Learn to combat feelings of stress and anxiety using Central Control. Central Control is a psychological intervention that induces relaxation of mind and body by teaching progressive muscle techniques, breathing techniques and mental imagery. Scientific research has shown that these techniques reduce tension, headaches and migraine, lower blood pressure, relieve chronic pain and/or menstrual symptoms, and improve sleep. Central Control is helpful for both men and women. Central Control can be introduced into a daily routine in order to induce a sense of calm and composure, e.g. to face the day ahead or before settling to sleep. It is the perfect way to reduce tension or unwind after a stressful day. It can also be applied in response to a specific event.
When applying Central Control find somewhere quiet and comfortable to sit or lay down. Close your eyes and let the recording prompt you to work through muscle groups within the body by tensing and relaxing them in turn. You should tense muscles as much as you can and, as you relax them out, focus on these muscles and think about them unwinding. Sometimes the tension is achieved by an instruction to imagine you are being pushed and pulled at the same time, the aim being to maximise the tension in the body part. At the end of the exercises you will be prompted to search in your mind for muscles that are still not fully relaxed. This takes some practice but you will find them, especially around your face and shoulders. Relax them down further. For the imaginal mode, breathe rhythmically and focus on your body being relaxed and heavy. Let your mind wander and take you to a place you associate with tranquility, somewhere you feel comforted and at peace.
There are short pauses between instructions to allow you to practice. The exercise lasts around 20 minutes.