We know that when a migraine or other severe headache hits you, you sometimes have to just lay down and rest. Once you’re down, actually resting can sometimes be a challenge. After all, you’re dealing with pain and the additional stress that comes with it. That’s why today we’d like to help you consider some new ways to help yourself relax.
Start with finding ways to BREATHE
We understand the stress and panic that is associated with the intense pain in these headaches. With all of that happening, sometimes something as simple as breathing can be affected. You may find yourself breathing at an abnormal rate, with breaths that are fast paced and short.
Slow it down.
Allow yourself to inhale and exhale at slow, five second intervals. Let the slower breathing relax the rest of your body. If it helps, create visuals that enhance the breathing process. Think about your navel and breathe as if you’re moving air in and out of an area just below it. Fill your abdomen up with air, and gently release it.
You can take your breathing techniques to a whole new level by closing your eyes and imagining the stress leaving your body. As you take deep breaths, keep your eyes closed and imagine what it looks like to have the tension leave your body as you exhale. Let the thoughts of decompression progressively relax your muscles as you continue to breathe.
Calmly talk yourself through the relaxation
The thoughts that are running through your mind during an intense headache might consist of phrases like:
Oh no! Here it goes again!
What if this lasts all day?
What if it doesn’t get better?
What will people think if I can’t function?
It’s important to reverse that train of thought as you attempt to relax. Turn those thoughts into words that are more positive:
I can handle this. I can handle anything.
I am in a safe, comfortable place.
I am stronger than this. I’m going to prove I can get through it.
I’m not going to let this get the best of me.
I’m not going to let this consume me.
Replace the focus on pain with pleasant images
Calm yourself and let your mind focus on pleasant images. Think about things that make you feel happy or relaxed. It could be members of your family, your favorite vacation destination, or maybe a made-up island on the ocean that was made just for you.
Add some relaxing music to the process to help improve your ability to remain calm, relaxed, and on your way to recovery.
When All Else Fails
We realize you’ve probably tried these—and many other—tactics. But maybe it’s not such a bad thing to have a little reminder every now and again. If these don’t work, though, and you have tried other measures—prescription medications, especially—consider a surgical alternative. At the Migraine Treatment Centers of America, that’s what we do. Call us anytime at 855-980-7530.