The Link Between Stress & Headaches
Are you feeling rushed? Are you dreading a big meeting at work? These events can all add up to the start of a headache. Often, it’s not the event itself that results in a headache, but rather, your body’s reaction to stress. If you cope by clenching your jaw or tensing your muscles, you may be more likely to experience headaches as a result.
Why it Matters:
Episodic headaches, or those that occur sporadically, are often triggered by isolated, stressful incidents, while chronic headaches typically happen because of daily, constant stress. A few of the most common everyday stress triggers include relationship troubles, anxiety, poor sleep habits, or significant life changes.
Tips for Reducing Stress:
Exercise More: Regular exercise boosts endorphins, which help put you in a better mood. It also increases energy and helps take the focus off the events that are stressing you out.
Get Some Sleep: Aim to get at least 7.5 hours of sleep each night. Falling asleep at the same time every night and getting up at the same time each morning will help you fall into a healthy sleep pattern. The bedtime mode in the iPhone clock app is a great way to be consistent with your sleep pattern.
Relax: Make time for relaxation techniques that help you feel calm during periods of high stress. Meditation and yoga are just two techniques that can help you feel relaxed and collected under pressure and help mitigate the onset of stress. Foam rolling and gentle stretching is another way to signal to your body it is time to slow down. Avoid exposure to artificial light at night to help signal your body to produce melatonin, which helps to regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycles.
See a Chiropractor: Keeping your spinal joints moving correctly can reduce the strain on your spine and its supporting muscles. Chiropractic care can help you relieve pent up stress in your body and get you feeling better quickly.
So, can stress cause headaches? Yes. While there is a link between stress and headaches, now you know there are ways to relieve it. When you feel the stressors of your daily life start to add up, take a moment to practice some relaxation techniques and make sure you get in some exercise. Use preventive measures like eating well and getting better sleep. And be sure to make time to see your chiropractor to keep your body relaxed and stress-free.
Sleep and Migraine: Assessment and Treatment of Comorbid Sleep Disorders. Headache 2018