Your head hurts — again. Headaches and migraines have become an increasingly common occurrence. While there are many treatments to treat the pain, including over-the-counter (OTC) medication, many people often find them ineffective.
If you are one of these people, the good news is that you could possibly treat your headaches and migraines without much medication. In fact, there are a few lifestyle habits that you can do to reduce discomfort — here are eight tips for headache pain and how to quickly ease it.
Stress and headaches often go hand in hand — but it’s nearly impossible to avoid all kinds of stress. But, what you can do is keep it manageable when your head starts hurting.
At the first signs of a headache, take a break from whatever you were doing and find a calm environment. We recommend somewhere dark and cool, as heat and light can trigger headaches and migraines.
You may also want to take precautions against bright and flickering lights in the future, such as adding anti-glare screens to your monitor or switching to daylight-spectrum fluorescent bulbs in your light fixtures.
A little caffeine can go a long way in helping you with your headache. If you can have a drink ready early after your headache starts, it can greatly ease the pain. It can also enhance the effects of OTC pain relievers, like Tylenol. However, be careful — too much caffeine can lead to withdrawal headaches later on, and having too much coffee late in the day can also affect your sleep.
If you still need help relieving your headaches, sip on some organic tea — which is just as potent as regular coffee but without the side effects — like Bona Vita’s 8-in-1 Coffee.
You can also try cold treatments to soothe your migraine and headache pains. If you have a cold pack sitting in your freezer, take it out and wrap it in a towel, and keep it on your forehead for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then, take a 15-minute break before putting it back on your forehead. If you don’t have a cold pack, some ice cubes or a pack of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel should do just fine.
Some types of headaches, like tension headaches, may do better with heat treatments rather than cold treatments. Heat up your hot compress or fill it up with warm water, and place it on the back of your neck (or head, depending on where the pain feels the most concentrated). If the pain seems to radiate more from your sinuses, dip a cloth in warm water, and place it on the area that hurts. A warm shower may also help ease your discomfort.
Certain smells can trigger positive responses in your body — including a healing response towards headaches and migraines. Some scents, such as lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, and chamomile are especially helpful when you’re dealing with headaches. These aromatic oils can be bought at many health food stores. You can buy them as rubbing tinctures, which you apply behind your ears, or as essential oils that spread their scent through diffusers or oil bottles.
This may sound silly, but some types of headaches can be soothed by simple breathing exercises. This is because careful and controlled breathing can help focus and relax your muscles, which eases tension around your neck and head.
To start, find a quiet and comfortable place to sit down. Once you’re situated, take slow and rhythmic breaths — breathe in deep for five seconds, and slowly breathe out for five seconds. This will help you relax and you’ll start to feel less tight and stressed.
Sometimes, your headache can be caused by dehydration. Otherwise, a lack of water may make an existing headache or migraine much worse. Luckily, this can be easily avoided by making sure you drink plenty of liquids. We always recommend water, but electrolyte-containing drinks like Gatorade are also great for rehydrating.
While these drinks can reduce your headache, many other drinks can trigger them — such as soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. You may want to avoid these until your headache subsides.
There are a lot of health problems caused by a chronic lack of sleep — constant headaches and migraines included. But, knowing you need to sleep, and actually managing to sleep properly are two different things.
Here are a few ways you can proper rest:
When that headache pain sets in, all you want is for it to go away as quickly as possible — luckily, with these eight tips for headache pain, you can achieve just that! Sometimes, all you need is a few new lifestyle habits to shorten your headaches and make their symptoms much more bearable.
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