Track Symptoms to Establish Patterns
Therapists, especially those trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, are interested in finding patterns and connections between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Perhaps you have done some journaling to monitor connections between your migraines and diet, sleep and exercise, but do you feel like you have done all you could? Do you feel like you have dug deeply enough to find the truth?
Therapists can help to explore your patterns more thoroughly with the potential to find connections that you didn’t know existed. Knowing your patterns might help you reduce the frequency or intensity of your next migraine.
Learn New Coping Skills
When times are bad, you need coping skills. Coping skills are behaviors or thought processes that make your situation less stressful and more bearable. Migraines have a way of crippling your creativity as you find yourself unable to arrive at new ways to alleviate your pain. Also, they can make you desperate enough to engage in negative coping skills like drugs and alcohol for relief. Because of this, your anxiety increases and your hope decreases with each passing occurrence.
Your therapist can provide a new perspective into ideas, tools and interventions you have never attempted before. They can also help by training you in tools like deep breathing exercises that you have been doing incorrectly until now.
Revise Your Self-Talk
When you have migraines, your self-talk is always a factor. Negative self-talk will convince you that the next migraine will be the worst one ever. It will ruin your life and there is nothing you can do to stop it. These thoughts will pique your anxiety and depression as optimism crashes.
Your therapist will help you to identify your undesirable self-talk, arrive at a more positive alternative and maintain consistency in the process. Positive self-talk can make you think that each migraine is another battle, one that you are ready to fight, and one that you know you can survive. This breeds self-control, power and hope for the future. Which way would you rather feel?
Find Appreciation in the Good Days
People with frequent migraines may not be capitalizing on their days with low or no symptoms as well as they could. For some, having a symptom-free day means a good opportunity to sit on the couch binging on the shows their migraines forced them to miss. Others will avoid leaving the safety of their home because they fear the next migraine is lurking around the corner. Either option is a poor one, and a mental health therapist can help you see this.
It is time for you to strike while symptoms are low. Get out of the house. Spend times with friends. Do something physical or thrilling. Push past the fear or self-imposed restrictions to find true enjoyment and happiness in the world around you.
What do all of the benefits of therapy for migraines have in common? They all reduce stress. Less stress usually means fewer migraines. Fewer migraines means a happier, healthier you that can let your life go on without migraines getting in the way. Start your mental health therapy and end your migraines.