Keeping stress in check is important for everyone. But for people living with migraine — for whom stress can be a major trigger — managing stress can be the difference between a pain-free week or a major attack.
“With stress being at the top of the migraine triggers, we absolutely MUST have tools and techniques for coping with stress and then making sure we are dropping our stress throughout the day,” says Migraine Healthline community member MigrainePro. “If we don’t it can end up like baggage weighing us down until our brain says NO.”
How can you keep stress from being a trigger? Here’s what folks who use the Migraine Healthline app to learn and connect have to say.
“Meditation is my go-to. I use the Calm app to meditate twice every day, but when something is making me feel especially stressed, I do extra meditation sessions. It helps to settle me down and not let my thoughts, fears, etc., overwhelm me.” — Tomoko
“I paint my nails. I’m horrible at it but it physically slows me down. I adopted a new skin care regimen so I get lost in the process. I find mindless things to do during certain hours of the day. I allow myself to not reply to every text, email, call, or even open mail immediately. Always looking for my breathing room!” — Alexes
“I get wound up with the stress and once it passes, the attack will start. I can feel that in my chest… when stress is building up. So when I feel that now, I take 5 to 10 minutes to meditate with the Calm app. I have found it helps. Or even some really big breaths. It all helps. 💜 ” — Eileen Zollinger
“I bake something easy that I don’t have to worry whether it will turn out or not. Keeps my hands and mind occupied for a bit.” — Monica Arnold
“Sticking to a routine as much as I can, inhaling calming scents like lavender, doing yoga, getting to bed and getting up at the same time (and getting enough sleep), and definitely my animals!” — JennP
Managing the stress in your life is no easy task. But committing to simple stress-reduction practices can help you have more pain-free days.
Remember: You’re never alone. Download the Migraine Healthline app and share your own stress-relief tips.
Find a community that cares
There’s no reason to go through migraine alone. With the free Migraine Healthline app, you can join a group and participate in live discussions, get matched with community members for a chance to make new friends, and stay up to date on the latest migraine news and research.
Kristen Domonell is an editor at Healthline who is passionate about using the power of storytelling to help people live their healthiest, most aligned lives. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, meditation, camping, and tending to her indoor plant jungle.