Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Bad Mood Be Gone with 30 Seconds of Temporal Tapping

Intensify the impacts of your positive self-talk with this easy quick technique.

Source: 324515399/Shutterstock

Feeling anxious? down, grumpy, agitated, nervous, sad or lonely? Criticizing yourself? There may be a brief, free, and easy technique that you can use right now, without even having to fix a relationship or any other problem, to feel immediately calmer and happier. Temporal tapping is a quickee method for influencing your feelings, thoughts or actions for the better.

This rapid-acting and easy-to-do technique involves no medicines or invasive or risky procedures. Can it change your occasional grumpy, anxious or irritible mood? Maybe yes, and maybe no. But rather than let a bad mood or negative self-talk spoil your day, learning to do temporal tapping could well be worth a try.

Donna Eden, a master practicioner of this and other self-help intervention methods, gives a more full explanation of temporal tapping here. If though you just want to get on with it to rid yourself of a bad mood right now, check out the video below. It will take less than 2 minutes to watch. Implementing the technique then takes less than 30 seconds.

Disclaimer: I make no promises and have no research to back up the validity of temporal tapping. I've just seen it work for clients, and with myself, enough to feel that the technique is worth sharing.

The underlying mechanism seems to be the same as the mechanism of post-hypnotic suggestion. That's when the hypnotist plants an idea for action subsequent to the trance by saying something like "When you come out of this trance you will...."

Have fun with it!

Click here to view a short video illustrating temporal tapping,

"Calm and happy" is one option for a target emotional state. If you would prefer another, feel welcome to say that instead. E.g., "I am ok with the dilemma I am facing. I feel ready to figure out how to handle it effectively." Or, "I feel optimistic that this situation will work itself out for the best." Or maybe, "I am lovable." Or whatever statement feels right for you.

Two rules for choosing your own message to tap into your subconscious:

1. The statement must be in the present tense. Instead of "I will feel ..." which would be future tense, use "I am" or "I feel... ." e.g., "I am calm" "I feel grateful," or "I feel relaxed."

2. The statement must be phrased in the positive, with zero not's or but's. That is, avoid "I don't feel irritated ... " which is phrased in the negative. See how don't has within it an abbreviated not? Instead, keep the format a description of the state you aim to be feeling as a result of the tapping, i.e., "I feel relaxed and appreciative that ....."

If you have been feeling depressed, try temporal tapping with an even further way-out experiment.

This is a variation on temporal tapping to get rid of feeling depressed. My colleague Dale Petterson and I have been using several versions of it to alleviate depression in our clients. We often, though not always, obtain impressive results.

Tap with a good solid tap, as in the above exercise, in a circle around your right ear.

This time though when you do your tapping, say the following words: "My left pre-frontal lobe has at least 30 times more energy than my right pre-frontal lobe."

Repeat the sentence and the ear-circling 3 to 4 times. Repeat the entire exercise 3 to 5 times a day.

If you are feeling better, taper off the frequency until you no longer feel you need to be doing the exercise. Most people need to do it though for several weeks and sometimes for as long as several months to keep a serious depression from returning.

There's a video of this procedure. Look in the second half of this video on treatment of depression.

For a PT blogpost explaining the depression treatment video above, see here.

I repeat, temporal tapping techniques are cutting edge and have not yet been subjected to scientific testing procedures.

I would love to hear from researchers who might be willing to run the kind of testing needed to empirically validate the treatment method. And also from readers to hear their experiences with these interventions.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

(c) Susan Heitler, Ph.D.


For an indexed listing of Dr. H's Blogposts see her clinical website.


Denver clinical psychologist Susan Heitler, Ph.D is a graduate of Harvard and NYU who has authored From Conflict to Resolution for therapists, the Power of Two book, workbook, and website that teach the communication skills for successful relationships, and Prescriptions Without Pills: For Relief from Depression, Anger, Anxiety and More.

(c) Susan Heitler, PhD
Source: (c) Susan Heitler, PhD

Click here for a free Power of Two relationship quiz.

Click here for a fun way to learn the skills for strong and loving relationships from Power of Two.

Click here for Dr. Heitler's website offering free videos and worksheets for overcoming negative feelings.