Do you ever notice that you to tend to have a migraine attack when you're under a great amount of stress? Incredibly, there is data spanning four decades that connects migraine with stress. For example, a 2007 study published in Cephalalgia studied 1750 migraine patients, finding that 3 in 4 (76%) had "triggers,” and that among that subgroup, the vast majority (80%) listed stress as a trigger – making it the most prevalent trigger.
There are numerous ways that high stress can be treated. Examples include cognitive behavioral therapy and biofeedback. However, there are three simple ways you can start to systematically alleviate your stress and become more relaxed at home. Those three tactics are breathing exercises (rhythmic, deep, and visualized), relaxation training (although this method can also be accessed professionally), and online tools.
#1. Breathing exercises
There are various methods that a person can use to modify breathing and enhance relaxation. Three types of breathing exercises that experts trust are the rhythmic, deep, and visualized varieties:
- Rhythmic – Practice slowing down and stretching out each breath. Count to five as you inhale, taking about five seconds. Exhale to a count of five.
- Deep – Focus your attention on a spot just below your navel, and think about breathing directly into that place. Breathe slowly and deeply.
- Visualized – Shut your eyes, staying in a seated position so that you don’t drift off. Now imagine relaxation coming into your body and stress going out. It can help to picture the relaxation as a gold color in the air, and the stress as grey tension leaving your body.
#2 – Relaxation training
Relaxation training is a relatively straightforward concept: with this method, you are learning how to become able to relax yourself within just a few minutes. This tactic gives a patient a standard gameplan to follow when they begin to experience stress or anxiety; these steps can be taken as-needed rather than using your go-to relaxation activities such as Internet, the TV, or gardening. You can find this technique as a professional service; but from a DIY perspective, you can start training yourself through progressive muscle relaxation (as covered online by the nonprofit ReachOut Australia, among others).
#3 – Online tools
There are additional and diverse ways to work on relaxation through (free and paid) Internet resources:
- Relaxation audio – Free relaxation audio files are available from the personal site of licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Dawn C. Buse (Yeshiva University).
- Learning programs for anxiety & depression – Various online courses, some of which are free, are offered by nonprofit This Way Up.
- Smartphone Apps – Healthline gave awards to top anxiety, insomnia, and meditation mobile apps in 2016.
Do you want to get your stress under control to reduce your migraine frequency and intensity?
Chiropractic care can help too, as indicated by various studies and by direct reports from our patients. At Arkansas Pioneer Chiropractic, we offer cutting-edge technology and care while utilizing state-of-the-art therapies for lasting pain relief. Meet our team.