards to the next stressful event.
And so it goes on as you careen backwards and forwards between past and future in a predictably unpleasant trajectory.
The "Ping-Pong" process is designed to uncover the pattern and disable the past and future "paddles."
There are three steps:
- Find the pattern
- Repair the past
- Prepare for the future
Find The Pattern
To use this process the first step is to recognise that there is a pattern. Because we adapt to things so quickly the repetitive elements of our experience often disappear from view until the next difficult experience is upon us with that "Oh, no! Here we go again!" feeling.
There are two ways to find a pattern:
1. If you have a good memory or keep a journal look back over the last couple of weeks or months of your life looking for tricky situations that keep turning up.
2. When the "Oh, no! Here we go again!" incident occurs, make a mental note of the last time you remember being in this kind of situation. Use the feeling to help you remember similar incidents.
When you have identified a pattern that you want to change ...
Repair The Past
Use EFT to neutralise the memory of the last time that the incident happened. You can use the standard movie technique, telling the story process, or whatever process you prefer to take the charge out of that memory.
If there is more than one memory, process each of them until there is no charge left on any of them.
The aim of this process is to disable any stress triggers that previously would have put you into an unresourceful state. If your buttons are not being pushed then you will be able to be much more resourceful and capable the next time the situation happens.
Having taken care of that past incident, turn your attention to imagining the next time you will be in that situation ...
Prepare For The Future
Visualise or imagine being in that situation the next time - perhaps the next meeting with your boss, family get together, or whatever occasion used to cause the stress. Get a sense of how anxiety provoking that situation is for you. (It will probably be much reduced as a result of the tapping on the past).
Use EFT to neutralise any apprehensions about that event by imagining yourself in that up coming situation while you tap out all the negative anticipations of it. You can also use the "It will be ..." process (see my website) to take out as much of the emotional charge from the situation as possible. When you think about this situation the emotional charge should be very much reduced and you can feel calm and resourceful about it.
Having neutralised all the triggers and negative emotions around this issue you should find that the next time the situation occurs you will be in a much better state of mind to handle the difficulty more effectively.
Andy Hunt is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer & Advanced Practitioner living in the North East of England. He is also an NLP Trainer and Practitioner. He works with people who give themselves a hard time and get in their own way. He is the author of the book “Getting Out Of Your Own Way – Finding and Releasing Unconscious Blocks with EFT” and the creator of the free e-class “The Tapping Habit”. Visit him online at www.practicalwellbeing.co.uk.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on August 11, 2012.