The Easiest Ways to Reduce Stress and Prevent Those Painful Headaches

April is Stress Awareness Month, and when you’re caught in the shuffle of daily life, we’re here to remind you of the importance of taking time out to relax and destress. You’ve lost your keys, have deadlines at work, and traffic on the freeway is bumper to bumper. Before you know it, that all-too-familiar tension headache creeps up. Sound like a familiar scenario?

While many headaches seem to come on out of the blue, many people who suffer from headaches find that certain things trigger them. You may be surprised to know that stress is a common trigger. That’s why we’re here to discuss some simple and practical ways to mellow out your stress levels to help get control of your headaches -- so you can live a happier, healthier life.

Stress as a headache trigger

The Beverly Hills Headache Institute is led by Ravinder Singh, MD. As a neurologist and specialist in headache prevention, Dr. Singh presents seminars and webinars that provide guidance to patients on the benefits of lowering stress levels.

While daily responsibilities can’t be ignored, it’s important to take time to relax and avoid taking life too seriously. Highly driven, “Type A” personalities are especially prone to tension headaches due to their ambitious lifestyles.

Allowing your stress levels to rise too much, too often, and for too long is a surefire way to trigger a headache. Our experts explain that taking time to laugh and relax is a proven way to lower stress levels and help keep headaches at bay. We’d like to share these simple and practical ways to destress your life and reign in those pesky headaches.  

Get enough quality of sleep

When you’re dealing with the stressors of daily life, it’s easy to skimp on sleep. You may even plan to catch up the weekend. In reality, missing out on quality shut-eye can have a dramatic impact on your stress levels, even if you try to even the score by catching a few extra Zs on the weekend.

Levels of the stress hormone cortisol rise when you fail to get enough good quality sleep, and this can lead to a bout of menacing headaches. Our first tip to taming stress-triggered headaches is to practice good sleep hygiene. Do things to promote restful sleep, such as turning off electronic devices an hour before bed time and getting in bed at the same time each night.

You may feel tempted to check your social media right before bed or check on the latest gossip from your favorite site, but doing so can prevent your body from unwinding from the day and preparing for deep sleep.

Creating a ritual of reading a book or playing relaxing music before bed can help you drift off to a sound, restful slumber. Aiming to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night and sticking to a regular sleep schedule can go a long way in reducing your stress and staving off headaches.

Smell your way to relaxation

Adding a few drops of essential oil to an oil diffuser can not only relax you after a busy day, it can help keep headaches away. Essential oils are concentrated liquids made from flowers, leaves, stems, and bark. Different oils offer different benefits. Certain oils, such as peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and chamomile can relax the body and lower stress levels, helping to prevent headaches.

Using essential oils couldn’t be more simple and easy. After placing a few drops of essential oil into a diffuser, you simply sit back, relax and breathe in the scent.

Take a yoga class

Yoga pants are more than just a comfy outfit for running errands. Taking an actual yoga class is a proven way to reduce how often and intense your headaches come on. You don’t have to be a yogi to reap the benefits. Taking a beginner’s yoga class offer numerous health benefits, including reducing stress levels. Yoga is a mind-body practice that involves meditation, deep breathing, and holding the body in various positions. This combination relaxes the mind and body and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Six weeks of practicing yoga may have a significant benefit on your headaches.

Spend time outdoors

Spending time in nature is one of the simplest and most practical ways to lower stress. Taking a walk in a park or sitting outdoors by a pond can boost mood, relieve anxiety, bust stress, and improve overall feelings of well-being. When you’re feeling sluggish and stressed out and headaches seem to come on hard and fast, consider adding time outdoors as part of your daily routine. Spending a few as 15 minutes outdoors can have positive health benefits.

Hang out with pets

If you have room in your life for a pet, making one a part of your family offers significant benefits. Studies show that pets help lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and lower stress. If you aren’t up for the commitment of having a pet, consider fostering an animal or volunteering with an animal organization. Playing with a dog in the park, petting a cat, or simply relaxing with an animal can help relieve stress and get painful headaches under control.

At Premier Neurology Medical Group, we offer the highest quality neurology care. For more information on headache management and treatment, schedule an appointment with one of our providers by calling our office in Beverly Hills, California. You can also request an appointment online.

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