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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 December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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