I get headaches, headaches and yet more headaches. In order NOT to take pain killer medications I am making different lifestyle choices.
My best stress reliever strategies are:
Identifying my stressors and becoming more aware of them each time, experimenting and then recognizing what makes me feel worse. Write it down in my stress journal.
Working out what I can do to manage my stress triggers and to either reduce or avoid them. Two examples are:
(a) Planning my day ahead in order to avoid over scheduling and rushing from one activity to the next and stressing out.
(b) Scheduling my activities and appointments in the afternoon so the pain killers can work if I wake up with a headache. I start my days off gently.
Creating healthy lifestyle habits including: eating at regular times, creating a regular sleep routine, meditation/relaxation daily and exercise daily.
(a) Relaxation exercises - I try to practice my relaxation techniques in the morning on a daily basis so I can train my body to become more relaxed overall. I find that listening to a guided relaxation CD helps the best.
One I love focuses on breathing deeply from the diaphragm and at the same time counting slowly to five on the inhale and to eight on each exhale.
Visualizations help me get into a more relaxed state of mind and into relaxing my body parts. Head and shoulders being the most problematic. I like guided CD's with happiness inducing thoughts and positive things to help me retrain my brain.
I use them mostly to help me cope with what is happening in my life and to help break through old negative habits. Once I relax into the nice space from the CD my headache usually subsides.
(b) Exercise - I have read that exercise is one of the most beneficial tools to use for stress reduction as it helps reverse the stress response, releases tension and clears the mind. So this is my number one strategy to deal with my headaches.
Best wishes to you all, and I hope this helps you reduce your headaches too.