Cue-controlled relaxation is a quick and easy technique that will help you reduce your stress level and muscle tension. A cue is a trigger or command that helps you relax. In this case, your cue will be a word, like “relax” or “peace.” The goal of this technique is to train your body to release muscle tension when you think about your cue word. Initially, you’ll need the help of the guided instructions to help you release muscle tension in different sections of your body. But after you’ve been practicing this technique for a few weeks, you’ll be able to relax your whole body at one time simply by taking a few slow breaths and thinking about your cue word. With practice, this can become a very quick and easy technique to help you relax. Before you begin, choose a cue word that will help you relax.
Practice the cue-controlled relaxation technique twice a day, and record how long it takes you to feel relaxed. With daily practice, this technique should help you relax more quickly each time. Again, remember that the ultimate goal of this technique is to train your entire body to relax simply when you think of your cue word, such as “relax.” This will only come with regular practice. Initially, you might also have to think of the white-light imagery and engage in slow, deep breathing to help yourself relax. But with practice this technique can help you relax in many distressing situations. You can also combine this exercise with the previous safe-place visualization. Engaging in cue-controlled relaxation first will help you feel even more safe and calm in that visualization process.