Symptoms of a headache due to anxiety
These are the symptoms that you can identify if you have a headache due to anxiety:
Tension headache and its symptoms
These are the main symptoms of a tension headache that is usually caused by stress and anxiety, although there may be other triggers:
- Sluggish pain, which can be mild or moderate in intensity,
- feeling of pressure behind the eyes.
- pressure as if you had a band around your head.
- muscle tension in both the neck and shoulders.
- Sensitivity of the scalp
These symptoms can quickly disappear or persist for several hours. In general, they are not so intense as to affect daily activities, but they can hurt the quality of life.
Migraine-type headache and its symptoms
Aside from tension headaches, anxiety can also cause migraines.Here are some of the symptoms:
- pulsating pain or like heartbeats in the head.
- Pain on one side of the face or head
- tingling sensation in the face, arm, or leg on one side.
- blurred vision, with spots or flashing motion lights.
- Hypersensitivity to sound, light, or strong odors
- nausea and vomiting.
- Dizziness and fainting
Without any treatment, the migraine can last up to several days, with a pain so intense that it is impossible to continue with normal life. Stress headache, What is it ? What the symptoms ?
Causes of headache
Different causes can trigger a headache due to anxiety. We highlight the following:
- Stress: This pain may be presented as a physical response to the emotional stress that a person suffers when they go through a difficult time.
- Pain sensitivity: regular headaches can be related to increased sensitivity to pain. This pain sensitivity can cause more sensitivity in the muscles.
- Muscle tension: Anxiety symptoms that last for a long time cause constant alertness, which keeps muscles tight and makes headaches more likely.
- Lack of sleep: Some people with anxiety have difficulty falling asleep.
- Serotonin levels: changes in serotonin levels could play a role in migraines. Thus, a sudden decrease in serotonin in the brain can trigger the release of different substances, such as neuropeptides, or the constriction of blood vessels. (2)
How can I prevent an anxiety headache?
In view of the causes involved in the appearance of headaches due to anxiety, it will not be possible to prevent them completely, but there are some measures you can take to, at least, reduce the risks and frequency of these pains. They are the following:
Identify the triggers of your headache.
If you get migraines, it’s best to find out what makes them happen so you can avoid them as much as possible. Remember that the most common are:
- insufficient or low-quality hours of sleep.
- Hormonal changes.
- consumption of foods with caffeine or alcohol.
Activities that provide relaxation, such as yoga, meditation, massages, heat therapy, progressive relaxation, or different deep breathing techniques, help combat headaches caused by stress. For this reason, it is recommended that people who suffer from frequent headaches reserve a few minutes a day to practice any of these activities.
The importance of personal care
Life habits in today’s society lead many people to suffer from anxiety, affecting the quality of sleep, appetite, and, in general, health. Hence the importance of self-care, which allows you to stop for a moment, manage anxiety by reducing your symptoms, and, consequently, reduce the risk of suffering a headache. It is advised:
- Sleep 7–9 hours every day.
- Practice some regular physical activity. Walking for a while every day may be enough.
- Eat healthy without skipping meals or setting a schedule. Certain foods can promote the development of migraines. If this is your case, take them out of your diet or, at the very least, limit their consumption, and replace them with nutritious ingredients.
- Maintain good hydration. Stress headache, What is it ? What the symptoms ?
Of course, when headaches are so severe or so frequent as to affect your daily life, regardless of the measures you take, consult your doctor.