If you suffer from tension headaches, there’s good news. As difficult as they are to deal with, there is a considerable amount you can do to end them, the natural way. First, you know it’s a tension headache when you feel like there’s a tight band around your head that creates moderate pain. Why do you get them? Your body is creating an inappropriate response to stress to get your attention and tell you do deal with your stress. There are things you can do about them without drugs. Managing a tension headache is largely a matter of fostering healthy habits including relaxation.
Making Healthy Choices
If there is good news about relieving tension headaches it’s the fact that the same things that create healthy living are the same that can help you deal with your pain. First, consider a few basics:
Eat healthy foods. First, eat a healthy breakfast. Don’t skip meals, no matter how rushed you feel. Eat fresh and organic foods, mostly plenty of fruits and vegetables. And drink plenty of water all day long.
Get enough exercise. It’s been repeatedly proven, but it bears saying again, you need adequate exercise to keep your body healthy. Further, even moderate exercise releases natural chemicals produced by your body that block pain. Even simple exercises like walking, swimming, and cycling are good for you. Start slowly by warming up and stretching–something that in itself will reduce stress–and don’t be too vigorous to begin with. Exercise that is too vigorous too early can actually create tension headaches.
Get enough sleep. The average adult should sleep a minimum of seven hours every night. Eight hours is even better. In order to get to sleep faster and deeper, go to bed at the same time every night. If you can’t go to sleep within 15 minutes of going to bed, try doing something quiet to ease you into sleep such as reading or practicing some kind of spiritual activity such as prayer, meditation, or devotional reading.
Cut the caffeine. Sometimes caffeine can take the edge off of headaches. In other cases, however, caffeine can not only cause headaches, but irritability as well. If you do drink, try organic coffee as often the chemicals in cheap coffee contribute to the problem. Avoid headache medications as most of them contain caffeine. As a result, taking these kinds of medications is like hitting your finger with a hammer and hitting it again to get rid of the pain. Needless to say, it doesn’t work.
Quit smoking. It’s well known that smoking contains carbon monoxide, which is a headache trigger. Not only that the nicotine in smoke is known to cause inflammation: A double whammy. Besides reducing your headache, you will enjoy lifelong health benefits of being smoke free.
Relax. It seems almost silly to mention, but if you want to get rid of tension headaches, get rid of the tension in your life. Simply relax. Simplify your life so that you have less concerns that cause tension. A good starting point is to reduce the amount of stuff in your living environment. Another important way to reduce the stress in your life is to use one word more often: No. That’s it. Simply said, “Don’t let your mouth overload your back.” With less to do, you will find yourself relaxing more. Take a break from your overwhelming schedule so you have more time to enjoy and appreciate life. It will lighten and your attitude, and when your attitude goes up, so does your altitude. Check out the last couple of blog posts for exercises on relaxing.
Finally, let go. Just let go. So what if your desk is a mess or the trash needs to be taken out. Take a walk. Get a massage. It will all be there when you return, and when you do return chances are good that you will be in a better frame of mind to take on those projects anyway. Also remember that there is so much to life that you can’t control, so stop trying. Accept what is, figure out a way to deal with it and don’t worry when you can’t control it anyway. Acceptance leads to relaxation, worry leads to stress and tension.
Be a better you. As you see that if you want to get rid of a tension headache, get rid of the tension that causes the headache. You will not only be a better, more relaxed person, you will find your headache gone.