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Stress and Headaches

How does stress affect your well-being and how is stress related to getting headaches? Let’s discuss the most common ways stress can make you more headache prone…

While most of us do not get enough sound, restful, and restorative sleep as it is, stress can interfere affect both the quantity and quality of sleep we do get. If you’re tossing and turning all night, your body won’t have the opportunity to refresh itself and this can add tension to your morning. If you then consume a lot of caffeine to help get you through the day, it can lead to a vicious cycle by hindering your ability to sleep the following night.

How we react to stress also affects us. Some of us literally “take it out’ on our bodies, channeling the stress into our neck and shoulders. This can cause tension-type headaches where the muscles of your at the back of your neck become tight. “Knots” can develop in the muscles, sending shooting pains into your head.

Stress can affect us by disrupting our normal healthy routine. Instead of eating right and exercising, we resort to eating junk foods and avoiding the gym. Over-eating and not maintaining a healthy weight can add to the stress on the body, the spine, and the heart. Studies have shown that the risk for headaches is higher among those who are overweight or obese.

A lot of us think we handle stress well and just need a two-week vacation to get back on track. But really, two weeks off does little to change your life for the other fifty weeks during the year. The key is to learn how to handle and deal with stressors on a “day to day” basis. The presence of back pain or neck pain can also add stress to your life by making your everyday activities more difficult. If that’s you, please see your doctor of chiropractic.

Since the presence of stress can increase your risk of headaches, becoming better at managing your stress levels can also help lower your risk. Each day, try to do something positive for yourself, and resist the temptation to worry about the future and fret about the past. Take each day as it comes and try to have positive thoughts. These practices can help improve your outlook and perspective. Try a different attitude in approaching the stressful things in your life. Sometimes just getting things into perspective and not stressing the small stuff are important to leading a more stress-free life, and enjoying the hidden pleasures that life brings to us each and every day.

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