Is your life being ruled by crippling headaches but you don’t know how to stop them? Scroll down for our practical guide to stopping headaches for good
Words Joy Montgomery
TRY RELAXATION EXERCISES
A very common trigger for headaches is stress and anxiety. Learning and implementing relaxation techniques is a great way to counteract tension headaches. There are countless meditation and mindfulness apps out there – Headspace is our personal favourite. However, a quick and easy way is to regulate your breathing. Find a quiet space, even if it’s just for five minutes. Breathe in slowly through your nose for four seconds, hold for one, then breathe out of your mouth for four.
UP YOUR LIQUIDS
Research shows that when you’re dehydrated, blood vessels in the head narrow to regulate fluid levels. This makes it difficult for oxygen to reach the brain which causes a headache. Make sure you’re topping up your hydration levels. Keep a big bottle of water on your desk at all times. Coconut water and electrolyte-enhanced drinks will also do the job.
HAVE A SNACK
Another way to stop headaches is to have regular small meals. Low blood sugar is a common trigger for headaches, so try grazing on healthy snacks throughout the day to keep thing consistent. Magnesium-rich food, including pumpkin seeds, spinach and dried fruit are particularly good for helping you avoid crashing.
GET MORE SLEEP
We all know the dull mental fuzziness caused by one too many late nights. At risk of sounding like your mother – simply try and go to bed at a reasonable hour, especially during the week. A mere few of hours of lost sleep can impact your concentration and make you more susceptible to headaches.
TAKE A COMPUTER BREAK
Eyestrain is a common affliction amongst busy city-dwellers. If you’re hunched in front of a bright screen for eight hours a day, it’s no surprise that you’re plagued with headaches. Make sure you get regular breaks away from the screen – five minutes every half an hour is ideal. Also, taking note of your posture can be beneficial. Sit up straight – try placing a small cushion on the small of your back – or alternatively ask your work for an ergonomic chair
GO TO THE DOCTOR
If you’ve exhausted all the options and nothing is working then make an appointment with your GP. Headaches can be a symptom of an underlying illness, so if they persist for a long time then get it checked out. Better safe than sorry!