I recently had one of those experiences that drives home the message that I have to make good matches between my problems and their solutions. In the past I have learned other lessons about the importance of matching problems and solutions, like accepting that my cravings are triggered by eating wheat and that jumping through a dozen other hoops to avoid this unwanted truth just sets me up for more unwanted eating. Or how about the time I decided to start every day with a fruit smoothie until I ended up ravenous and gained three pounds? There is no way around it, I have to do my own experiments and observations to find my truth. And if I don’t like the answers, I get it, that’s my problem. I have to deal with my natural reality.
The recent challenges involved headaches. I decided I was stressed and not getting enough sleep. So I started a meditation practice. Isn’t just about everything caused by too much stress? I practiced deep breathing. I took a bath with lavender oil before going to bed at night. I calmed my thoughts. I practiced gratitude and positive thinking.
These changes made no difference.
Around the same time, I registered for a workshop on hydration. I don’t walk around feeling thirsty but a bunch of my friends from Suppers were going and I usually do pick up some useful information at these workshops. The speaker described the symptoms of dehydration that you can have that had nothing to do with dry mouth or feeling thirsty. The first two things out of her mouth were “fatigue” and “otherwise unexplained headache.” That’s me! It was summertime and I was spending a fair amount of time working in the garden. But why didn’t I get thirsty? Why were the first signs that I had a problem fatigue and headache? It was later explained to me that the brain is so sensitive to dehydration that even a small deficit can cause brain symptoms before thirst. What’s more, it’s possible that given my history with food cravings, I had been experiencing subtle forms of dehydration for a long time. Confusing hunger and thirst signals is also on the list of possible signs of dehydration.
All I did was drink water throughout the day. My headaches vanished and haven’t come back.
I’m really glad I found my answer before deciding that meditation is a bunch of malarkey. It gives me other things I value in my life. But my natural reality demanded that I resolve headaches by making a good match between problem and solution. Water.