How do I Deal with a Stress Headache?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

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.

Dried vanilla beans. The vanilla scent can often help relieve stress.
Dried vanilla beans. The vanilla scent can often help relieve stress.

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.

A jasmine-scented candle may have a calming effect, which could help relieve a headache.
A jasmine-scented candle may have a calming effect, which could help relieve a headache.

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.

A massage may help ease a headache.
A massage may help ease a headache.

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.

Incense and other aromatherapy products make help alleviate a stress headache.
Incense and other aromatherapy products make help alleviate a stress headache.

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 hot shower may ease the pain of a stress headache.
A hot shower may ease the pain of a stress headache.

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.

Sometimes, all you need is a long, hot shower to ease the pain of a stress headache.
Sometimes, all you need is a long, hot shower to ease the pain of a stress headache.

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.

Engaging in light physical activity and relaxation may help alleviate a stress-induced headache.
Engaging in light physical activity and relaxation may help alleviate a stress-induced headache.
Minimizing the amount of stress in an individual's life will help reduce the amount of stress headaches that the person experiences.
Minimizing the amount of stress in an individual's life will help reduce the amount of stress headaches that the person experiences.
If a stress headache persists, see your doctor to rule out any underlying health concerns.
If a stress headache persists, see your doctor to rule out any underlying health concerns.
Stress headaches are common in many people.
Stress headaches are common in many people.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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