There’s nothing like a nagging headache that can ruin an otherwise productive or fun day. Whether you’ve got a big game to play, a party to attend, a busy day at work or even if you just want to sit down and relax, a headache can make everything go wrong, and keep you feeling grouchy until it’s gone. You may not realise it then, but a recurring headache can be one of the main reasons for your snappy, snarky and moody state. And believe it or not, they’re not just painful for you; the truth is, they can cause you to be a pain to the people around you.
Treating a headache is often easier said than done, but it helps to understand what causes them. Most of the time headaches are the result of some combination of muscle tension, stress, depression, bad posture, eye strain, high blood pressure and anxiety. If we could just avoid all these, then we’d be headache-free.
We also know now that our lifestyles and habits are to blame. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are two behaviors that can lead to a headache. Consuming too much chocolate, nuts, caffeine, cheese and artificial sweeteners, to name a few, can also cause headaches. This is why it’s essential to be aware of what’s good for us, and to develop healthier habits so that next time around, we can avoid the headache entirely.
Here are some headache remedies and tips to help you out-
• Remember that getting the right amount of sleep at the right time is important. Lack of sleep and irregular sleeping patterns trigger headaches. Maintaining a regular sleep pattern promotes an overall healthy body and mind.
• When you have a headache, try putting a cold compress or ice cubes wrapped in a towel to your head. This will help soothe the throbbing and pulsing blood vessels that cause your head to hurt.
• An alternative is to place one or both of your hands in a bucket of ice cold water, for as long as you can tolerate the intense cold. While your hands are submerged in the water, ball them into fists and unclench and clench them repeatedly. This can be as effective as a cold compress to the head.
• Drink caffeine- The irony is that if you drink too much of it, you can suffer a throbbing headache. But take in just a little bit, and your headache might just disappear.
• Bright lights can aggravate headaches. If you’ve got a bad one, go to a dark room and lie down.
• Never skip meals- If you are prone to headaches, ensure that you take your meals regularly. Eat smaller meals throughout the day, or maintain the normal three-meals-a-day at regular times.
• Eat chillies- Capsaicin is an ingredient found in chillies, and can be an effective painkiller and may reduce the severity of a headache.
• Herbal tea is an excellent headache reliever. Peppermint and chamomile-flavoured teas are especially calming and soothing.
• Avoid chewing gum, drinks with ice, and ice cream; they can all increase the intensity of your headache.
• Try this headache-relieving exercise: Tuck your chin inward and lace your fingers behind your head. Then gently press your head back into your hands. Your hands should provide resistance to the backward force. Hold for a few seconds and repeat several times.
Try out some of these tips, and chances are you’ll be saying goodbye to your headaches in no time. But if you experience severe headaches frequently, make sure to consult a doctor. And definitely see your doctor if your headache is accompanied by any of the following potentially dangerous symptoms: intense pain, mental confusion, loss of vision, passing out, vomiting, high fever or difficulty walking or speaking.
Don’t just shrug off your persistent headaches. Treat them right or see a doctor if necessary. You’ll definitely be a much happier person for it.