Emotional intelligence helps guide solution-based thinking
Blooming roses

Emotions flow in and out of our minds as we experience migraine, or tend to a loved one who is going through one. Have you heard of “emotional intelligence?”

Essentially, emotional intelligence is what your capacity is to recognize your own emotions and those of the people around you, and use that information to more successfully adapt to the environment you are in.

I have come to find out that there are certain emotions that you can expect when you live with migraine.

The first emotion I experienced with migraine was fear. Fear can be paralyzing. Fear can set you back. But I stand with the belief that the best things in life are on the other side of fear.

I’ve paced medical hallways. I’ve “over-Googled.” I’ve cycled in and out worst-case scenario thoughts. 

When my “fear alarm” is set off, I put conscious effort in to settling my mind. It’s no small feat. I try to shift to a solution-based mindset. It’s called positive thinking. In my case, nearly repetitive positive thinking. I fight the all-consuming urge to let fear get the best of me. Some days I win. Some days I don’t. 

I mentally tell myself “I’ll do everything in my own power to help it along the right path.”

I know that positive change is associated with action; action on my behalf. Action is a verb. I place more trust in humans that show me their dedication to our relationship through action.

I feel more secure when I am moving. It’s important to not let your mind be the detriment to your overall well-being. We could play the “What if?” game all day, and as fun as it can be (particularly when bandying about all positive thoughts and outcomes), playing the “What if?” game with only negative thoughts can quickly become an unstable force.

“Pain can have a negative effect on emotions,” said Dr. Nasim Maleki in “Intersection of Migraine and Mood Disorders” at the 2020 Migraine Symposium. Pain is an unpleasant, unpredictable, and unapologetic feeling. 

Anticipation – another friendly emotion, right? It’d be safe to say that I have developed far more patience in the past six years than my family could have ever predicted in a lifetime. I do not waste the occasional “waiting periods” life gives me. Migraine treatments take time. We’ve got to learn to dance in the rain, right?   Make the most of your migraine treatment timeline. Bloom in the season of waiting.

Every single person has limitations, boundaries, and of course, free will. Within yours, I encourage you to bloom in the season you are presently living in.

We are all in different seasons – even if we are the same age, have the same job, and the same goals.

Find things that make you happy during your season – hobbies that lift you up; work on making yourself happy and feel whole even if you feel in pieces. Open your eyes to explore the new and the unknown. It could be as simple as finding a new hot tea you love to sip on every morning or playing in the autumn leaves with your child.

The different seasons we experience may include a season of pain, a season of gratitude, a season of grief, or a season of big, happy life changes!

How do you embrace the season? You’re learning my secret – my journal. It’s here to stay. Whether it’s a quote I hear, a few words that make me smile, or how I want to feel in two months, I write down something at least weekly in the journal I carry in my purse. 

Ever thought about choosing a word to focus on during your season of waiting? One of my best friends chooses a word each year – instead of making a New Year’s resolution – and lives up to it.

In your season of waiting, what word would you choose: Joy?  Find some simple piece of joy each day. Strength? Write down the ways you felt strong each day. My friend’s word for 2020 was unapologetic. I respect her for that. She focused on living her truest self and I see an incredible benefit to that. 

For some time now, I’ve had the emotion of confidence. I am confident in my body, in my mind, and in my decision-making during the past six years of being a migraine patient. This confidence has also carried over into other parts of my life.

My migraine journey has provided me with indescribable confidence. Every single (large or small) decision I make, I make in confidence. It’s not only the battle within our own minds but I’ve learned to not let my confidence waver when it appears others are trying to infiltrate my mind with emotions of their own – emotions they want to shift to me, make me question myself, my health, my relationships, my lifestyle. This is where boundaries come knocking. You know your body, your health, your feelings, your relationships, your lifestyle – you choose who you allow to influence you.

The trust I have in myself to face health conditions and challenges is immeasurable. I know I am capable. I have faith in myself, my body, my relationships, my doctors, and my mind.

Why not join me by focusing on thoughtfully processing emotional information and using it to live your healthiest, happiest life?

Coming next: Sweetness of summer need not include dairy or artificial food dyes