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Migraine Mantras

After at least 12 years in a perpetual migraine attack, I finally got a break this year with a digestive enzyme called diamine oxidase. I still have chronic migraine, but I can go a day or two between attacks. Well, I was able to until other food intolerances surfaced this summer and I returned to constant migraine-mode for weeks at a time. The reversion has been tough.

I remembered how draining it is to have a migraine every day. I remembered how discouraging it is to wake up each day and still have a migraine. I remembered wondering how much longer I could endure such pain, fatigue, brain fog and nausea. Remembering is different than experiencing. Being plunged back to that reality after six remarkably good months was shocking.

In an attempt to cope with this, I began repeating certain phrases to myself as a sort of pep talk until, unwittingly, I developed a series of migraine mantras. These are the sayings that get me through when migraine attacks drag me down physically and emotionally.

I have migraine, migraine doesn’t have me. It’s easy to fret that migraine is in control of my life. Migraine only has control if I give it that power. It has an outsize role in my life for sure, but it doesn’t determine who I am at my core or what I believe. Reminding myself that control is an illusion is a comfort when it seems like migraine has taken charge of my life.

This is difficult and that’s OK. Thanks to the self-compassion work I’ve been doing, I’m not beating myself up for doing something to trigger each spate of migraine attacks or for not coping well enough. I’m not telling myself someone else has it worse than I do or even that I had it worse for many years. I’m acknowledging that what I’m going through is tough for me right now and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’ve done this before and I can do it again. This applies both to coping with constant migraine attacks and sorting out triggers. I survived many years of far more painful migraines than I’m having now. If I had the grit to get through that, I can do this. I also had an amazing triumph when I figured out that dietary histamine is a major trigger for me. That was years of work and the discovery changed my life. Since that happened once, I believe I can do it again.

Tomorrow is another day. My outlook is always bleakest at the end of a day. Even when I go to bed wondering how I’ll make it through another day, I always wake up in a better mood. I tell myself that I can worry about it if my attitude is still as bleak the next morning. It never is.

What “mantras” or reminders help you get through migraine attacks?

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


  • Evelyn C
    5 years ago

    I also suffer daily and keep telling myself that I can’t give up and won’t let migraine defeat me. It’s working so far.

  • Alex
    5 years ago

    I’ve had episodic migraine from 13 to just a month ago. The last month I’ve had chronic migraine with several days of respite last week. I just don’t understand why this is happening to me. I had an MRI yesterday. Triptans helped the first 2 days I tried them but not the next 2 days.

  • sjsmith
    5 years ago

    I repeat to myself the reasons I can’t kill myself. I think of my dogs, they make me smile

  • pugelentaran
    5 years ago

    Daily headache and at midnight cannot sleep what the problem for my headache, any sollution?

  • pugelentaran
    5 years ago

    Daily headache and at midnight cannot sleep what the problem for my headache, any sollution?

  • Meggietye
    5 years ago

    I discovered a magnesium powder,recommended by a doctor, and it has solved my sleeping problem. It is called ,”Natural Calm” and I take 3/4 tsp every evening and relax into a deep sleep. I make sure to eat protein, drink my water and drink my coffee in the first hour of awakening and have stopped my morning migraines…triggered by lack of sleep and caffeine withdrawal and lack of protein, in me. I picked up the $11.00 paperback, ” The Migraine Brain” in September of this year & made many many changes to my routine which have helped me BIG time with my migraines. I learned soooo much from this doctor about migraine and how to help myself 🙂 If you are light sensitive, which is a major trigger for me, I found this site, ” TheraSpecs” and have bought 2 pair of their glasses. My eye pain is gone and now I can leave my little room and spend time in the living room with my family. Migraine is a Huge subject and picking up “The Migraine Brain” is worth every cent. the library could order it for you as well.

    Best wishes!


  • Jules2dl
    5 years ago

    I just tell myself to do the best that I can each day. If I need to stay in bed with an ice pack, that’s okay too. I used to feel I had to push to do as much as I could, now I acknowledge that its okay to take care of myself. If I can’t cook dinner it’s okay to tell my husband to pick something up on his way home from work. The bathroom can get cleaned another day when the physical repercussions on my health won’t be so bad.
    Just because other people have more serious, life-threatening conditions doesn’t mean my migraines don’t hurt, or don’t get me down physically and emotionally.
    Everybody has something to deal with in life, and mine is migraine disease. I have never given up searching for better control or relief, though I have come to accept that this is my share of the collective burden if you will. I am determined to have a good and fulfilling life despite the migraines, and I continue to hold onto hope.

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