Getting headaches every once in a while isn’t anything to worry about, but when you find yourself getting more and more of them, it can be alarming. Dealing with frequent headaches can be tough, but there are ways to make them go away faster and keep them from coming back. Keep reading for some simple and effective tips on how to deal with headaches the next time you get one.
Regular exercise has been shown to help people live happier, healthier lives. When we’re fit, we experience less anxiety and tension—and exercise releases endorphins that improve our moods. Even if your head feels like it’s about to burst with pain, go for a walk outside or hit up a fitness class at your gym. It will help reduce symptoms and stop you from reaching for pain medication—which can leave you drowsy and dehydrated.
One of our favorite ways to deal with a headache is simply relaxing and breathing deeply. Take long, slow breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This will help you focus on something besides your headache, get oxygen into your blood stream, and relax tight muscles. If you like yoga or meditation, you can try practicing one of these techniques during a headache as well. Not only will they help ease muscle tension, but they also can provide some pain relief when done regularly.
3) Drink Water
Water doesn’t just quench thirst—it also helps regulate your body temperature, which can reduce your headache pain. A 2003 study found that patients who drank 1 liter of water over a 20-minute period experienced a decrease in pain by more than 25 percent.
4) Get Some Fresh Air
The best way to deal with a headache is often by preventing it. Get some fresh air when you start feeling a migraine coming on, and you’ll probably be able to stave off that pounding pain in your skull. If you already have a headache, take frequent breaks from what you’re doing and try breathing deeply or slowly counting to ten—these types of breathing exercises will help give your body more oxygen and reduce stress.
5) Try Massage Therapy
While many different types of headaches stem from a number of different factors, massage therapy is often helpful in relieving tension that causes or adds to pain. You can try massaging away your headache with acupressure points, or if you have a migraine, taking a hot shower and applying pressure around your neck can help reduce swelling around your head. Always consult with your doctor before trying any sort of new treatment for an existing health condition.
Take a break. If you’re at work, go home and lie down in a dark room. If you’re at home, take a nap. Do whatever it takes to get some rest—the more sedentary your day has been, the more sleep you need. Skip caffeine: Caffeine may actually be contributing to your headache! It has long been known that caffeine can trigger headaches (or make them worse), which is why many people who suffer from headaches limit their coffee and tea intake.
7) Stay Positive
One of my personal favorite ways to ease a headache is by practicing gratitude. The brain and body have a strong connection. We often say we feel so-and-so because of how we think or how we feel. Take 5 minutes each morning before getting out of bed (while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew) and write down three things that you are grateful for in your life at that moment.