This post may contain affiliate links to the best products to get relief from stress headaches. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
Want relief from stress headaches?
Stress headaches are all too common and can interfere you’re your everyday routine, with your career, and even with your relationships. The pain can be a dull throb that is mildly irritating to an intense stabbing pain that can virtually cripple you.
But rather than silently suffer with stress-related headaches, you can learn how to relieve stress headaches and keep them from coming back. Let’s take a look at what some of those things might include.
Can You Get A Headache from Stress? YES!
Typically stress headaches are caused not just by a tense situation but by how you react or respond to it. Two people can face the exact same stressors and one can get an intense headache while the other person seems to be virtually unaffected.
Very often just realizing that something is stressful can be enough to deal with that stress effectively. Unrealistic expectations are often a primary source of stress and stress-related headaches.
For instance, expecting your job or family life to always be stress-free can create severe tension when faced with disappointed or frustration at work or at home. So having realistic expectations can go a long way toward preventing stress headaches.
You know that your family will be loud and that a certain person may be obnoxious during family get-togethers so don’t get upset when that person says something annoying.
You know your boss is a shortsighted micro-manager, so don’t get irritated when you read yet another annoying memo. Learn to shrug your shoulders and move on. If you learn how to break the stress cycle and let stress go you may very well stop quite a few stress headaches before they start.
Finding Relief When Stress Headaches Can’t be Avoided
Of course you can’t always do that with all your problems, so finding a treatment for those stress headaches is also going to be important.
Taking a few minutes away from a stressful situation can help. So for instance; at the office, take a step outside or just go to the restroom and walk around. At home, take a moment to stand out on your porch and breathe deeply.
Background noise can cause stress headaches without you even being aware of it. So make a point to keep background noises low. Take stock of your surroundings – how noisy is it really? Do you have a radio or a television on even though you’re not paying attention to it? This constant sound can be the cause of your stress headaches so consider turning everything off at least for a little while.
You can also learn how to ease tension headaches with a few simple physical movements. Sit up straight and breathe deeply. Roll your head gently from side to side and shrug your shoulders slightly. Give the front of your face a slight massage, running your thumbs along the bridge of your nose and temples.
Sometimes this type of physical stimulation is enough to calm the nerve endings that are causing stress headaches and lower the blood pressure that may also be contributing to the problem. Try these few simple things at home and see if they don’t work in your case.
How to Get Rid of Stress Headaches Fast – Exercise
How is exercise tied in with relief for stress headaches? There are a few reasons why exercise is so good for you and why it can actually help to make you feel relaxed and less tense overall.
For one thing exercise helps to flex and loosen tense muscles. When you’re sitting at your desk all day your muscles can tense up but when you’re active those muscles are being used and this helps them to loosen up.
If you don’t flex your muscles this way, you can actually be in pain and not realize that it’s the result of those muscles getting stiff and cramped. This is especially true if you work at a desk and are inactive for most hours of the day.
Exercise also increases the heart rate which in turn increases blood circulation throughout the body. Blood has many healing properties as it brings not just nourishment but also oxygen to each and every cell in the body.
It also acts as something of a trash collector, picking up dead cells and other waste material as it goes back to the lungs and other filtering organs of the body. This means that cells are not just being fed more often but are also being cleaned out more often by this increased blood circulation. And when you’re physically active the body releases endorphins, those “feel good” hormones that create a feeling of calm.
Enjoyable Activities to Reduce Stress and Headaches
Being physically active and exercising doesn’t necessarily mean joining a gym or spending hours on a treadmill. Finding something you enjoy doing on a regular basis is typically more enjoyable which means you’ll stick with it.
Consider biking, hiking, dancing, playing tennis, swimming, walking or just running around the yard with the children. Think of something you and your spouse or partner can do together; take a dance class or buy bicycles.
If your city has a community center or recreational facility, consider joining as a family so you can use the pool or other facilities. Make it enjoyable for everyone and you’re more likely to stick with it.
