We’ve all experienced headaches related to outside stressors. It might be a coworker, a boss, or a child who pushes you over the edge. Once that headache is there it is hard to recover since every time you think of the cause your blood pressure rises again. You may spend more time worrying about your headache and the source of it than enjoying your time at home or concentrating on your work. It is a vicious cycle.

A new study by the American Academy of Neurology has confirmed what many of us already expected: the more stress in our lives the more likely we will suffer from headaches.

Their study found that stress has a significant impact on all types of headaches, including tension headaches and migraines. And each type of headache had an increased frequency if the sufferer experienced stress within the timeframe of the study.

The researchers have noted that stress management is imperative for individuals already suffering from headache disorders. It is important to recognize the different types of stress that we can experience. Some forms of stress are part of our biological make up. They allow us to get through difficult situations. However, in today’s fast-paced culture many of the things that cause stress are unhealthy.

Here are some tips for avoiding stress to keep the headaches at bay.

Avoid tensing your muscles as a response to stress

Imagine you’re stuck in traffic during rush hour and you’re going to be late. What do you do? Many people clench their jaws or grind their teeth. This action leads directly to tension headache pain. Instead, take deep breathes and try to remain calm knowing that the situation is out of your control.

Simplify your life

Stress is often caused by being overcommitted. It can be difficult to say no when friends or family ask you for favors, but it is important. Cut out activities that no longer serve you or make you feel good about yourself. It is okay for some things to go unfinished until you’re ready for them.

Think positively about situations

There is truth in the psychology that our attitude can make all the difference. Stop the inner negative talk. Rather than saying “I can’t do this,” tell yourself that you can do your very best. Turning negative thoughts into positive ones can really influence the way you think about your tasks.

Do you experience painful headaches when you’re under stress?

Image by makelessnoise via Flickr

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