Stress Headache Symptoms – How to Relieve Stress Headaches

Can Stress Cause Headaches?

What are Stress Headache Symptoms and what can you do about them?

Do you get headaches?

Do you get Migraines?

How do you deal with yours?

Two-Thirds of Americans say they are likely to seek help for stress, 54% are concerned about the level of stress in their everyday lives.

About 90% of headaches are classified as tension headaches which can feel like a band wrapped around your head.  Lack of sleep, hunger, bad posture, eyestrain, and of course stress is the main cause of headaches. Stress is a major contributor to headaches and other physical symptoms you feel throughout your body.

An estimated 28 million  Americans nearly 10% of the population, suffer from headaches of some kind,  most of them are women and these are migraines, not headaches. Migraines in my experience with my clients can be caused by the fear of getting a migraine.  They are so painful and can have you out of action for a few days that the fear of this happening again can bring on a headache and then perhaps a migraine.

Common triggers for headaches.

  • Dairy Products
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood sugar
  • Perfume
  • Weather
  • chemicals in food
  • smoking
  • caffeine
  • fatigue

Getting headaches can confine you to bed, give you nausea, and generally disrupt your work and social lives. So what can you do to help yourself instead of taking medications?positive music

  • stress management classes to teach you ways to cope with stress and how to relieve tension
  • biofeedback, which is a relaxation technique that teaches you to manage pain and stress
  • cognitive behavioral therapy, which is talk therapy that helps you recognize situations that cause you to stress, anxiety, and tension
  • acupuncture, which is an alternative therapy that may reduce stress and tension by applying fine needles to specific areas of your body
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques
  • Meditation on a regular basis to reduce stress
  • Drink lots of water and keep hydrated
  • Sex, believe it or not, sex relieves stress.  🙂
  • Ice

Try this exercise – Put a pencil between your teeth but don’t bite – you have to relax to do that.  The relaxation and the distraction should ease the headache.

Another way to relieve a headache is to put pressure on the web part of your hand between your thumb and your forefinger.  Do this until you feel the pressure in your hand and the relief in your head.  So easy to do and so effective as well.

Foods to avoid to prevent headaches.

  • Peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, and other nuts and seeds
  • Pizza or other tomato-based products
  • Potato chip products
  • Chicken livers and other organ meats, pate
  • Smoked or dried fish
  • Pickled foods (pickles, olives, sauerkraut)
  • Sourdough bread, fresh-baked yeast goods (donuts, cakes, homemade bread, and rolls)
  • Brewer’s yeast found in natural supplements
  • Bread, crackers, and desserts containing cheese
  • Most beans including lima, Italian, pole, broad, fava, navy, pinto, snow peas, garbanzo, lentils, and dried beans and peas
  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Certain fresh fruits including ripe bananas, citrus fruits, papaya, red plums, raspberries, kiwi, and pineapple
  • Dried fruits (figs, raisins, dates)
  • Soups made from meat extracts or bouillon (not homemade broth)
  • Cultured dairy products, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt

Natural Remedies for Headaches.

  • Magnesiumrelief for headaches
  • Peppermint and Lavender Oils
  • Feverfew
  • B-Complex
  • Water
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Fresh Air
  • Arnica

Using Natural remedies is a much better choice as Headaches are not something you want to live with all the time. Hopefully some of the above will help ease your pain. So….can stress cause headaches?  The answer is YES it can, relieving your stress will definitely relieve and even eliminate your headaches.

Remember if you are on any medications please see your health practitioner before changing your regime.

So how are you going to handle stress in the future?

If you found this post helpful please share it with others and I would love to hear your comments regarding your remedies for headaches.

I beHelen Vellacame a writer, speaker and holistic life coach so I could make a difference by teaching from my personal experiences and also teaching a great empowering tool. My mission is to empower everyone to be their true self. if you want to find out more about me click here

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  1. Reply

    Hello Helen
    Thank you for this post, for as long as I can remember, my wife has been suffering from
    headaches, at 1st I thought it was her way of getting out of her wifely duties LoL!!!, but years down the line it persisted, strangely enough some of the remedies your prescribe in this post was not thought of or heard in our neck of the woods, and it seems that she now has a choice of headache relief remedies which seems to work most of the time, Thank you for sharing these and positively impacting on our lives to a degree,

    All the best in going forward


    • helenvella


      Thanks for your comments and I am glad you wife has now found some remedies that work for her for her headaches. The main thing is to recognize the symptoms which in a lot of cases is stress related and fixing that so that a headache does not occur.

  2. Reply

    Greetings Helen!

    Great post! I love it! It is very informative. I don’t usually experience headaches, but when I do it feels like my head is going to explode and sometimes I can’t even sleep for hours. I never knew that drinking coffee can cause you headaches. I can tell you that the solution of putting pressure on your hand really works, but sometimes the headache might come back after a few minutes. Thank you for your post, I will try to avoid eating pizza and potatoes for a while!

    • helenvella


      Glad you liked it and also glad you are one of the fortunate people who do not get many headaches. Pizza and potatoes should be eaten in moderation 🙂

    • helenvella


      Balanced diet is key to most ailments in your body. Headaches especially can benefit from watching your diet.

    • helenvella


      You are welcome and I hope it really helps with your headaches if you get them.

  3. Leticia


    I can get really bad headaches so this was really interesting to read why and what to do about it ☺️ I’m loving that sex and water can help, sounds good without being too rude aha

    • helenvella


      Not rude LOL thanks for your comments and lets hope it helps our headaches.

