Recognizing Anxiety and Its Impact on Migraines

I met a woman named Anna a few years back, who like many of you, was struggling with the relentless cycle of migraines and anxiety.

Migraines and anxiety left her feeling trapped and on edge nearly every day. Anxiety bred migraines; migraines bred anxiety - a perfect storm that was hard to break away from.

She tried all of the ‘normal’ things to try to stop her pain and racing mind, but nothing was working.

We began to explore a different approach, one that didn't single out either condition, but addressed them as part of a larger issue - chronic inflammation.

I remember explaining our 6 Key Protocol approach to Anna, which felt to her like a two-for-one deal; deal with inflammation, and both migraines and anxiety could improve.

She said it seemed too good to be true, and naturally, she was understandably skeptical, but eager at the same time.

Anna wasn't alone in her struggle. I've had the opportunity to support many other wonderful women facing similar challenges. Addressing anxiety alone would not have resolved Anna's migraines nor acknowledged the root cause of both.

When she decided to work with us, she was nervous, but dove right in and saw excellent results in just a few weeks.

Anna shared her progress saying, "I am so pleased with things so far. My anxiety, especially regarding migraines, has noticeably decreased, and my moods have stabilized. Where I used to dread each week for the inevitable migraine, I've only had one this month, and a minor niggle I could manage."

Read on as we springboard off of Anna’s story and learn how to recognize anxiety and its impact on migraines.

Uncovering the Connection Between Anxiety and Migraines

So what is anxiety and the symptoms you may experience if you suffer from it chronically?

Anxiety, as defined by the American Psychological Association, is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. It becomes a problem when it becomes chronic and hinders us from fully gleaming the joy of everyday life.

This constant state of worry can amplify the perception of pain, making migraines feel more intense and further fueling anxiety – a vicious cycle.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety

Common symptoms of anxiety include difficulty concentrating, irritability, restlessness, nausea, heart palpitations, trouble sleeping, sweating, trembling, and a sense of impending doom or panic.

Anxiety disorders are twice as common as depressive disorders in individuals impacted by migraines.

Recent studies showed that the frequency of headache days can increase the risk of anxiety and depression, and anxiety is around four times more common in people with migraines than in those without.

Almost half of all chronic migraine sufferers in the United States also struggle with anxiety.

The Role of the 'Gut-Brain Connection' In Anxiety and Migraines

There's a deep link between migraines, anxiety, and gut health due to the neurobiological pathways common to both migraines and anxiety.

Our gut is like a command center, producing mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Changes in serotonin levels can contribute to the development of migraines and anxiety.

When your gut is not functioning at full capacity, your neurotransmitters are not being produced as needed.

Empowering Ourselves Towards Freedom From Migraines and Anxiety

What simple steps can you take to support your gut health, and in turn, mitigate both anxiety and migraines?

I recommend beginning with small, sustainable lifestyle shifts that reduce chronic inflammation and encourage gut healing.

A great starting point is being mindful of your sugar intake. Reducing the added sugar you consume daily will go a long way in reducing inflammation.

Engage in physical activity daily. Remember, this is not necessarily about strenuous workouts, but incorporating movement into your day.

If you smoke, now's the time to consider quitting. And if you drink alcohol, at least for a short term, give your bottle a vacation.

In our hectic world, mastering the art of relaxation can seem elusive. But dedicating just ten minutes a day to practices such as deep breathing or guided relaxation can have profound effects on mitigating anxiety and migraines.

These are the first foundational steps you can take, and when ready, you can advance to the next level of healing for even more results.

Conclusion: There's Light at the End of the Tunnel

Remember Anna? Many women just like her have seen dramatic improvements when shifting from symptom management to addressing chronic inflammation through this root cause approach.

Anna's transformation is a testament to the power within each of us to transform our health and live without the debilitating cycle of anxiety and migraines.

Anna shared this four months into using the protocol: “Since starting The Freedom From Migraines Method all of that (anxiety) is GONE! Now my anxiety level is usually a 2 or less. So even if I have a migraine, I don’t suffer that anxious feeling anymore."

The road to recovery isn't a straight line, but a roller coaster ride. However, each step you take brings you closer to freedom.

Hold onto hope, because just like Anna, relief, resilience, and a migraine-free future are within reach.

debbie waidl migraine freedom coach2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Waidl is the Owner of In The Balance Health Coaching LLC, and Founder of The Freedom From Migraines Method™   & The Migraine Freedom Protocol™ 
She supports busy moms living with Migraines. 

Debbie will uncover what is holding them back from migraine freedom so they can live their life pain and symptom free, work productively, spend the time they want with family and friends, and stop missing out on the things they enjoy.

A message from Debbie:
"I was once right where you are now.  100% believing there was NO WAY to end migraines and my only option was to learn how to live with them or find that magic pill that maybe would work for a while.  If anyone told me back then that I could end my pain once and for all, I would have called BS and popped another pill!

Skeptical times 10  was my middle name for sure because when you try it all and everyone tells you they can help you and they don’t.   You stop believing…  you lose HOPE!

I now realize I was approaching my migraines all backward.

I was trying to cover up symptoms versus trying to end my pain."

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