Last week was interesting, but not altogether pleasant. On HealthCentral, I published an article about a unique virtual study to look at the impact of activity on Migraine. Once the article was published, I posted it on my Facebook timeline. To see if you're eligible for the study, you install an app on your iPhone, answer some questions, then wait for an email. Some people let me know that they hadn't received an email. Although I'm not involved in the study, I reached out to someone I knew could get answers. It turned out that some people's email services were "seeing" those emails as spam and not delivering them.
It took less than 24 hours to get that answer, but one woman who was commenting on my Facebook page seemed to not have the patience to wait for me to get a reply. She began making truly nasty comments on my page. Nothing I or two other people said to her calmed her. I don't know if she wasn't feeling well, or what else may have caused her to be so angry, but I deleted her unpleasant remarks and accusations from my Facebook page. She then took to Facebook Messenger to berate me about the issue. When she got to profane name-calling, I was through. I urged her to get help and promised to pray for her.
As I sit and reflect upon the incident, I think of the post I wrote here a couple of weeks ago about being kind. I simply don't understand people who can be so nasty to other people as that woman on Facebook was to me. I wasn't responsible for any issues with applying for the study, but I was working to get an answer for people. I don't understand why she went off on me. Why did she feel justified in calling me a "whore" and other names that I can't repeat here? Where was her sense of decency? Where was her kindness for others? Doesn't she understand that I was trying to help... that I'm a Migraine patient with health issues of my own? I have to admit that it can be difficult to not let experiences such as this erode my sympathy, compassion, and empathy for my fellow Migraineurs. It's not easy to brush it off and continue to be open and available when others need help when one of them treated me so unkindly.
I came across a recent article that talked about how being kind benefits the person being kind as much as it does the recipient of said kindness. Researchers at the University of British Columbia reported that random acts of kindness can help lessen anxiety. Their study involved having people diagnosed with anxiety perform six random acts of kindness weekly for four weeks. Those acts of kindness helped them be less prone to social avoidance and improved their relationship satisfaction.
Being kind and empathetic increases production of oxytocin, a hormone released by the pituitary gland that some have called the "cuddle hormone." Research shows that people have more negative thoughts about their lives during stressful times, BUT when they're kind to others during those times, they don't have those negative feelings. A series of experiments at the Harvard Business School revealed that people who do things for others have higher levels of happiness.
All of that said, I realize that Migraine attacks can wreak havoc on our emotions because of the fluctuations of neurotransmitters that occur during a Migraine. Trust me, having had Migraines for 56 years now, I know how that feels. Still, I refuse to use that as an excuse for being unkind and nasty. When I have a Migraine, I'm very careful to either respond to people appropriately or wait to respond to them until I don't have a Migraine messing with my emotions. I know that I can be very cranky during a Migraine, and it's wrong to take it out on others.
All in all, kindness benefits both the giver and the recipient. It's definitely the way to go!
because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"