Preventing Headaches: Lifestyle Changes

Perhaps the biggest cause of headaches is stress.  The key to reducing headaches is to reduce stress. There are a series of methods to achieve this-- natural and simple everyday techniques.  Lifestyle changes are essential in that they encompass these skills and ingrain them into your lifestyle.


Exercise is a great stress reducer.  Successful exercise regimens must be realistic to each participant to avoid adding stress rather than reducing it.  For example, if you have not gone jogging in years, do not try to jog 5 miles on your first day of exercising.  Be realistic.


Medication and mindfulness are also options.  These techniques allow a person to be nonjudgmental in self-examination.  This may help in finding the source(s) of stress by allowing a person to become more aware of the possible sources. They can then be eliminated, once identified.  It takes time to successfully meditate and be mindful.  Videos and books may be helpful with this.


Sleep deprivation is often the source of headaches.  A lifestyle of minimal sleep causes fatigue, stress, and headaches, as well as, numerous other health disparities.  A healthy person gets 7-8 hours of sleep/day, every day!  This means that if you get to work at 6 AM, do not go to bed at 3 in the morning, the night before.  Sleep is the best medicine!


Addictions to coffee, nicotine, alcohol, etc. cause stress and therefore, cause headaches.  Reduce consumption to reduce stress and headaches.  This is a huge lifestyle change, for some.  It can be challenging.  A clear goal must be set out and emotional support will be required along the way.  One way to go about relieving dependence on an addiction is to simply set stricter and stricter allowances of access to that substance to “wean” oneself from dependency.


Lastly, food choices characterize a person’s health levels and overall susceptibility to bodily stress and headaches.  For instance, eating a plate of salad for lunch leaves a feeling of lightness and satiety whereas eating a plate of pork can result in headaches, for some, and a feeling of bodily stress.  Bodies respond to foods differently.  Headaches are often an indication of digestive distress.


Other lifestyle choices including hypnosis, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and massages are suitable examples of techniques to alleviate headaches as well.


Lifestyle changes are perhaps the hardest to enact to relieve headaches; however, they are the most effective.  The tactics mentioned will require repetitive reinforcement to do efficiently.  Taking a short-term solution such as an over-the-counter medication is not as helpful as the more long term solution of incorporating these routines into your lifestyle.