Stress Headaches

Stressed Asian woman biting pencil while sitting in front of laptop during daytime

When Tension Headaches Disrupt Your Day

Stress headaches, also known as tension headaches, are a type of headache that come about when you are experiencing stress, inadequate sleep or poor posture. They’re described as dull pain, tightness or pressure around your forehead or the back of your head and neck. Some describe it as a band squeezing their head.

Stress headaches are extremely common: there are about 3 million cases in the U.S. every year. They’re usually self-diagnosable, self-treatable and resolve within days to weeks. Treatments include pain relievers, ice or heat pads on sore muscles and good posture. But probably the most important factor is the alleviation of stress in your life.

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. When you experience stress, what most likely is occurring is increased myofascial pain sensitivity caused by sensitization of neurons in the supraspinal region.

In other words, stress is bad. And believe it or not, stress also increases your blood pressure and places a greater strain on your heart; it also increases your chances of developing a stroke. Tension headaches are actually very minor compared to what stress can do to your body in the long-term.

When you consistently experience stress headaches, then you know it’s time to make some adjustments to your daily routines. You have to identify what factors are stressful in your life and fix them. Maybe work is getting to you. Then try fixing something about your work, such as adjusting your pace or the way you approach work mentally.

Maybe you’re not getting enough exercise in your life. Exercise is a great source for the alleviation of stress: it helps you escape pressure and the demands of work and family life. It’s also very healthy and makes you feel great mentally, physically and emotionally. You cannot go wrong with exercise.

Maybe your sleep hygiene is slacking. Are you getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night? Yes, we all know that you’ve heard this one a thousand times, but how come you’re still not applying it? Sleep is crucial for a well-functioning brain! In order to feel less stress and perform more optimally, you need to treat yourself right with 8 hours of sleep per night.

By getting rid of stress, improving your sleep hygiene and posture and exercising at least 2-3 times a week, you will start to feel much better in many aspects of your life. You will also notice that your stress headaches will dissipate and you will start feeling great again! Start making the changes today.

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Attacked By Pressure

Stressed man wearing black shirt and beanie cap experiencing pressure

Anxiety Due To Pressure

Pressure is the feeling of discomfort, worry and even fear. Many of us feel pressure on a daily basis: bills to pay, relationships to live up to, jobs to hold onto, material to study up on, expectations to maintain, etc. Pressure is a natural feeling that accompanies our everyday lives: it’s part of motivation and drive but can also be associated with anxiety and panic.

If not handled properly, pressure can quickly alter your state of mind for the worse. Uncontrolled pressure can easily chip away at your sanity by introducing daily stressors and discomforts into your life, eventually turning your once peaceful state of mind into an anxious cyclone. And when this tropical storm makes landfall, you better have a strong grip on your mind.

When confronted with anxiety, the last thing that you want to do is freak out. Freaking out is when you start overthinking about the source that brought you pressure in the first place. You don’t want to deal with your anxiety by confronting its source. It’s quite the opposite: you want to alleviate your anxiety by redirecting your mind onto pleasant thoughts or activities.

One example is exercise. Whenever you feel pressure, you can start to exercise; it does a great job at neutralizing anxiety. That’s why you can even start using exercise as a preventative measure: keeping away anxiety in the first place. Whenever you get into a solid exercise routine, you’ll start to feel less pressure or at least not react to it as intensely as you once did.

Meditation is another great tool for alleviating anxiety due to pressure. By being present in the moment and allowing all of your thoughts to swarm your mind uncontrollably, you remain non-judgmental and observant. By building upon this skill, you will become more resilient to pressure in real time.

Talking to someone who you can trust also helps a lot. The act of verbal communication by getting your thoughts out is very soothing and comforting; it actually alleviates pressure and prevents it from boiling up in the depths of your mind. Always have someone who you can call or meet up with to talk to about your life.

