B-M-W. You’re probably thinking of a car, but I’m thinking of something even better: A successful stress management technique I use to help with stress relief! And trust me, this B-M-W is a lot less expensive!
My B-M-W stands for Breathe, Melt, and Wiggle. It’s a lifestyle; a way of turning bad stress into good stress. Yes, there is a difference between those two!
If you’re feeling stressed, I hope you know you’re not alone out there. In one survey of over 1,100 people, over 50% said that they were overwhelmed with just keeping up with things like demand, family events and money.
33% had family events that caused stress, 26% were stressed about health, and 3 in 4 (that’s 75%!) said that they felt most of the stress during the holidays. And of course, the major sources of these stresses are pretty predictable: family and finances
How stress works
So…what IS stress? Well, you certainly know it when you feel it!
Stress is any condition that takes you out of your comfort zone. You may start to feel tension, fear. You may feel uncomfortable or unsafe. This can wear on you spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Your body’s natural response to stress and these unsafe, unknown situations is fear. Fear leads in turn, to increased tension. This physical muscle tension uses up oxygen and energy and results in increased pain. As you can imagine, without stress relief, this becomes a cycle that can feed upon itself: Your pain leads to more stress…and fear….and pain.
The release of cortisol and adrenaline that comes with your body’s “fight-flight-freeze” mode can be really damaging on a normal day, when there is no immediate danger requiring your body to act quickly. This process can be so exhausting! That’s where this successful stress management technique comes in.
What is the B-M-W successful stress management technique?
B-M-W is a device for stress management that can help disrupt the cycle of fear, tension, and pain that works with the fight-flight-freeze response.
The B stands for Breathe. Take a moment to breathe deeply in…and out. Evenly in and evenly out. In through your nose, out through your mouth. That’s great! We’re already relieving stress! Can you feel your mind and body quieting?
Next comes M. That means we “melt” like butter! From the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Instead of being tense through your jaw and shoulders, let your body relax. Don’t slump; try to remain tall as you let go of any stress you’re holding in your jaw and shoulders. Doesn’t that feel nice, just melting into God’s arms or the comfort of knowing someone much bigger than you is in control?
Now, the fun part — W, for wiggle!
Wiggling is all about getting your body moving. It’s like dancing! Do some ankle circles, do the hula…even swaying gently while standing can help stave off the adrenaline and cortisol that comes from the fight-flight-freeze response.
But maybe you’re on an airplane or in a meeting. Don’t worry, wiggling a little bit wherever you are can help, even if it means just doing “happy feet” under your chair.
Small wiggles in your hips or feet can be done anywhere. The people around may not even notice — until they see that smile on your face!
If you’re breathing slowly and evenly, melting and wiggling, you’re able to practice this successful stress management technique by stopping that fear-flight-freeze response. It’s a chance to quiet your mind and body!
Good stress or bad stress?
Not all stress is the same. Stress can be bad or good. Yes. There’s such a thing as good stress, too. When we are dealing with bad stress, we may feel out of control. We’re reacting to situations and people, which seems to put them in control. We feel like we have no options, so we don’t see ourselves as agents of change. We forget God’s power within us.
But when we’re dealing with good stress, we’re not just reacting. Instead, we recognize that we have options, that we are in control of our mind, body, and emotions. With good stress, we can observe the tools we have to use and recognize the situation as manageable.
Good stress can make us stronger and more resilient. When we are responding — and not just reacting — we are building healthy habits. We can choose to react, which can allow other people to control and determine our emotions and internal outcomes. Or we can choose to respond, to choose B-M-W.
Making it work
In life, a situation may come up where you have to deal with difficult decisions or difficult people. In these situations, I suggest you simply smile and step away. Head to a private place — the bathroom, if needed — where you can take a moment to practice B-M-W.
And if you can’t get to a private place, practice B-M-W where you are to help ease the tension around you. Sit tall and take in a deep breath. You may become an example to others. As I Breathe, Melt, and Wiggle, others can follow me, quieting the situation and myself.
Good stress will build you up. Bad stress will break you down. Because stress is always with us, we have a choice to let it build us up or break us down. I say, let’s choose B-M-W and always work toward building up!
Looking to God
Thank you for joining me in the journey toward stress relief. Please feel free to share any feedback and questions with me at Bonnie@4x4Healing.com. Or follow me on Facebook and YouTube for more healthy living insights. I want to help you find your place of healing! Before we go, I’d like to share some scriptures with you.
This one is Exodus 33:14, which shows us God speaking: “And He said ‘My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.’”
We can hear Jesus’s voice, too, in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Finally, my friend, I want to share my prayer for you and your journey.
Abba, Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, thank You that You have allowed this time for my friend and for me to be together, to explore how our bodies work, to make choices and improvements that You show us, that You intend for us, since You’re our Creator. I thank You that You will go with my friend and with me wherever we are, wherever we go. I ask, Father, that You give my friend and me what we need every moment of every day, that we will live to the fullest potential that You have planned for each one of us, and that You will be glorified and that we will see the joy that You can provide as we live under the umbrella of Your perfect redemption. Thank You for being with my friend and with me. In Jesus’ almighty name, I say and I pray. Thank You.
I am wishing you a safe, healthy, stress-free week!