5 Tips for Staying Positive With Chronic Migraine

  • smiling mature woman
    Your brain is a powerful tool for coping with chronic migraines.
    Chronic migraine is defined as patients experiencing at least 15 headache days a month (more than eight of which are migraines). When you’re dealing with this burden, it can be easy to feel discouraged. But did you know having a positive attitude can decrease your perception of pain? Though it may be challenging at times, doing things that make you happy and help you maintain an optimistic outlook may make it coping with chronic migraines easier. Consider incorporating some of these tips into your day-to-day life.
  • Young African American woman doing leg stretch on floor of apartment
    1. Move your body.
    We know the physical benefits of exercise, but there are numerous mental benefits as well. Exercise not only increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to your brain, but it also causes your body to release endorphins. These chemicals have a pain-killing effect and make you feel good. Exercise can lower your stress levels and improve sleep, which can decrease your migraine frequency. Be sure to start slowly and talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
  • Group of diverse young women smiling together
    2. Connect with people.
    Don’t let living with chronic migraines tempt you to isolate from your family and friends. While it’s understandable to rest alone in your dark bedroom when you’re not feeling well, it’s important to maintain human connections. Open up to your loved ones about what you’re experiencing and allow them to help you as needed. Or, check out a chronic migraine support group online. Even virtual connections with others who are going through the same thing can be a great source of encouragement.
  • woman-sitting-in-yoga-position
    3. Practice self-care.
    Studies have shown migraine patients who prioritize self-care both feel and function better. Remind yourself, you deserve it! Practice relaxation techniques, eat nutritious food, get a massage, take a walk in nature, or whatever makes you feel good. Engaging in these types of activities will inevitably improve your overall mood.
  • Middle  age Caucasian woman writing in journal at kitchen table looking away in thought
    4. Celebrate the victories.
    Instead of focusing on what chronic migraines are preventing you from doing, pay more attention to what has worked well. You’re probably used to keeping a journal to track when headaches occur and help identify triggers. What about starting a gratitude journal, too? Maybe begin each morning writing about what you enjoyed or were able to accomplish the previous day. These positive affirmations can help you get your day going on the right track.
  • Female researcher holding vials in science lab
    5. Have trust in science.
    Researchers continue to study and learn more about what’s happening in your brain during a migraine attack, identifying certain proteins and nerves that are involved. As a result, better treatments for chronic migraines have been developed, including injections and tablets that can reduce the number of headaches you experience each month and medical devices that target migraine pain. Even more exciting treatments will likely be coming down the line. Maybe one day living with chronic migraine will become a thing of the past. That’s a thought to help you stay positive.
Staying Positive With Chronic Migraine | Migraine Tips

About The Author

Erin Azuse, RN, has been a registered nurse for 18 years, working in neonatal intensive care and pediatrics. She specializes in creating educational materials for patients, consumers, and other healthcare providers, as well as content marketing for private physicians’ practices, medical device companies, and nursing schools.
  1. The Effectiveness of Orem’s Self-Care Program on Headache-Related Disability in Migraine Patients. Iranian Journal of Neurology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5392201/#:~:text=Due%20to%20the%20chronic%20nature,reducing%20the%20costs%20and%20disability.
  2. The Role of Positive Affect in Pain and its Treatment. The Clinical Journal of Pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4201897/
  3. Managing Migraine with Exercise. American Migraine Foundation. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/managing-migraine-exercise/#:~:text=There's%20evidence%20to%20suggest%20regular,can%20contribute%20to%20migraine%20frequency.
  4. Current and Emerging Evidence-Based Treatment Options in Chronic Migraine: A Narrative Review. The Journal of Headache and Pain. https://thejournalofheadacheandpain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s10194-019-1038-4
Was this helpful?
Last Review Date: 2021 Feb 12
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.