Depression and anxiety are extremely common among migraine patients. According to a 2010 National Headache Foundation survey, as many as 80% of migraineurs have symptoms of depression. Relaxation techniques and meditation can be helpful in managing the often debilitating symptoms of depression and anxiety.
They are great on their own or when combined with other treatments like medication and talk therapy. These techniques can be incredibly helpful in managing migraine symptoms, too.
Start with your breath.
Breathing slowly and fully is the best place to start when you’re feeling anxious. You may not have developed any other relaxation skills yet, but you can still tell yourself to slow down and breathe. Breathing is the key to relaxation and meditation techniques.
Explore guided practices.
One of the most wonderful things about the Internet is the abundance of free relaxation and meditation resources from amazing teachers. I recommend exploring a few different resources and trying them to see what clicks with you and your taste. Then establish a regular habit of practicing by listening to the guided programs you like and following along. Relaxation techniques take time to build and will help you more and more as your body becomes more accustomed to the process.
Get your mind right.
It’s important to approach these techniques with a spirit of openness toward the process. You don’t have to believe any of this will help you, you’ve just got to be open to the possibility that if you practice the techniques they might become an important additional tool for you to rely on in coping with mental health issues and migraine attacks.
Suggested free resources:
Suggested resources worth buying:
- Relaxation Body Scan & Guided Imagery for Well Being by Carolyn McManus
- Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Mind to Face Stress, Illness & Pain by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Break Through Pain by Shinzen Young
- How to Be Sick by Toni Bernhard
Do you have questions about relaxation and meditation? Please share them in the comments.