Migraine-My New Stress-O-Meter?

Do you have a physical symptom like headache or stomach upset that is a sign you’re getting  stressed out and it’s time to slow down?

I think I actually have a fresh new stress-o-meter: migraine headaches! I have never had migraine headaches before, but suddenly this fall I’ve had several tête-à-têtes with them.  It’s and understatement to say I’m not very thrilled with my new burden, because it’s not so long ago when I suffered from chronic tension headaches.


But let’s talk about body types or physiques. I don’t know what to call them but I think there are different body types that react differently to external stimuli and stresses.

I have the kind of “oversensitive” physique that kindly informs me when something is even a little out of whack in my life. My physique reminds me of a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. In the fairy tale, the “real” princess was so sensitive she couldn’t sleep because she sensed a pea that was placed in hear bed even through 20 mattresses.

It’s the same thing with my body: it seems to tell me immediately if I sleep too little, work at a computer too much, exercise too much or too little or in a wrong way. Too bad that the way my knows how to tell me something is pain.

A couple of days ago I was so fed up with myself I half jokingly suggested my mother I could return my body to the sender, i.e. “her”. (She refused because I’m such an old case; the warranty has expired a long time ago.)


But back to migraines.

Migraines are something new to me – I think I had my first migraine about one year ago, I just didn’t recognize it. I think it’s because in addition to a bad case of headache I had plenty of symptoms I didn’t associate with migraines: nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, cold sweats (but no fever), odd food cravings, vivid nightmares and rock-bottom moods.

I thought I just had eaten something spoiled.

Now I have had them several times and have come to recognize the warning signs. If I can’t prevent them, they usually last for days and make my life utterly miserable.

The one thing I really don’t understand is why migraines are thought as headaches: the experience is much more holistic than a mere pain in the head.

I don’t know much about migraines yet, but I’m pretty sure that in my case it’s stress and sudden changes to daily routine trigger them, not specific substances like cheese or wine. I guess I just have to start familiarizing myself with the subject if I want to avoid them as much as possible in future.

Just like I did with my tension headaches.


Do you have some recurring physical symptom that is a sign you’re getting overstressed?


  1. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! This over-sensitive issue of your migraines reminds me of my over-sensitive feet, that got over 100 blisters in 2 months and a black toe. My daughter has a pair of sandals that makes my feet so sensitive that it feels like my soles are on fire with just a few steps in them. 😀

    🙂 Marion

    • Satu says:

      Those 100 blisters must have been some sight.. 😉

  2. Marion says:

    I was also thinking whether you have considered writing the same blog posts for your Finnish blog and your English blog–one just translated of the other. Would that save you time or not?

    🙂 Marion

    • Satu says:

      In practice I write about the same things for my both blogs, but they are never straight word-for-word translations. That does save some time and makes writing the other post easier.

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