Emotions Triggering Migraine: Anxiety and Stress

emotions triggering migraine

Are your emotions triggering migraine? Mine are

This summer was fun, fast and filled with migraines.  In the last few weeks, my emotions have been building for the fall excitement.  My first child is entering Kindergarten.  For some that may not be a big deal, but for a stay at home mom it’s momentous.

Anxiety triggering migraine

On top of this momentous moment, I am also starting a job after 6 years.  Over the last 6 years my only focus has been on my babies, family, dog, and home that we make.  It’s the biggest and hardest job to stay home and I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity.   One of the luxuries of staying home is that I can deal with my migraines on my own.  With a job, my migraines are public and open to scrutiny.   Absences require subs and placing responsibilities on others.  The stress of missing work, throwing off schedules and not being a good employee is huge!  I love the position I was hired for and really want everyone to grow and thrive.

Stress triggering migraine

So between the stress of starting a new job, the devastation of my baby leaving me all day and a change in our whole dynamic, I’ve been walking on needles to avoid a migraine.  Here’s the thing with migraines, they don’t care who, what, where, when or why you don’t want it, it comes!  In fact, sometimes it feels like my migraines know the worst time and hits me right then.

Sadness triggering migraine

All emotion triggering events I get a migraine anticipating, during, or after the event.  I have had one on most holidays, many weddings, baby showers, birthdays, concerts, sporting events and more.  Events bring migraines, change brings migraines.

So with all these events and change, I have tried to numb my emotions.  I remind myself of Scarlett O’Hara saying “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”  I haven’t allowed myself to fully feel the change because I just can’t.  I cried a bit when I dropped my daughter off but had a staff meeting and needed to pull it together.  I didn’t sleep the night before and lack of sleep is another trigger I was trying to deal with.

Excitement triggering migraine

An excitement trigger for migraine is my job.  The heat, the lights, the cleaning, and the reorganization takes a lot.  It’s all wonderful and fun but those things can also be a trigger.

So I sit here thinking to myself, how do I fully feel these emotions without being sick?  I can’t.  I can’t sit and cry about how yesterday I was holding my baby in the hospital and now she’s waving goodbye to me for the day.  I have been with her, planned every event and known exactly where she is for the past 6 years.  Now I just wave and don’t hear from her for almost 7 hours!  The worry just sends me through a tail spin.

Next I throw myself into a new job and I don’t have time to be in my dark room.  I need to be planning.  Once I’ve planned I need to be well enough to fulfil those plans.  I have such high hopes and my ambition scares me in that I will not be able to live up to it.

Emotions triggering migraines  

I can’t imagine being able to feel how I feel and not worry about it.  As if emotions aren’t complicated enough, controlling them is imperative.  So I’ll just worry about that tomorrow, shake off those tears, numb the fears and just keep swimming.

What do you do to control your emotions from triggering you?  

Image result for scarlett o'hara i'll think about it tomorrowTop 10 migraine triggers

Sarah Rathsack

I tell stories of My Migraine Life. I'm a mom, wife, teacher, and chronic migraine sufferer. I tell my stories and advocate in my life searching for health in a positive honest way.
Posted in ,

You Might Also Like:

How to Travel with Migraine

How do I travel with migraine? After my Lessons your children learn or miss on vacation, I was asked how I can travel with a chronic illness.  Not easily, is my answer. Prepare Self Care: I saw 3 doctors the week before I left.  I was on a 20 day antibiotic and was taking sinus…
Read More
running for migraine research

Runnin’ for Migraine Research: Virtual Challange 2015

Tomorrow is our chance to participate by Runnin’ for Migraine Research. I am virtually going to be a runner/walker for the American Headache and Migraine Association which is a patient arm of American Headache Society. It is a 5k run/1mile walk to raise funding for headache and migraine research. This year it is being held…
Read More
miles for migraine Cleveland 2019 highlight

Miles for Migraine Cleveland 2019 Results

Miles for Migraine Cleveland 2019 Results. This year I increased my donations and participants putting together an amazing day of fun and funds!
Read More


  1. Teri Robert on August 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    I don’t think emotions trigger Migraines. There are things we do or don’t do when in the throes of those emotions that can be triggers, and once we recognize them, most are avoidable. These include not drinking enough water, and getting dehydrated; skipping meals or eating on an irregular schedule; crying; not sleeping well.

  2. mini2z on August 21, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I cry equals a migraine, crappy sleep equals a migraine, anxiety I get a migraine, depression yep a migraine so moods trigger mine. I have also passed mine on because my son 21 years old has a migraine today as well. My grandpa had them too.
    Hope back to work goes seamlessly for you. Xx mini

  3. mymigrainelife on August 21, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you. I’m sorry you and your so suffer too. I’m sure watching him get a migraine probably stresses you out too. There are so many things we can’t avoid and being emotional is one of them. We are human and have emotions so how do we avoid it? I hope he feels better soon!

  4. Amy Bobbitt on August 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Congrats Sarah on your job and your baby entering a new world. I too am looking into a new job opportunity and am stressing. So what do I have right now…a doozy of a migraine. Ugh. I have always told my doctors I get migraines not during the stress but after I guess the letdown period. When everything floods my brain, serotonin especially and it doesn’t matter whether it be good stress or bad. So vacations , holidays, daughter getting homecoming court and looking for four different dresses…it’s all stress to my migraine brain. Hugs and many well wishes your way.

  5. mymigrainelife on August 22, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Good luck on your new adventures. I wrote a post about let down migraine, I get them too //www.mymigrainelife.net/?s=Let+down&submit=Go I’ve been trying to control my stress and hope you can too. It’s so hard but I’m optimistic we both have exciting new jobs ahead. Fingers crossed!!!!

  6. helhakim on August 31, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks for this post. I love exploring my emotions and you may wish to check out my free ebook on emotional mastery and my Emotions Library that explains exactly how I process my emotions so that I don’t let it get to the point of a migraine: http://hebaelhakim.com/essential-oils/emotions-library
    I have been toying with the idea that it’s emotionally triggered and I believe this is true but I also believe it’s related to not hydrating enough which in my case is true… So when I get really excited or sad or angry AND I haven’t been drinking enough water…. That headache comes and doesn’t go even if I sleep… Totally get you!

  7. mymigrainelife on August 31, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you! I love your emotion library. When I first started using essential oils I didn’t know where to start. It’s nice to be able to have a nice library.

  8. Migraine Triggers - My Migraine Life on August 25, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    […] Emotions […]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SensaCalm Weighted Blanket

Allay Lamp

Axon Optics

Headache Hat

Offers Scentless Products

Himilayan Salt Lamp

Heat Wrap

Nuun Hydration

Organic Aromas

Migraine Magick


Med Manager