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What It’s Really Like To Live With Migraines

What It’s Really Like To Live With Migraines

For those who have never experienced a migraine, it is hard to fathom the pain of this intense condition. It is more than just a bad headache, since it can last for days and include light and sound sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. Television star Marsha Cross and movie star Ben Affleck are two celebrities that have struggled publicly with migraines. Read on to clear up some common misconceptions about this debilitating ailment.

There is no simple test to determine migraines

Unfortunately, there is no medical test to help determine whether an individual does in fact have migraines. Symptoms and a family history are the best indicators that a migraine is the culprit for someone who has been suffering. Even then, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of a person’s headaches because there are similar conditions such as cluster, sinus, or tension headaches that can exhibit very similar symptoms. It it important for those who might believe that they are suffering from migraines to keep a detailed journal of their symptoms, including frequency and intensity, to share with their medical physician, since every individual case is different.

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There is no such thing as a common frequency for the symptoms

Depending on the individual, the frequency of their migraines can vary greatly — from once a year to once a day. There are numerous factors that can cause an episode, including the weather, certain types of food, the environment, and stress. Individuals who suffer from migraines can usually anticipate what will bring one on and can learn to find ways to avoid or lessen these situations. With the advancement of technology, there are many different applications and websites that are available to help out those who suffer from this illness.

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There is not one pill that works as a cure-all for everyone

Like any other illness, there are various ways to treat a migraine depending on the individual. For smaller migraines, sometimes over-the-counter pain medications will do the trick. For more intense migraines, there are a lot of different prescriptions that can be given. There are also prevention medications that can help migraine suffers ward off any future episodes and help reduce any associated nausea. Also, just because one medication might not seem to work, it is important to keep trying different ones until you find one that works for your specific case.

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More than just Caucasian women suffer from migraines

It is true that Caucasian women more commonly suffer from migraines, but that does not mean everyone else is in the clear. Women of other races have the chance of developing this condition to a lower degree and men have a lesser chance, but it is still possible. It is believed that women are more likely to develop migraines due to hormones. It is also often believed that women who are high-achievers and have type-A personalities are more likely to suffer. However, women of all temperaments can indeed suffer from migraines.

There is no proof that chocolate triggers migraines

It is a common misconception that women who suffer from migraines will bring on an episode by eating chocolate. While this can be true for some women, the opposite can be true as well. Chocolate contains caffeine that can actually help to alleviate the pain of a migraine and some women swear by this sweet treat to cure their head woes. The darker the chocolate, the better, since milk chocolate is not as nutritious as its darker counterpart. There are, of course, common foods that can trigger a migraine, including red wine, aged cheese, and any dishes laden with monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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