Headaches, or even migraines, are fairly common among those who suffer from an anxiety disorder. Stress and anxiety can trigger the event as it causes the nervous system to initiate the “fight or flight” response that is characterized by shallow breathing, increased blood pressure and heart rate as well as increased muscle tension.
It is frequently the small, everyday irritations that bring on this type of headache rather than a major life event such as divorce, death or job loss. Significantly more women suffer from anxiety headaches than men, with some of the common causes including financial pressures, parenthood, relationship problems and trying to meet all of the demands of work as well as caring for a family.
Anxiety can put an extreme amount of stress on the body causing a number of different uncomfortable sensations, including headaches. Some experience more pressure than pain, while others experience dull pain and some tend to experience shooting pains. The headaches may occur in different places such as the front, sides, top or back of the head as well as the back of the neck.
Fortunately, there are a number of options for natural relief.
Be sure to drink plenty of water as anxiety headaches are more common and more severe when you’re dehydrated. Keep in mind that caffeine and alcohol can contribute to dehydration, making it important to limit their consumption. Sipping on herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint tea not only keep you hydrated, they contain natural sedative properties which can help relieve stress and tension headaches.
Using aromatherapy candles or essential oils like lavender and peppermint can also help relieve anxiety headaches. Breathing in the scents can help relax the mind, body and spirit. The oil can be used by massaging a drop into each temple as well as the back of the neck.
Soak in a warm bath
Soaking in a warm bath can help relieve tension and headaches, especially when using bath salts and adding essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and peppermint. Soak for 30 to 60 minutes to relax the muscles in the neck, shoulders, back and head.
Acupuncture is a proven effective treatment for the relief of anxiety headaches. It is thought to stimulate specific muscles and nerves which can activate changes that reduce pain and symptoms as well as to promote healing. In addition, it’s known to help decrease anxiety, which can prevent headaches from occurring.
Reducing anxiety and taking measures to prevent anxiety headaches is always the best option. If you feel a headache coming on, before it worsens, begin deep breathing exercises or use progressive muscle relaxation to decrease stress and stop the headache in its tracks.
Living a healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of exercise, a nutritious diet, plenty of rest and practicing stress-reduction techniques such as meditation can make a significant difference in overall health and well-being as well as lessen or even eliminate anxiety headaches.
-The Alternative Daily