How do I Deal with a Stress Headache?

Stress headaches are a common ailment that just about everyone deals with at one time or another. Also known as a tension headache, the level of pain often depends on the amount of stress the individual is currently enduring. Fortunately, there are ways to relieve the headache pain and get on with life. Here are some strategies you can employ the next time you experience a stress headache.

It is important to remember that if it is possible to minimize the amount of stress in your life, your chances of experiencing a stress headache will lessen considerably. This often means changing some of your habits at work and around the house. Learn how to delegate tasks and responsibilities rather than assuming you have to do everything yourself. Arrange your schedule so you are not so rushed in between action items at work or at home. Give yourself a night off now and again. These little stress busters can ease both the frequency and the severity of your headaches.

When you do get a stress headache, the quick fix is to take some type of over-the-counter headache medication. Often, this is enough to minimize the pain and allow you to carry on with essential tasks. However, not everyone experiences a complete cessation of pain. If medication does not bring you sufficient relief, there are other ways to combat the problem.

Often, a hot shower is just what is needed to ease the pain of a stress headache. Training the flow of water on the shoulders, neck, and upper back can often relax tense muscles and reduce physical stress. As your body begins to relax, the throbbing action of the headache will also begin to ease and possibly disappear altogether.

Aromatherapy brings relief to many people dealing with severe headache pain. Scents such as lavender and vanilla can help to calm jangled nerves and in turn ease a stress headache. Burning incense or candles with these scents, like a hot shower, releases built up tension and thus remove the root cause for the headache. As a result, the headache simply fades away.

A good massage can also help with a stress headache. As the muscles of the body are kneaded, they relax and tension seeps from the muscles. The pressure felt in the head also begins to ease, and the throbbing headache disappears at the same time. Even a simple thirty-minute massage two to three times a week can make a huge difference in the frequency of headaches.

Should the stress headaches continue in spite of all efforts, see a doctor immediately. There may be more factors involved than simply prolonged periods of stress. A qualified physician will know what avenues to explore, and can often diagnose the origin with relative ease.


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