The Emotions of Migraines

As a yoga instructor, I’ve always been interested in how emotions affect the body.

So, when I recently picked up the book, The Emotion Code, I was fascinated to learn that emotions can actually be stored in our body.

Emotions and yoga

The author goes on to explain how emotions that have not been properly addressed can get trapped inside the body and cause physical illness. This captivated my attention, even as a yoga instructor, who has seen countless students cry during a deep hip opener. (Yogis believe that most emotions are stored in the hips so working deeply into that area can release those emotions.)

Trapped emotions can affect our bodies

You can’t actually see emotions on medical imaging like an x-ray, MRI, ultrasound, or CT scan. However, emotions do affect our bodies on a cellular level. They can send information to our cells that ultimately impact our energy level, behavior, and mood.

How do trapped emotions affect us?

And it makes sense because the more I think about it and the more I read in the book, trapped emotions can cause us to…

  • Make wrong assumptions – yup, I’ve done that before!
  • Overreact – guilty!
  • Misinterpret behavior – been there, done that!
  • Even interfere with the proper function of our organs and tissues – yikes!

Strategies to manage emotions for migraine

So how can we ensure that trapped emotions are not the source of – or at least a contributing source to – our migraines?

Emotions may affect some migraine sufferers more so than others, but with migraines being so debilitating, it’s certainly worth looking into, in my opinion. After all, what’s the worst that can happen – it doesn’t change your migraines but you feel emotionally lighter and happier? I’m okay with that outcome.

So, let’s dig into some strategies to manage emotions, shall we? I share what works best for me, and I’d love to know what works best for you.

Write out or journal thoughts

I don’t always like to think, talk about, or deal with emotions. I’d rather them just go away. Stop thinking about them, and poof, they’re gone! It’s magic, right? No, unfortunately, that’s far from reality. In the meantime, using a journal to write out my thoughts is incredibly helpful.

It doesn’t have to be eloquent – in fact, many of my entries start with “I don’t know what to write, but…” I usually start with a random thought and before long I realize I’m writing about something that I didn’t consciously realize was weighing on me. Now that’s magic!

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Ugh, I almost have to sigh at this myself. Perhaps because I’ve heard it so often over the years and know it’s a reminder that speaks directly to me. I also sigh because my tendency is to avoid feeling uncomfortable at all costs. But that hasn’t served me very well.

So, lace up your bootstraps, put on your big girl pants, and be willing to feel uncomfortable. Be willing to have uncomfortable conversations. Be willing to be present for whatever shows up. In my experience the sooner I face it, the easier it is to deal with and move on.

So, these are two of my go-to strategies for managing emotions, but I want to learn from you! What works best for you?

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