How to Relieve Stress Headaches – Take Care of Your Health
Is there anything worse than being upset, anxious, frustrated, or worried – and then being exhausted on top of that? When you’re feeling tension of course it can be difficult to fall asleep at night. But not getting enough sleep or mindless eating can just make the situation that much worse.
A lack of sleep can cause morning headaches and stress-related headaches throughout the day. Sleep deprivation can also add to your tension because of the feelings of drowsiness, dizziness, and even nausea. Being fatigued and tired can make you all the more tense and anxious, as can eating poorly.
To relieve tension or at least to keep from adding to it, it’s important that you take care of the basic needs of your health through adequate sleep and a good diet. This means at least seven solid hours every night.
You may need to exercise some self-control in this area and turn off the television when it’s bedtime rather than give in to the temptation of staying up late. Put down that book, stop arguing with the spouse, and shut off the internet as well.
Make sure that your bedroom is comfortable, warm enough, and that it presents a good atmosphere for sleep. Don’t put a desk with your bills in the corner; this will only keep you tense and anxious.
The same goes for exercise equipment, dirty laundry, and the children’s toys – find another place for these so that the thought of them won’t interrupt your sleep. Invest in some stress relief products so you feel relaxed, calm, and ready to sleep.
Reduce Chronic Stress and Headaches By Watching What You Eat!
Fast food, fried foods, and sugary foods all will upset your stomach and contribute to feeling poor physically.
It might take some planning to pack a good lunch for your workday or to plan good dinners so that you won’t be tempted to hit a drive-through restaurant but that planning is worth it.
There are endless recipes online for cooking healthy meals on a limited budget and in a limited amount of time. You can also learn to use the right tools for making healthy meals – a rotisserie, a slow cooker, or an indoor tabletop grill can all help to make tasty meals that are healthy as well.
Taking care of yourself physically will empower you to face the problems that are causing you tension. It will also help to keep from adding to that tension with being physically sick as well.
Want Relief For Stress Headaches? Consider a Change!
If you’ve done everything you can to address your problems, improve certain situations, and are taking care of yourself overall but still find that certain situations give you incredible amounts of tension, it may be time to consider a change.
This can be a frightening prospect depending on what is causing you tension. But let’s examine this step a bit more to see how it can be manageable and even recommended.
Suppose you have a very strained relationship with your father because he is a very unkind and angry person that’s never treated you well. He’s not necessarily abusive but his words and actions are very hurtful. And yet you feel obligated to stay in close contact with him, to visit every month, and to spend with him.
We’re not recommending you abandon your father but this doesn’t mean you need to allow him to run roughshod over your feelings either. If he’s in your home and speaks unkindly to you, tell him it’s time to leave.
When you’re at his home and he does the same, get up and leave. Tell him why you’re doing this. He can think what he wants but when he is hurtful or disrespectful in his words and conduct, you’re leaving.
He may learn to curb his tongue when he’s around you or at the very least you’re not subjecting yourself to his behavior but aren’t abandoning him either.
Change Can Be the Best Medicine
Changes like this can be frightening but remember that they don’t mean an “all or nothing” thinking either. If your in-laws are rude and insulting to you, tell your spouse you’re not going to their home any longer.
You don’t need to get a divorce over this but you don’t need to be subject to such behavior either. If your husband’s one particular friend is nasty to you, then you won’t be around that person anymore. He can be with that friend all he wants, but you won’t.
Consider what changes you need to make in your career, in your home life, and in your personal life as well. If your teenaged child is sullen and disrespectful, then you are no longer going to support their extracurricular activities – no more money for the football team, no more money for shopping or movies.
Make a rule that their friends are not allowed over until their attitude changes, and if they’re old enough they can start doing their own laundry and making their own lunch for school. You’re not neglecting or abusing your child but you’re not tolerating such disrespect either.
Some situations cause so much tension and stress that they simply are not worth the sacrifice of your health and your well-being. Getting relief from stress headaches has to be your priority.
If you’ve tried everything else to make adjustments and to accept what cannot be changed but are still feeling extreme amounts of tension over something, then consider at least a slight change for the sake of your own health.