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How to Get Rid of Your Stress Headache for Good

Things you can do to reduce stress headache

It’s estimated that 80% of US adults experience stress headaches, also known as “tension headaches,” every year. Anyone who has suffered from a stress headache knows how painful and disruptive they can be. One minute, you’re going about your daily business and the next, you’re sidelined by a dull, aching pain on both sides of your head. This pain is often described as feeling as though a vice is squeezing your head. While this can seem overwhelming, there are things you can do to relieve this pain.

Man sitting in a chair, holding his head
Having a stress headache can be painful and disruptive to your life and daily activities, but
there are steps you can do to reduce your stress headache. (Image: Nik Shuliahin, Unsplash)

Sleep and Exercise

While the cause of a stress headache is still unknown, the trigger often is—you guessed it—stress. The best way to prevent or ease a stress headache is to manage your stress. Some great ways to reduce stress include getting a full night’s sleep every night, cutting unnecessary expenses to reduce financial stress, and even adopting a pet.

Additionally, you may want to consider an exercise regimen. If you hate running on the treadmill, then choose something you enjoy. Take that dance class you’ve had your eye on or start swimming at your local pool. If you’re looking for something less intense, yoga, Pilates, or a walk in the park can often do the trick. Meditation has also been proven to lower stress.

Self-Care

Taking some time to focus on yourself can help prevent or reduce stress headaches. At-home self-care is a big trend right now—and for good reason. According to House Method, with all the stresses of everyday life, it’s important to create at least one stress-free oasis in the home. It can be a quiet room (or even just a corner of a room) where you can meditate or read a book.

If getting your hands dirty and watching beauty grow appeals to you, a garden may be more to your taste. You could even try an at-home spa night? No need to spend a lot of money. Try an Epsom salt bath and soak your worries away.

Understand the Difference Between a Migraine and a Stress Headache

Many people confuse stress headaches with migraine headaches. Unlike stress headaches, migraines usually occur on one side of the head and are often accompanied by vision issues and nausea. It’s important to understand the difference as the methods for treating each type of headache are often different.

To help feel your best again, in other words, you have to know what’s causing the headache and what you can do to avoid it. If a bad headache comes on suddenly, you start to feel dizzy, or your headache follows a head injury, seek medical attention immediately.

Remember: Prevention is key. The fast-paced modern lifestyle can lead people to forget to take care of themselves. If a stress headache slows you down, then you are less able to handle life’s concerns and your headache will worsen. Making healthy life choices by exercising and creating a stress-free home environment can help manage your stress, thereby reducing the frequency of stress headaches.

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