Migraine and anxiety often exist in a symbiotic relationship similar to the classic “chicken or the egg” dilemma. Which came first? Does anxiety trigger migraine, or does migraine cause anxiety?. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), research suggests that migraine can precede the onset of anxiety disorders. In fact, studies reveal that lifetime occurrences of anxiety are significantly higher in people with migraine than in the general population.
According to the ADAA, generalized anxiety disorder, also known as GAD is characterized by excessive, persistent, unrealistic worry about everyday things including family, work, money, health, and more. GAD can occur during and in between migraine attacks. To complicate things, migraine can trigger anxiety and vice versa.
Common symptoms of anxiety, like excessive worry, fear, and irritability, do seem to match up with migraine symptoms: we worry about when the next attack will come, feel helpless about unpredictable symptoms, and feel frustrated by the many ways that migraine affects our lives.
ANXIETY ON MIGRAINE-FREE DAYS
Anxiety also creeps in on those migraine-free days. Even on days that you feel 100%, worry can still creep in. When you don’t know when the next attack is coming, it can cause a great deal of anxiety.
4 NATURAL WAYS TO PREVENT MIGRAINE, AND RELEIVE STRESS & ANXIETY AT THE SAME TIME.
There are many ways to manage migraine and mental health at the same time. Four of the absolute best drug-free methods are here:
1 – BEHAVIORAL WORK
Many people find cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), relaxation therapy, meditationand/or yoga to be effective methods. More and more studies are proving that mindfulness is especially powerful in managing chronic mental and physical health conditions. Breathing exercises (slowing your breathing down), coupled with meditation is particularly effective in reducing anxiety.
2 – SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Without getting too much into religion, prayer and meditation can be a powerful tool to battle anxiety. Letting go of worry and fear helps release the hold that anxiety has on your body and mind. Studies indicate that people who pray, or who have definite goals that they meditate on, and believe in, are healthier than those who don’t.
3 – DAILY MOVEMENT
Exercise is known to be an excellent migraine management and prevention tool. Walking every day when you feel well can significantly reduce anxiety, but a little-known trick that no one tells you, is that while walking you should focus on an object far away in the distance at eye level and walk towards it. This is a proven strategy for relieving anxiety at all levels.
All movement, especially outdoors where you can get the additional benefits of natural Vitamin D from the sunlight (another proven happiness drug), allows you to clear your mind and recharge your batteries. Even those who struggle with exercise-induced migraine during heavy cardio may fare better with brisk walking, in warm sunshine, focusing on that far away object in the distance (but look left and right at intersections so you don’t get run over)
4 – DIETARY TOP UPS
Dietary changes can be really helpful to many with migraine and anxiety. Reducing caffeine and eliminating sugar and artificial sweeteners’ is a good way to start.
But one of the single most important things you can do is add Magnesium and B group vitamins to your diet. You can do this by adding these foods into your diet : whole wheat flour, spinach, quinoa, almonds, cashews, dark chocolate and avocado.
But to be sure you are getting adequate amounts of Magnesium and Vitamins B3, B6 and B9 (more on this one further down) then you could consider supplementing with an activated Magnesium supplement, such as Migraine Stop
In regards to Vitamin B9, also known as Folic Acid, or Folate, there is an interesting phenomena referred to as MTHFR, whereby an estimated 40% of the population cannot absorb Folate properly as they have the MTHFR gene mutation. Folate is one of the most important happiness nutrients we can get in our body, as it regulates mood swings and helps prevent anxiety. Yet 40% of the population cannot effectively absorb it, UNLESS it is provided in the form of Folinic Acid (not Folic Acid)
In the supplement Migraine Stop, the B9 is provided as Folinic Acid - a very, very important factor for controlling anxiety, and one of the reasons that a product such as Migraine Stop should be in every Migraine Sufferers medicine cabinet.
Complimentary Healthcare Group
CHG provides media articles backed by clinical data and research on complimentary options for healthcare. Supported by a unique group of Doctors around the world, CHG provides a snapshot on alternative health and the growing clinical evidence to support the uses of alternative medicines.
Dr. Richard Teague