5 Lifestyle Changes to Decrease the Frequency of Your Headaches- Community Health 1st ER
Our fast-paced world finds almost 25% of Americans with headaches so debilitating that it disrupts their lives. The headaches are so severe that it takes time away from their families, hobbies they love, and missed work days. For those who suffer, you have probably been tested by every kind of test available and tried every pill your doctor has prescribed, butstill, you have some pain. If any of that describes you, consider trying to make five changes in your lifestyle to limit how often you have these headaches.
There are many types of headaches, but migraines are arguably the worst. Following these tips may help with other types of headaches, but they’ve been studied most extensively in the context of migraines.
Set a schedule — and stick to it
Some people have headaches because they are genetically inclined to do so, and they may have been around something and gotten exposed to something that would trigger a headache for you.
Many who have headaches often share common triggers and find there are some ways to figure out what yours might be. By following your schedule, it may help you to learn what is triggering your pain, or help you to have fewer headaches.
You might also identify that by setting a strict routine in your life it will help. Try waking up the same time every morning, on the weekends, eat meals at the same time every day, go to bed at the same time every night. Schedule your exercise and your other ‘self-care’ routines at the same time every day.
It could be that your headaches are triggered because you are sleeping too much or maybe not getting enough sleep and by modifying your patterns of sleep might help you avoid a headache trigger. Some folks get a headache when they get hungry, so scheduling your meals can help you avoid the hunger issue. Stress can also be a trigger;thus with a regular schedule, it usually decreases your stress level because you know when and where you need to be and are not in that adrenaline rush all the time.
Maintain a headache diary
If you track your activities every day for a few weeks, you could very well identify your triggers. Keeping that headache diary should include when you sleep, what you are eating and drinking (all of it) and what your activities are every day could reveal a pattern.
Maybe you have noticed that you get a migraine a few hours after drinking some wine but have never put the two together before. You might notice that every time you clean your bathroom, you get a migraine; and it could be from the strong chemical scents that trigger it.
By identifying the causes of your headaches can go a long way to help you in avoiding them. Keeping all the notes on everything you did every day might seem aggravating and tedious, but if it can help you in the future to stop those headaches, it will be worth the effort and your time.
No one is asking you to become a star athlete, but if you can do some type of activity 3-5 days a week for about 30 minutes each of those days it could very well help lessen the frequency of the headaches you have been having. It might be necessary to build up to it slowly, and it is fine to start with 5-10 minutes of exercise each day and work your way up to the more extended sessions.
Scientists are still not sure how exercise helps but think it improves your quality of sleeping, enhances circulation, or reduces tension overall.
It’s generally a good idea to perform a low-impact exercise like biking, swimming, or walking. Find an activity that you like issignificant because you are more likely to exercise.
Lower your stress level
It is a lot easier talking about stress reduction than actually doing it. For you to exercise on a regular basis, eat a balanced diet, eat healthily, and get enough sleep all together will likely help you in feeling less stressed, but you may be one of those people that have to do more.
Each person’s life is unique to them, and the types of situations that bring on stress for you are most likely different than what they are for your co-worker or your neighbor. It is the same way when it comes to lowering your stress levels. The following are some common strategies that might help:
- Lower the amount of commitments in your life
- Practice yoga because it has an added benefit of the right type of movement
- Try using meditation by taking classes, using apps, or focusing on only yourself a few minutes every day.
- Set aside time to start doing things you enjoy, even if it is reading or doing a hobby.
- Schedule time with people you love.
Pay special attention to your diet
You will find that some of the foods that have been found to be common triggers include:
- Cheeses that are aged
- Cured Meats
- Caffeinated drinks
- Some of the food additives
You might also notice that if you balance your diet, it will reduce how many headaches you will have. Try to eat a mix of protein, healthy fats by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, beans, lean meats, nuts, oils, and carbohydrates.
You should mention your diet with your primary care doctor as you try to reduce the number of headaches you are having.
If the headaches you are having are interfering with your life, consult our healthcare professionals at Community Health 1st ER. They can guide you to resources that might be helpful to you in your journey.