We’re all attacked by pressure; it’s not something uncommon that only occurs to a select few. Some of us are naturally more resilient to it, while others are more prone to experiencing a mental or emotional hit. The key is to never allow pressure to break you down. Breakdowns can lead to job loss, broken relationships and even psychiatric admissions.

Always remain one step ahead of pressure.

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Let Your Mind Float

Man with eyeglasses loosening his mind and staring into the distance

Loosen Your Mind

Do not take life too seriously; part of enjoying it involves letting go of your ego and rigid mindset and allowing yourself to just be. Loosening your mind will help relieve stress, pressure and pain; it feels good to just let your mind float.

Stress builds up because we are constantly bombarded with external stimuli, chores, problems to solve, relationship issues, etc. And stress slowly breaks us down like ice cracking away from winter salt. Learn to deal with life’s issues by loosening your mind: find a quiet place in nature or at home and just let your mind be; ignore the negativity and enjoy the present moment. Don’t worry so much!

Life is not meant to always be on the go. The more you learn to relax your mind, the easier life will become. No matter how difficult or competitive your job is, if you learn to let your mind float on a daily basis, you will surpass your competition because you will start to think more clearly and make better choices; a clear mind paves the way for easier streams of thought.

Loosening your mind does not mean “you’re slacking or being lazy.” It’s a technique that you can incorporate into your daily routine several times a day, in order to relax and appreciate the present moment, while still remaining motivated and determined to accomplish your goals. Loosening your mind is being smart!

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The Beginning Of A Burnout Epidemic?

Burned out man at work sitting on chair using a Toshiba ThinkPad

Burned Out

In 2019, the World Health Organization added burnout as a syndrome to the International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision (ICD-11) because of the rising rate of burnout experienced by individuals in the workforce. Burnout is described as: a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

Burnout Syndrome is characterized by three dimensions:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • Reduced professional efficacy

Burnout is considered an occupational phenomenon and does not relate to experiences outside of the work environment; meaning, the definition does not apply to something like “I’m so over going to the beach on the weekends, I’m burned out.”

What is causing burnout and is it turning into an epidemic? I believe that the work-life balance of many individuals is tilted towards more work and not enough “life.” People do not seem to get as much pleasure from activities anymore.

Technology may play a role; we are so focused on iPads, iPhones, Samsungs and television that it is literally dulling us during our time off. By the time we come back from work the next day, the same process repeats; it’s as we never had any time off to enjoy in the last 24 hours.

The reality is that technology is not going to go away; it will keep improving, especially with artificial intelligence around the corner. Will society propose that AI take over our jobs, resulting in less work for us? This will be a devastation; no work and a life bombarded by technology will spell out a recipe for disaster.

What is the solution? Spending time with each other and removing ourselves from technological isolation. We need to come together again and enjoy life. The DSM Ready Movement offers this solution: coming together to share our experiences, values, opinions, knowledge and love!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Free Yourself From Stress

Naked woman yelling and feeling stressed

Utilize Mindfulness To Alleviate Stress

We feel it everyday; it hits us from all directions. It stabs us in our chests, mind and soul. This 6-letter word is so agonizing that some people turn to substance abuse or even kill themselves. But stress can be utilized as a source of energy for improvement! But it needs to be tamed at the same time. Whenever feeling this negative energy, remind yourself “I do not need this at this moment” and instead, think of something positive, and preferably, jump into a pleasurable activity in that moment. Some find success with “mindfulness”; an activity involving closing your eyes and being nonjudgmental to all thoughts coming into your mind. Believe it or not, this relieves stress.

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Don’t Worry So Much

Man sitting on couch with hand on forehead worried and stressed

Worrying Increases Stress Levels

The first thing we do when we wake up is worry! Whether rich or poor, ugly or good-looking, happy or sad, we humans worry way too much. We need to remind ourselves that life was not created for us to suffer all the time. Yes it is true, that through suffering we become stronger, but a lot of times, we have automated the process, resulting in stress and even depression. Reminding ourselves before going to bed that “I will not worry when I wake up” will help you start your day on a fresher note.

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