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How to manage migraines that are triggered by stress

There are few things more debilitating than a migraine; they can completely stop you in your tracks with pain that, for some, makes thinking impossible and a sensitivity to light that leaves you in the dark (literally).


t I remember when my first migraine struck; I was in college and the pain was truly like nothing else I had ever experienced. I could barely open my eyes and spent the afternoon in a dark room, under the covers, trying to make it go away. I didn’t exactly know what was going on but knew this wasn’t just your typical headache and a trip to the doctor confirmed that with the diagnosis of suffering from a migraine.

t Over the years I’ve discovered a pattern in what triggers my migraines; sometimes it’s a drastic change in weather. Sometimes I haven’t gotten enough sleep. But most of the time, it’s stress (and I’m not alone here, in the recent Millennial Migraine Report, commissioned by the makers of Excedrin® Migraine, 70 percent of Millennials surveyed reported that stress is a trigger for their migraines too).

t Is there anything worse than dealing with a migraine when you’re already feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Of course the easiest tip for managing stress-induced migraines would be to “stress less,” but I know that’s not always easy! In fact, only 50 percent of millennial migraine sufferers surveyed said that they’re trying to reduce stress to help better manage their migraines; we’re a generation that is just used to being on the go. Throughout the years I’ve picked up a few tricks for managing my migraines when reducing my stress isn’t necessarily an option.

1. Step away from the screens

t While we love to be always connected, staring at our screens 24/7 can actually make my migraines much worse! Taking a break from cell phones, laptops and televisions and unplugging for a bit can help not only my migraines, but also my overall stress levels as well.

2. Stay well hydrated

t Drinking water is not only good for health overall, but can also help reduce that throbbing feeling and get me back on track to feel better. Using a refillable water bottle during the day (especially at work) can make it simple to track water consumption.

3. Sweat it out

t Exercise can be the last thing you want to do when you’re stressed or not feeling well, but taking the time to sweat it out with your favorite form of fitness can be a huge stress-reliever! I promise you won’t ever regret getting a workout in!

4. Always be prepared

t Getting a migraine when you’re out and about or at the office can be a killer if you’re not prepared! I always make sure to keep an over-the-counter medication in my purse and at my desk to help relieve symptoms.

t To learn more about the Millennial Migraine Report or for more information about migraines check out

tDisclosure: This post was sponsored by SheKnows. This article and its survey findings were made possible by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., the makers of Excedrin® Migraine. Respondents of the survey were diagnosed migraine sufferers. See your doctor for diagnosis of migraines and migraine treatment options.

t All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photo credit: makelessnoise/Flickr

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