For people who experience migraine, daily life can be stressful and unpredictable. People with chronic migraines experience symptoms at least 15 days a month, preventing them from completing typical activities. Migraines are almost always linked to mental health because they impact many aspects of life.
Understanding how your mental health affects migraines and vice versa can help you manage life better. By monitoring your symptoms and using stress management techniques, you can have better control over your well-being. Use this overview of migraines and mental health to discover the connection.
How Can Migraines Affect Your Mental Health?
Migraines take a toll on your physical and mental health. They’re draining and keep you from doing the things you love. Never knowing when your next migraine episode will occur makes daily life stressful. Overall, migraines make life overwhelming, and this could lead to the development of anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses.
Here are other examples of migraine emotional symptoms:
- Stress: Migraines and stress create a continuous cycle. Stress is one of the biggest migraine triggers, often making them more frequent and more severe. But migraines can also cause stress because people might live in constant fear of their next migraine attack. The worry of feeling migraine pain and missing activities can keep you stressed.
- Anxiety: Anxiety is common for those that get migraines. Nearly one-third to one-half of people with chronic migraines also have anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety include feeling tense, restless or weak. A lot of anxiety comes from feeling out of control. Because migraines cause you to lose control over your body, this creates feelings of nervousness.
- Depression: Those who experience migraines are five times more likely to develop depression. Migraines can lead to days spent in bed instead of spending time with others, leading to feelings of sadness. You might feel fatigued or find less enjoyment in the activities you used to like doing because of migraines and depression.
Can Migraines Be Caused by Stress?
Stress can cause migraines for many people. In fact, stress is a trigger for almost 70% of people that experience migraine. Significant life events, such as moving to a new home, or daily life stressors, like a strenuous work project, can cause a migraine. Once you start to endure migraines more frequently, you may feel more stressed about an attack. In this way, stress is both a cause and a symptom of migraine.
There is also a correlation between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and migraines. After experiencing trauma, people might find migraines secondary to PTSD. Those who experience migraines report almost two times as many trauma triggers as those who don’t get headaches.
Stress Management Techniques
Focusing on stress reduction is a good way to manage your mental health and migraines. Because it can play such a large role in migraines, lowering stress levels can help you navigate daily life more easily.
Here are some examples of stress management strategies you can implement in your daily life:
- Take regular breaks: When you’re dealing with a stressful task or experience, take time for breaks. Stopping for even 10 minutes gives your body and mind a way to relax. Whether you’re at work, powering through an exercise routine or navigating another stressful event, take time for yourself. Try eating a snack, stretching or taking a short walk during your break. The short time off might lower your stress levels and let you calm down.
- Spend 20 minutes a day doing something you enjoy: Sometimes, migraines or low mental health can distract you from the hobbies you love. These activities are crucial for your overall happiness, so it’s essential to make time for them. Try blocking out 20 minutes of each day and dedicate it just to what gives you joy. Whether it’s watching your favorite TV show, making your favorite food or anything in between, carve out time for it every day.
- Realize that it’s OK to say “no”: Being overworked or overbooked is a big stressor for many people. If you feel like you don’t have any time to yourself or to complete important tasks, it might be time to turn down some of your obligations. Remember that you can’t be everywhere at once and you can’t help others without taking proper care of yourself. Saying “no” to a few invitations so you have more time to yourself might help lower stress.
- Try meditation: Meditation is a popular strategy for relieving anxious thoughts. There are many different types of meditation, from breathing exercises to yoga exercises. The practice centers on mindfulness by allowing yourself to focus completely on your breath. Meditating for just five or 10 minutes a day can help you reduce stress levels and potentially migraine frequency.
- Follow a healthy diet: Another way to help with stress is following a healthy diet. The food you consume affects how you feel, so it’s important to fuel your body with healthful foods. Sticking to a healthy diet can help prevent migraines. Try adding fruits or vegetables at every meal, and make sure to eat from all food groups. It’s more than OK to have a treat every so often, but focus on filling the majority of your diet with whole foods.
- Participate in a support group: Support groups allow you to receive encouragement and support from others with similar struggles. Many support groups across the country center around living with migraine or anxiety. If you’ve never tried a support group before, it might help with migraine and other stressors. You can meet people who share your struggles and learn more about how others manage migraine and stress.
- Plan your day and keep a regular schedule: Migraines are often triggered by surprises or sudden changes. It could be a change in the weather, a sudden difference in diet or an alteration in your sleeping patterns. Either way, migraines occur commonly after these changes, so keeping a consistent daily plan is helpful. Try to maintain consistent sleeping patterns and eat similar foods. If you notice a migraine occurs after you eat a particular food or sleep differently, try to avoid those habits in the future.
- Incorporate CEFALY into your daily routine: CEFALY DUAL Enhanced is an FDA-cleared device that prevents and relieves migraines. With a daily, 20-minute CEFALY treatment, you can decrease the frequency and severity of your migraines. Try implementing it into your daily routine as a preventative treatment. In turn, you could drastically lower your migraine frequency.
Discover CEFALY: A Preventative Migraine Device
Since 2008, CEFALY DUAL Enhanced has helped those that suffer from migraines. Our treatment device stimulates the trigeminal nerve, which is largely involved in the pain one experiences during a migraine. CEFALY is a trusted migraine treatment method, cleared by the FDA and leading healthcare professionals. You can boost your mental health by enjoying more days without migraine.
Learn more about CEFALY DUAL Enhanced today and discover how it can help you manage migraines and improve your mental health.