Language Matters

It may seem like a small thing, yet one of the ways I reduce stress is to reduce the anxiety around migraine—the fear of having a flare.

Factors and flares

Part of how I do that is by changing my language around migraine. I say “factors” instead of “triggers” because, to me, a trigger is violent, and once pulled it’s too late. Factors are neutral. Some factors increase a chance of a flare others reduce the likelihood of or alleviate flares.

I also say “flares” instead of “attacks.” Again, attack sounds so violent and makes me feel in battle mode. Flare is a signaling device. A cry for help. A flare is my body’s way of letting me know that I need to help myself or seek help.

How it helps me

These language shifts empower me and reduce migraine anxiety.

Factors are things I am able to adjust. The stress factor may be unavoidable, but the relax factor is in my control.

A flare is something I am able to attend to rather than fight. These language shifts just feel more gentle and that helps me.

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