Move a Muscle, Change a Thought. I first heard that in a self-help program many years ago. It's easy to stay stuck in a certain way of thinking, to stay down and confused and immobilized when we stay in the same place, looking at the same things. Get up, move, do something different, move a muscle, change a thought. There is now all kinds of scientific evidence to back up this idea, of the benefits of physical activity and exercise. I'm not just talking about working out or even taking a walk, though. Just do something to shift, move, change your perspective, take some action, get something moving.

This is as true for those of us with Migraine disease and chronic illness as it is for anyone else. Maybe more so. When we are in chronic or frequent pain it's hard to act on this. I don’t deny it. But as hard as it is, it's very important. It may be that walking to the mailbox is as far as you can go. It may be that sitting up for an hour instead of lying down is a major challenge. Do it, if you possibly can. We need accomplishment in our lives to make our lives feel worthwhile to us. We need goals, even tiny ones. We need to feel we are contributing, even if the extent of the contribution is to wash 3 of the dirty dishes. There will be those times when we cannot do anything but endure our pain, or when attending to our healing is all we should do, but when it is not one of those times, it is time to be doing something.

We also need the shift in perspective. When you stay in one place for a long time, your world can close in. You can't see your way out of problems. Moving your body changes what your eyes see, it helps your blood flow, it helps you breathe more fully, and it opens up your thinking.

I just completed the set of BREESE relaxation recordings which are available on the products page here on Free my Brain. The final BREESE Breathing recording teaches a breathing and movement technique I use to help get the breath and blood moving and the whole body relaxed. You can use this when you have mild head pain, or in the post-drome phase after a Migraine to start moving again and aiding your recovery.

Another technique taught me long ago is to take a green break. Plants produce the oxygen we need to survive, they also produce negative ions which soothe us. Get outdoors and be with a green growing thing. If you can't get out, spend a few minutes with a house plant. When all else fails, look out a window at something green, or even look at a picture of trees, fields, the natural world. Get up, leave the house, cross the room, or even roll over and contemplate something green. Let your worries flow out of you into the green growing world. Just as plants use our carbon dioxide, the waste from our breath, to produce oxygen, let the waste of our minds, our worry and anxiety, flow out into the natural world and be transformed.

Life rewards action. There's another great saying, and I don't know where I first heard it, but I have found it to be true, for me and for the people I work with. Here in New Jersey we have had several weeks of almost non-stop rain. It is gray, damp and chilly, except when it’s gray, damp and muggy. Although I don’t trigger at every barometric pressure change like some Migraineurs, I did eventually get a Migraine over the past few days. It was very hard to get up and move. But once the active pain phase had passed, and during a break in the clouds, when it was just drizzling instead of down-pouring, I went out for a walk. I walked gently, doing my relaxation breathing in rhythm with my steps. I came back more optimistic, with the fog of post-drome beginning to lift. I played a game with my kids; I began writing this piece.

Do what you can to get in action. Little actions can make a big difference. Roll over, shift your perspective. Move a muscle, change a thought. Let me know how I can help!

Author's Bio: 

Megan Oltman is a migraineur, an entrepreneur, and a Migraine Management Coach, helping migraineurs and people with chronic illness manage their lives, keep working, start and maintain businesses, and live purposeful lives. She also practices as a professional divorce mediator. Over the years, she's been a practicing attorney, a free-lance writer, and a business coach and advisor. Megan has a free Migraine management course, The Six Keys to Manage your Migraines and Take Back your Life, available at http://www.takebackyourlifefrommigraine.com Her writings on Migraine and more tools for managing life with Migraine can be found at http://www.freemybrain.com.