Migraine: 5 Steps To Constructive Venting

Migraines make me feel a lot of things, and sadness, anger and frustration are just three of those negative feelings that sometimes act like steam in a tea kettle for me. It’s in my nature to be an upbeat optimist, but negative feelings happen and everyone needs to let that steam vent or eventually it’s gonna blow.

Even glass-half-full people sometimes need to get a little somethin’-somethin’ off their chests. We’re people with the same weaknesses and challenges as every other Migrianeur. We’re all human beings.

Being an online advocate is tougher during these times, because in the online world it is more difficult to keep the *filter* in place and make sure I don’t overstep my bounds. With the lack of face to face contact it’s tough for all of us online – across the board – because it’s so easy for something to be mis-read or mis-interpreted negatively when either the reader or the writer weren’t in a good mental place at that moment.

I realized a long time ago that there were a few tips I needed to remember so that my venting would be constructive instead of destructive whether I am online or in real life:

  1. Explain my problem and the need to vent first, if not publicly then at least to those around me. I apologize for the negative mood and vibes and ask for patience as I get through my feelings.
  2. Give myself time to think about the situation before venting verbally. It’s vital to remember to put myself in the shoes of the other person (if that applies) and see the problem from the outside looking in, instead of singly from my own perspective.
  3. Give myself a time limit to be frustrated and angry and vent as these are normal emotions that need to be expressed, but not dwelt upon the situation as that can be more stress inducing than the event that caused the original turmoil.
  4. Forgive. Myself or another person, group, etc. Even my disease. Forgiveness is as much or more for the person doing it than it is for the other person. Forgiveness frees you from the hold the negativity has on you and on your life.
  5. Hold myself accountable for making things better when my time for venting is over. If I don’t think I have the self discipline for this, then I tell someone else and ask them for help in holding me responsible for it. This is what our support systems are in place to do for us, so we might as well use them.

Making the frustrating situation better is not always in my hands, however my response to it is something I do have control over.

Looking back, I think my biggest revelation about this came when I discovered the power of a time limit.

Yes, I actually think, verbalize and sometimes even write down that I am going to allow myself to be sad or mad about the situation until day X then move on. I thought it might be a smothering feeling to do that, but the reality was that it was very freeing. I get to the business of letting that steam decompress without feeling guilty. I let that steam go quickly and adequately because I’m concentrating on it instead of trying to deny it or move along past it which will all but ensure that I will still be frustrated much longer.

Life is too short and precious to spend it being mad, sad or frustrated.

I always feel better when I can get back to the business of being as functional as possible. It might not work for everyone, but this little trick is what does it for me.

What tricks do you use to decompress when you are angry or frustrated about your life with Migraines?

What suggestions would you have for others who are looking for ways to handle this kind of stress better in their lives?

This is a post written for the October 2012 Headache & Migraine Disease Blog Carnival. This month’s topic was “Venting About Migraine Disease: How do you vent your frustrations about living with Migraine disease in a way that’s helpful to your healing, both emotionally and physically?”

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


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