Whether it’s a throbbing at your temples, a nagging ache that wears you down, a piercing sting that stabs deeply into your skull or a squeezing sensation that makes you feel like your head is trapped in a vise, headache pain can stop you in your tracks. Luckily, you can prevent many headaches simply by following a few simple tips.
- Eat Properly
If you’re prone to skipping meals and choosing junk food over fruits and veggies, then you may be setting yourself up for headaches. Eating healthy meals on a regular schedule prevents headaches by keeping blood sugar levels even and providing the nutrition your body needs to function effectively. Individuals who suffer from frequent headaches may want to take a closer look at exactly what they’re eating. Chocolate, cheese, wine, processed meats and certain food additives can leave some people more vulnerable to episodes of head pain. Foods rich in magnesium, such as nuts, seeds and leafy greens, may help prevent headaches.
- Avoid Dehydration
One of the first warning signs of dehydration is headache. That means that drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods that contain water can help you avoid these painful aches. It’s especially important to pay attention to your hydration levels on days when the temperature soars or when you’re very active.
- Make Sleep a Priority
Is sleep the first thing you cut out of your schedule when you’re short on time? This choice can have painful consequences. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation changes the secretion levels of proteins that prompt or suppress chronic pain. Less sleep makes it more likely that you’ll have a headache.
Regular exercise is linked to lower stress levels, better sleep and improved overall health, so it’s not surprising that exercise can be a useful weapon for those trying to fend off headaches. As a bonus, getting active also prompts the body to release endorphins, chemicals that are known to combat pain.
- Pay Attention to Your Posture
Do you have a tendency to slouch or spend hours hunched over a desk? Bad posture stresses the muscles in the neck and shoulders, creating tension that often leads to headaches. Pay attention to your posture when sitting or standing, and try to take regular breaks to reduce this strain and the frequency of your headaches.
- Try Touch
When something hurts, people often rub it. That’s because they instinctively recognize that touch can be healing. If you’re susceptible to headaches, getting a massage from a professional, a friend or a family member may be useful in keeping your discomfort at bay. Acupressure is another form of touch therapy that can help fend off headaches.
- Manage Stress
While managing stress can be tricky, it’s vital for anyone who wants to reduce the frequency of their headaches. Whether you do yoga at home, hit the machines at the gym, meditate or simply make sure that your schedule includes time to relax and have fun, handling stress in a healthy way is crucial to staying headache-free.
Headaches can be disruptive; they make it difficult to accomplish necessary tasks and impossible to enjoy the activities that you love. While you may not be able to prevent every headache, you can certainly take steps to reduce the frequency of them.