Migraines can be painful, especially when they occur on a chronic basis. Some people find that migraines might last a few hours even, and so it's important to stop a migraine from happening before it can cause you even more pain. Often, it can become hard to concentrate and be productive when your mind hurts. Personally, I have not had migraines, but my mother experiences debilitating migraines on a chronic basis, and once it hits, she's done for for the remainder of the day.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on easing tension in the mind and reducing anxiety. Migraines can make stress worse, as they can affect the way we think, hear and absorb information, and when we are consumed by pain, it can be hard to feel like ourselves and to function accordingly. Through holistic treatments and relaxation techniques, as well as being mindful of the foods they eat and what triggers might affect them personally, my clients are able to reduce the tendencies for migraines and put one to bed before it hits. Here are eleven ways to stop a migraine from happening and to start feeling back to normal and in a healthier state of mind.
1. Get Enough ZZZs
Sleeping can help regulate hormones and reduce tension on a regular basis, and so "prioritizing deep and adequate amounts of sleep each night," could help our bodies and minds be more relaxed and decrease the likelihood of a migraine from happening, advises certified holistic health coach and personal trainer Jen Bruno with J.B. Fitness and Nutrition, to Bustle over email. Between 7-9 hours nightly is preferable!
2. ID Your Stressors
"Identify stressors and find ways to manage or eliminate them," says Bruno. Everyone is different, and there are many triggers that can set off migraines, such as the foods we eat, scents and perfumes, flashing lights, sounds, stress and hunger, among others. Pay attention to what affects you personally, and write down such occurrences in a journal to keep track of your offenders.
3. Drink Lots Of Water
According to Bruno, dehydration can be a cause of migraines, as the mind needs enough liquids, preferably water, to keep it hydrated, alert and less inflamed. "Stay hydrated all day," she advises, to keep the possibility of headaches lower and to stop one from getting worse the moment it might hit. Set an alarm on your phone to grab a glass of water.
4. Be Mindful Of Caffeine
While some people might find that caffeine can either cause or cure a migraine, according to Dr. Stuart Stark in interview with Everyday Health, as it can affect people in different ways, Bruno recommends to be careful and "stop consuming it at least 6 hours prior to bedtime," as too late in the day drinking can interfere with sleep patterns.
5. Do Something Relaxing
If you feel a migraine approaching, it's a good idea to minimize stress and do something relaxing and enjoyable that can help distract the mind. "Enjoy relaxing activities," suggests Bruno. "Take walks in nature, visit friends, do yoga, meditate, do art or read," she says, are some optimal examples, as they also don't require much pre-planning. Carry a book or download a meditation playlist so you can access it anytime.
6. Eat Something Nutritious
If you feel a migraine coming on, reach for something nutritious that is unprocessed, says Bruno. Eating processed foods can make migraines worse, according to The Cleveland Clinic. "Eat organic meats but avoid any with nitrates and nitrites," says Bruno. She also recommends eating organic eggs, which are packed with choline and protein, to battle migraines. She also says eating organic dairy is good, but to avoid aged cheese, as they have tyramine and can make migraines worse.
7. Hit The Gym
According to a 2011 study in the journal Cephalalgia, getting in a workout on a regular basis can reduce prevalence of migraines, and the study suggests that about 40 minutes of time in the gym, three times a week, can be just as beneficial as taking medications. Do something enjoyable, either outside or inside, that you can commit to.
8. Play With Temperature
Experts at Mayo Clinic found that alternating between hot and cold packs, preferably on the forehead or face in order to directly target blood vessels near the brain, can help prevent a migraine from getting worse once you notice it about to hit. They also recommend going into a darker room and turning the lights off, as too harsh light can make migraines worse.
9. Think Of Your Last Meal
According to Teri Robert, a Health Guide at Health Central, and David Watson, M.D., skipping meals can trigger migraines, as the body is poorly affected when in the fasting or starvation phase and needs to be nourished every few hours with a snack or so in order to keep the mind fueled and alert. If your body is hungry, feed it something healthy and satisfying, like nuts, hummus or a piece of fruit.
10. Be Extra Careful During Your Period
In an interview with Prevention, Andrew Michael Blumenfeld, MD, director of the Headache Center of Southern California, said that the drop in estrogen levels during that time of the month can trigger migraines. Thus, being mindful of this time, avoiding food triggers and doing healthy, migraine-preventing activities and habits, can minimize the likelihood. He also recommends birth control for better relief.
11. Pop A Riboflavin Supplement
According to Robert Cowan, MD, clinical professor of neurology at Stanford School of Medicine, in interview with Prevention, riboflavin has been shown to reduce onset of migraines. He recommends consuming 400mg daily of riboflavin for migraine victims. He also says that eating foods high in the nutrient, such as milk, meat, eggs, nuts and leafy greens, can also provide benefits.
If you notice a migraine approaching, there's no need to just sit back and let it take over your day. By taking note of these precautionary measures, as well as the triggers that can create a migraine from setting in, you'll be better able to keep yourself safe and avoid a migraine from worsening with time.
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