Stress is difficult to define. It is also something most people will experience at some time in their lives. We often feel stressed when we are under pressure, such as when there is lots going on in our lives or when we don’t have much control over the situations we are facing. Migraine and stress are closely related, so it is important that we know how to get relief when we need it.
It is, of course, important to recognise when we are stressed, especially when it comes to predicting pain from migraine attacks and managing this pain when it arrives. Migraine attacks are often unpredictable and we don’t fully understand the exact causes behind them. That being said, we do know that many regularly report stress as a trigger. Furthermore, it is common to feel stressed as a result of the pain caused by migraine attacks. It is therefore really important that everyone who faces the condition knows the most effective ways of dealing with these pressures.
Relaxation exercises can be really beneficial when it comes to managing stress and pain from migraine attacks, helping to calm both your body and your mind. But what do stress relief exercises actually involve? And when should we try them? There are many different techniques to have a go at – they range from peaceful meditation to more active stretches and exercises. To help you unwind as much as possible, get comfortable and give them a go in a quiet and familiar place.
When is the best time to try relaxation exercises?
Relaxation exercises are an incredibly useful tool, but to get the most out of them they need to be practised on a regular basis. So, whilst it may seem obvious that you should try relaxation skills when you are experiencing stress or pain, you should also make time to practise them even when you are feeling well, such as when you aren’t stressed or aren’t suffering from a migraine attack. To really benefit from the exercises below, it is therefore helpful to set up a schedule of frequent practices. Consistency is key, and incorporating them into your daily routine will make a big difference.
Of course, you may find some of the techniques a little difficult at first. This is completely understandable – they are new and unfamiliar! However, it is easy to build up your confidence and become familiar with them in no time. Start with shorter sessions and slowly build them up. Set daily reminders so you don’t forget your sessions. Importantly, remember that you may need to try different exercises to find the ones that work best for you! You’ll soon have lots of experience, and the benefits from practising relaxation will be well worth the effort.
Check out our follow up blog to learn about different relaxation techniques for migraine stress relief.