How Stress Management Helped Me Control Migraines

How Stress Management Helped Me Control Migraines


Living with migraine attacks can be challenging and often feels like a constant battle. For a long time, my migraine attacks controlled my life, dictating what I could and couldn’t do. However, I made a breakthrough when I started exploring the impact of stress management on migraine control. This article details my journey and the techniques that helped me gain control over my migraine attacks.

My Experience with Migraines

Migraine attacks have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The frequency and severity varied, but they were a constant presence, disrupting my daily activities and impacting my overall well-being. I relied heavily on medication to manage the pain and other symptoms, but it was evident that something was missing.

The frustration of numerous unsuccessful attempts to find relief through medication alone motivated me to explore alternative approaches. That’s when I began to understand the crucial role that stress plays in migraine attacks.

The Relationship Between Stress and Migraines

Migraines and stress are closely interconnected. Stress acts as a trigger for migraine attacks, and in turn, migraine attacks can cause more stress. It becomes a vicious cycle that exacerbates the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.

Research suggests that stress affects the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to changes in blood flow and increased sensitivity to pain. Emotional stress, such as anxiety, anger, or even excitement, can activate these mechanisms and trigger a migraine attack.

Understanding this relationship between stress and migraine attacks was a turning point for me. It allowed me to focus on managing stress as a way to prevent and control my migraine attacks.

Discovering Personalized Stress Management Techniques

Embarking on a journey to find effective stress management techniques was a crucial step in gaining control over my migraine attacks. I realized that there was no one-size-fits-all solution and that I needed to experiment and find what worked best for me.

I tried various stress management techniques, including relaxation exercises, meditation, and yoga. Each technique offered its own set of benefits, but what mattered most was finding methods that resonated with me and could be easily incorporated into my daily routine.

For example, I discovered that deep breathing exercises helped me calm my mind during stressful situations and reduce the intensity of an impending migraine attack. Yoga not only provided physical relaxation but also helped me cultivate a mindful mindset, reducing the overall stress levels in my life.

It’s crucial to experiment with different techniques and find what feels most effective and comfortable for you. Everyone’s journey with migraine attacks is unique, so it’s essential to personalize your stress management techniques accordingly.

Keeping a Migraine Diary

Journaling my migraine attacks and stress levels played a significant role in understanding the patterns and triggers of my migraine attacks. Keeping a migraine diary involved recording the date and time of each attack, the duration, the symptoms experienced, and any potential triggers.

By diligently tracking my stress levels and possible triggers, I was able to identify recurring patterns and make connections between specific stressors and my migraine attacks. For example, I noticed that work-related deadlines and conflicts consistently triggered migraine attacks. Armed with this information, I could take proactive steps to manage and mitigate these stressors.

Identifying Stress Management Techniques That Worked

The process of finding effective stress management techniques involved a fair amount of trial and error. Not every technique yielded immediate results, but over time, I identified specific strategies that proved beneficial in reducing stress and the frequency of my migraine attacks.

One technique that worked exceptionally well for me was practicing mindfulness meditation. It helped me cultivate a non-judgmental awareness of my thoughts and emotions, reducing my reactivity to stressors. This shift in mindset had a profound impact on my overall well-being and noticeably decreased the frequency of my migraine attacks.

Another technique that proved effective was engaging in regular physical exercise, such as swimming or hiking. Exercise not only provided a healthy outlet to release stress and tension but also triggered the release of endorphins, natural painkillers that helped alleviate migraine symptoms.

Remember that finding the right stress management techniques is a personal journey. What works for one person may not work for another. It’s essential to be open-minded, patient, and willing to try different approaches until you find what feels most effective for you.

Implementing a Stress Management Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to stress management. Incorporating stress management techniques into my daily routine played a vital role in maintaining control over my migraine attacks.

I started by setting aside dedicated time each day for stress management activities. Whether it was a short meditation session in the morning, a yoga practice in the evening, or a brisk walk during lunch breaks, these moments became non-negotiable parts of my day.

I also integrated stress management techniques into my daily activities, making them a seamless part of my lifestyle. For example, I practiced deep breathing exercises while commuting or waiting in line, turning those moments into opportunities to de-stress.

The positive impact of a regular stress management routine on my migraine control was undeniable. Not only did it reduce the frequency and severity of my migraine attacks, but it also improved my overall well-being and mental health.

Additional Benefits of Stress Management

While stress management played a significant role in my migraine control, it brought about additional benefits that enhanced my overall quality of life. By actively managing stress, I noticed improvements in my mental health and emotional well-being.

I experienced a decrease in anxiety levels and an overall sense of calmness and centeredness. I found it easier to navigate through challenging situations without being overwhelmed by stress, allowing me to enjoy a better quality of life.

Research also suggests that stress management can have a positive impact on various physical health aspects, such as improving sleep quality, reducing blood pressure, and boosting the immune system. These added benefits further reinforced my commitment to stress management as an essential component of managing my migraine attacks.

Collaborating with Healthcare Provider

Throughout my journey, collaboration with my healthcare provider was crucial. I discussed my stress management efforts and the insights gained from my migraine diary. My healthcare provider provided valuable guidance, adjustment to medication regimens, and additional recommendations.

Working together, we identified specific triggers and stressors that were particularly challenging for me. With my healthcare provider’s support, I was able to explore additional strategies to manage these triggers effectively.

It’s essential to involve your healthcare provider in your stress management journey. They can provide expert advice, monitor the effectiveness of stress management techniques, and make any necessary adjustments to your overall migraine management plan.


Stress management has been an instrumental part of my journey towards gaining control over my migraine attacks. By understanding the relationship between stress and migraine attacks, exploring personalized stress management techniques, and implementing a consistent routine, I have experienced a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of my migraine attacks.

I encourage others struggling with migraine attacks to explore the potential benefits of stress management in conjunction with their healthcare provider. It may require some trial and error, but the positive impact on overall well-being and quality of life is worth the effort. Take that first step towards taking control of your migraine attacks by taking control of your stress.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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