How should I do cue-controlled relaxation?

Dawn Marcus
Cue-controlled relaxation is a technique that involves deep breathing while repeating the word "relax." Eventually, this word will become your "cue" to relax. To do this technique:
  • Take a slow, deep, abdominal breath.
  • To make sure you're doing abdominal breathing, place your hand over your abdomen when you breathe. Feel it move in and out with each deep breath.
  • After breathing in, hold your breath for 5-10 seconds. Then slowly exhale and repeat the word "relax" as you blow out air. Repeat.
  • When you've practiced this exercise a number of times, try closing your eyes and taking deep abdominal breaths before dealing with a stressful situation.
First, try this exercise while you are standing in the shower, then while waiting in line at a store, before talking to your teenager or spouse, or before meeting with your boss or your child's teacher. You can also use cue-controlled relaxation when you start to feel stressed.
The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life

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The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life

The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit tells readers what they need to know to take control of fibromyalgia symptoms. It includes step-by-step instructions for using effective non-drug treatments,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.