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Meditation - Cue Controlled Relaxation




I learned cue-controlled relaxation a few months ago during virtual therapy and it has worked wonders for me. It is not something that worked overnight, it is something that I continue to practice each and every day to calm myself and check in with myself. What is cue-controlled relaxation? Read on...


Cue-controlled relaxation reduces the time you need to relax even further: down to two or three minutes in most cases. In this stage, you will focus on your breathing and condition yourself to relax exactly when you tell yourself to. The instructions will help you build an association between a cue - for example, the command "Relax" - and true muscle relaxation. Be sure that you are comfortable with release-only relaxation before you begin.


Make yourself comfortable in your chair, with your arms at your sides and your feet flat on the ground. Take a deep breath and hold it for a moment. Concentrate on blowing the worries of the day far, far away as you release the air in a smooth stream from your mouth. Empty your lungs entirely and then feel your stomach and your chest relax.


Now, begin to relax yourself, from your forehead all the way down to your toes, using the release-only technique you practiced above. See if you can relax yourself completely in thirty seconds. If you need more time, that's entirely fine too. (If you're making a tape, pause here for half a minute to allow time to relax.)


You feel peaceful and at ease now. Your stomach and chest are moving in and out with slow, even breaths. With each breath, the feeling of relaxation deepens.


Continue to breathe deeply and regularly, saying "breathe in" to yourself as you inhale and "relax" as you exhale. (If you're making a tape, record these words on the tape, allowing about eight seconds for each repetition.)



Breathe in...relax...

Breathe in...relax...

Breathe in...relax...

Breathe in...relax...

Breathe in...relax...




Feel each breath bring peace and calm in and float worry and tension out.


Continue to breathe this way for several minutes now, saying the words "breathe in" and "relax" as you breathe. (Do not record the words again on your tape; this section is most effective when you say the words to yourself in silence.)


Focus all your attention on the words in your head and on the process of breathing. Feel your muscles relax more and more deeply with each breath. Let the word "relax" crowd every other thought from your mind.


Close your eyes, if you can, to deepen your focus. (If you're making a tape, allow one to two minutes of silence before continuing to record the instructions.)


Now listen to the words again as you continue to breathe in....and relax.




Breathe in...relax...

Breathe in...relax...

Breathe in...relax...

Breathe in...relax...

Breathe in...relax...



Continue to breathe, saying these words in your head, for a few minutes now. Feel each breath bring peace and calm in and float worry and tension out. (Stop recording the tape here.)


If you have time, repeat the entire process of cue-controlled relaxation after a recovery period of from ten to fifteen minutes.


Practice cue-controlled relaxation twice a day, as you did with the earlier stages. After each session, you may want to make a note of the time that it took you to relax and how deeply relaxed you became. Most people find that the actual time that it takes them to relax at this stage is shorter than they imagine. Aim to relax completely using cue-controlled relaxation daily.




Sources:

Applied Relaxation Training

The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook






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