I have just started a new six-week teleclass series on chronic illness, Tap Into Your Healthy Self, and in the first teleclass we discussed, and used EFT on, the downside of being well and healthy. This is a concept which continues to fascinate me.

The first reaction to there being a downside to being well and healthy is most likely to be one of surprise and sometimes, anger. Everyone wants to be well, don’t they? No one chooses to be ill. Or do they? Is remaining chronically ill a way to remain safe and unpressurised? Fewer demands and expectations are put upon us when we are ill; we don’t need to prove ourselves, and finally, we don’t have to be responsible for everyone and everything.

It is not always easy or comfortable to contemplate the downside to being well, and our natural response is to resist such a concept. One of the participants in the teleclass told me that she could find absolutely no downside to being well, and only an upside. I followed that by asking, “In that case, what is stopping you from being well?” She responded, “Because I have a serious illness”. Certainly, I wasn’t disputing that, but in my experience, there are probably some deeply rooted limiting beliefs which are preventing her from being well.

There are very few people who consciously want to be ill, so it is our subconscious which holds us back and prevents us from recovering. It is the subconscious, afraid of stepping out of the present comfort zone, which convinces us it is not safe to assume a new identity of health, vibrancy and mobility for whatever reasons.

Prior to being chronically ill with ME/CFS, I had worked as a volunteer for various charities, and I was a teacher. My passion was helping others, giving and serving. I always put other people’s needs first – and at a certain point, my body and mind became exhausted and I collapsed, and was housebound for many months.

After I was introduced to EFT, and started applying it confidently, I began to investigate why it served me to hold on to the illness. I realized that by being ill, I didn’t have to give anymore – in fact, I was incapable of giving at that time because I didn’t have the energy! – and I could enjoy receiving for a change. My husband and parents had become my caretakers. They cooked, cleaned, did the laundry and the grocery shopping. Finally, I didn’t have to do anything!

It’s important to understand that all of this was outside of my awareness. I didn’t want my family to nurse and feed me, and I certainly didn’t want to be in bed all day. I recall overhearing my mother talking on the phone to a friend, telling her that caring for me was like looking after a small child all over again, simply because I couldn’t do anything for myself. I longed to be well enough to look after myself once more, yet my powerful subconscious was too afraid, and had decided it was safer to stay where I was. Recovering would mean returning to a life of giving and serving again, and putting my needs second, so perhaps it served me better to stay unwell.

During the teleclass on the downside to being well and healthy, participants suggested similar reasons for staying ill. One participant said her illness was a relief, her ‘hiding place’, because if she were well, she would need to be exceptional in everything she did and gain everyone’s approval. She also recognised that if she were well, she’d probably be a workaholic. Another participant said being ill was his ‘get out clause’ from being responsible for everyone and everything.

Another downside to being well, which resonated for several of the participants, was the question, "What would I do if I were healthy?" The general feeling seemed to be that being ill is all consuming. We can spend hours researching our illness, visiting holistic therapists and medical doctors, preparing special foods and looking after dietary requirements, meditating, going to workshops, and joining e-forums so we can discuss the same issues. Without all of that to occupy our days, life could be empty, dull, meaningless and even boring. With that in mind, what would be the incentive to recover and be well again?

Fortunately, with EFT we have a highly effective tool we can apply to clear all the limiting beliefs which prevent us from healing and moving forward in our lives. As I work with clients, I love to change the focus from fear to curiosity, surprise, and possible excitement. When the teleclass participant voiced her concerns about what she would do with her life if she were healthy, she felt a heightened sense of anxiety. She said she was “afraid to go out there and take risks” in case she failed or was rejected. I encouraged her to consider the question with curiosity: What would she do if she were healthy? What might she be capable of? What could she accomplish? We tapped on the points as we posed these questions, and by reframing the situation and enabling her to consider her potential, instead of the fear blocking her progress, we were able to eliminate all the anxiety, leaving her calm and excited about the possibilities ahead for her.

Perhaps some of the beliefs I’ve mentioned resonate for you, so I have included a tapping transcription for you to tap along to.

Tap the karate chop point on the other hand while saying the following:

"Even though I don’t know what I’d do if I were healthy, perhaps I could look at this with curiosity and interest rather than fear
Even though my illness consumes my life and if I recovered, my life would be boring and dull, I’m open to the possibility it could be interesting and exciting
Even though being ill offers me a hiding place, I wonder if I could feel safe enough to see what’s going on outside more often.”

Now tap the following places while saying each of the phrases below:

top of head: What would I do if I were healthy?
eyebrow: Being well feels blank, empty and dull
side of eye: I won’t have any time for myself
under eye: This illness has consumed my life
under nose: I won’t have any excuses if I’m well
chin: I can’t do it!
collarbone: I’ll have to be responsible again
under arm: They’ll expect too much of me
top of head: I want to stay here in my safe hiding place
eyebrow: No, I don’t!
side of eye: I want to be out there, experiencing life
under eye: I want to consider with curiosity what I would do if I were healthy
under nose: What could I accomplish?
chin: Who could I be?
collarbone: I deserve to let go of these limiting beliefs holding me back
in illness
under arm: I am willing to move forward now with curiosity and excitement!

After you have tapped through this round, write down how you're feeling and any new thoughts which have come up, then tap again, changing the wording if you need to. Remember, the phrases you use are simply a way of outwardly expressing how you're feeling. You don't need to be creative - just state what's on your mind.

Author's Bio: 

Annabel Fisher was introduced to EFT when seriously ill with M.E. (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). She was wheel chair bound, completely exhausted and in constant muscle and joint pain. She began using it regularly and had reduced her chronic pain by 60% in 4 months and by 100% within 6 months. Feeling passionate about EFT, it seemed a natural step to qualify as an EFT Practitioner and later as an EFT Trainer, drawing on her teaching background. She now combines EFT and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), and Progressive Emotional Release (Pro-ER) in her practice, seeing clients privately and working over the phone. She has facilitated EFT workshops and teleseminars, plus training programmes which qualify individuals to become EFT Practitioners in the UK, Canada, America, and Mexico. She specialises in: * Coping with serious illness and chronic pain * Overcoming stress and overwhelm * Increasing self worth, confidence and the motivation to recover * Reaching your fullest potential * Leading EFT Workshops and Practitioner Training. Discover the power of EFT with The Essentials of EFT Guide and a one-hour EFT Q&A audio recording, all yours absolutely free by visiting www.EFTHealingCentre.com or calling 1-888-206-8426 (toll free)