It’s important to remind yourself that while the pain may be intense, it’s something that you can overcome.
If you live with chronic migraine, you’ve probably experienced your head throbbing in a pulsating way that’s more painful than you could ever describe. You’re familiar with being nauseated and sensitive to light and noise.
Migraine attacks can be triggered by many different environmental or genetic factors. But sometimes, the emotional factors that contribute to episodes are overlooked. Stress, depression, and anxiety are very common migraine triggers.
Self-talk is a great strategy to help you manage your anxiety and stress to prevent a migraine episode.
Self-talk is simply your inner dialogue that can be positive or negative. It reveals your thoughts and ideas and can influence your mood.
Positive self-talk can be an effective stress management technique. It’s also a great coping skill you can practice anytime you feel a migraine episode starting.
There are many ways you can use positive self-talk for migraine relief.
Starting your self-talk the moment your migraine episode begins is most helpful in reducing its impact on your body.
In the midst of an attack, you may repeat to yourself: “I’ve experienced these exact same symptoms before. I have been diagnosed by my doctor, and I’ve been advised on what to do when they strike.” Reminding yourself that you know what to do can help you feel less stressed.
If you take migraine medication, think, “this will help me,” as you swallow the tablet or capsule. You could also say, “I trust that my doctor knows what they’re doing and that they’ve prescribed something that will help.” Knowing that relief is on the way can help you relax until you begin to feel better.
The key is to develop a routine for your migraine that includes positive self-talk from beginning to end.
It’s okay to acknowledge your pain, but you should also remember that it will not last forever. There’s no denying that migraine symptoms are intense, but ruminating on how much it hurts may actually make your pain worse. Using positive-self talk can help keep you distracted during your worst symptoms.
If you need help starting your self-talk dialogue, seeking support from a counselor may help. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) employs coping mechanisms like self-talk, and its positive effects on people with chronic migraine have been widely studied.
Keeping a migraine journal can also help you better cope and even prevent future episodes by tracking triggers and noting what gave you relief. If positive self-talk helped you through a migraine attack, write down what exactly you said to yourself. You may be able to rely on that same dialogue again in the future.
Chronic migraine can be very painful and come with other symptoms like nausea and light sensitivity. It may be helpful to make an appointment with a psychologist, social worker, or counselor to develop ways to deal with your anxiety surrounding your migraine attacks. Your coping techniques will almost always include positive self-talk.
With self-talk, you have the power to moderate your symptoms in a way that works with any medication your doctor prescribes. Plus, self-talk doesn’t cost anything and can be done anywhere. If you feel a migraine episode coming, you can sneak off to a quiet place and repeat — you’ve had attacks before, and you’ve gotten through them. You will get through them again.
You can also make a list of positive affirmations to keep in your wallet or day planner. It’s important to stay positive and continue to remind yourself that while the pain may be intense, it’s something that you can, and have, overcome.
Positive self-talk isn’t something you’ll likely master right away, but if you keep talking your way through your migraine episodes, you’ll find a style and phrases that work for you.
Medically reviewed on August 01, 2022
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