Tips for Headaches: The Best Defense Is Often a Good Offense

You know that feeling--the dull ache in your head that signals the onset of a full-blown headache. If you suffer from chronic headaches or even migraines, you know that this can mean the beginning of hours of pain. The best defense is often a good offense. There are strategies to help keep headaches from starting and to minimize the pain if they do develop. Not every technique works for every person, but these suggestions can help. 

Try to find out what triggers a headache for you. This may mean you need to pay special attention to when you get headaches--what situations you are in, how long you've gone without eating, what your stress level is, and whether there are other stimuli involved. For example, some people are sensitive to strong odors, bright lights, or stressful work or family situations. If you have trouble identifying your headache triggers, you might find it useful to write down the details. Eventually, you will be able to see a pattern. Once you do, you can isolate those factors that trigger headaches, and work out a strategy to avoid those specific causes.

Lack of sleep and a general state of fatigue can contribute to headaches. It is important for headache sufferers to not only get enough sleep, but to have a regular sleep schedule, even on the weekends. 

Watch what you eat as well. Skipping meals can cause a drop in your blood sugar levels, possibly triggering a headache. If you wake up with morning headaches, a snack such as fruit before bedtime may help. Caffeine and alcohol can trigger headaches and can make them worse. Researchers have also found that sufficient magnesium in your diet can help. This chemical relaxes your blood vessels, helping to prevent or lessen headache pain. To get more magnesium in your diet, eat whole-grain versions of breads and pastas and add some leafy green vegetables to your meals. Other magnesium-rich foods include almonds, cashews, pumpkin seed, halibut, and soybeans.

Regular exercise can help with headache prevention by producing endorphins, which are your body's natural painkillers. Aerobic exercise is the best kind for headache sufferers. Twenty to thirty minutes a day can make a world of difference. 

Stress is a known trigger of headaches. While it is impossible to remove all stress from your life, you can learn to cope better with those inevitable stressful moments and situations. Experiment until you find a technique that will help calm your mind and body quickly. This may be deep breathing, taking a walk, or talking to a loved one. You may find that the best stress reliever is to simply remove yourself from the stressful situation. If you are under chronic stress due to a relationship or a job, take some time to evaluate whether continuing in that situation is something you really want to do or whether it would be better to move onto a better situation.

At Oxford at Country Club Apartments in Baytown, Texas, we believe it’s important to live life vigorously. In order to do so, you must educate yourself regularly with lifestyle-enhancing tips such as these. With this blog post, we seek to improve your way of life through education that promotes self-care.

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