  4. Emma


    I find peppermint oil really helps me. Sniffing it and rubbing it on my temples too, often eases a stress headache! Will have o try some of your other recommendations

    • helenvella


      Essentials oils are a very good way to help headaches as you say. Essential oils are a great alternative.

  5. Reply

    I strongly believe I get migraines when I am super stressed. I am normally not a peraon who gets stressed fast. I need to become so sad that I cannot take it anymore when I get the headaches. Funnily enough my migraines shoot when my Mother in Law visits me or when I visit her.

    • helenvella


      When you know the source of your migraines then you can do something about it. Perhaps meditation and tapping before you see the Mother In Law will help reduce the possibility of your migraines.

  6. Reply

    I have a friend that once told me that strong scent of perfume makes her head ache and I was quite surprised. I am more enlightened with your post. I learnt cupping also helps.

    • helenvella


      Cupping is great I love it, yes strong smells can definitely cause headaches.

  7. Reply

    A guy i use to work with would get so so stressed. He would get so wound up about nothing. Yes he always complain of headache. So i do think there is a link. I could tell him to calm down but he wouldn’t listen to me.

    • helenvella


      Yes there sure is a link, stress is so bad these days with everything going on in the world.

  8. Reply

    Thanks for these great tips on relieving stress headaches. I guess the best remedy is to remove the stressor, but thats not always possible-you can’t fire your boss :-). I like that there are many natural remedies available.

    • helenvella


      Yes not always easy to move the stressor but how you deal with stress is what counts. Natural remedies always the first way to go 🙂

  9. Reply

    Yep. Stress absolutely can cause headaches. I suffered from Migraines for the entire 5 years I lived in Minnesota and the two years I lived in Orlando. Now, that I’ve moved back home to the Florida panhandle, I don’t have them anymore. Tha only thing I can think of that is different is stress.

    • helenvella


      Glad you have it worked out now. I used to live in Orlando also and the I4 is a definite stressor.:)

  10. Reply

    This is a great article that I will have to refer myself to go back to whenever I am having a headache or a migraine. I tend to rely so often on either Advil and Excedrin, and they do help a lot, but I want to try natural remedies to cure them.

    • helenvella


      Always best to use natural remedies if possible, however I would suggest you find out what is causing the headaches in the first place by looking at your stress levels and what triggers stress.

  11. Reply

    I get tension headaches sometimes and they’re the worst! I’ve always taken Motrin or Excedrin which doesn’t always work. I’d be willing to try some of the natural remedies you listed because I actually hate taking pills.

    • helenvella


      Natural remedies are always the best but you should also look to what is the cause behind the headaches. What is the stress or anxiety and once you fix that then the headaches will subside.

  12. Reply

    Migraine medication is nearly as bad as the migraine itself so it’s always my plan to try alternatives to see if I can get it to break. Hydration and relaxing the jaw are huge. I’m going to try the pressure point between the thumb and forefinger next time.

  13. Reply

    Helen, you are now my husband’s favorite blogger when I shared you recommended sex to relieve my stress headaches. Strange how he didn’t hear me say any of the other great suggestions you offered:)

  14. Reply

    Most definitely agree with meditation as relief , I suffer from accute migraines and also found that magnesium helped in the intensity .

    • helenvella


      So glad you found magnesium as well and meditation is very good when done on a daily basis.

  15. Reply

    I was not aware of the pressure point you mentioned on the web part of your hand. I had a massive headache on Monday and Tuesday of this week and thought it was more due to not taking my blood pressure medicine. However, I am also under an enormous amount of stress the last several months, and it might have been contributed to that.

    I had an employee who would miss several days blaming migraine headaches. What is your advice to ensure in the future that I can trust the employee is honest? It was hard to require documentation, but you hope that your employees aren’t dishonest.

    • helenvella


      You can never know if employees are lying or not but if you give them some techniques to avoid the headaches they might have less if them.

  16. Dinh


    I usually try to sleep off my headache.
    I have heard that sex is a great stress reliever and it has other benefits too 🙂 But I guess it’s better to prevent it by avoiding certain triggers. What I’d like to know is if the headache will go away after having sex when you have a headache?

    • helenvella


      Well what I have read there is evidence to prove that sex does alleviate a headache.

  17. Reply

    Wow, that was awesome. Very informative! I didn’t realize there was so much to this. Or foods? I had no idea!! Thank you.

    • Reply

      You are welcome. You are what you eat. Your body reacts to the chemicals in the food and therefore becomes healthier or more dis-eased. Thanks for your comments.

  18. Reply

    Stress and anxiety is something that i have personally fought for years because of the devastating effects it has on the body performance. reading your post is just like a reminder to me and I think I will always come back here to search related post concerning stress and anxiety.

  19. Reply

    this is a great post, Helen 🙂 I used to get a ton of headaches, and I have found exercise and yoga have really helped with my headaches as well. And you are so spot on about water intake too <3 Thank you for the great tips!

  20. Reply

    In weekends I drink beer and wines, the day before I feel some kind of a headache from this article I get to know this is due to dehydration. Most people suffer from a headache but they don’t know how to treat. Great post, many people will be benefited reading your post.

    Thank you.

  21. Reply

    Hey! This was such a helpful and interesting article!
    I am not commonly suffering from headaches but time to time they happen.
    I found those two very interesting and will definitely try out the next time I have a headache.
    Will definitely note list you provided what foods to avoid 😉

    Thanks for sharing this!

  22. Reply

    Informative post, thank you Helen! There are some treatments here (e.g. the pencil trick) that I haven’t heard of before!
    One remedy I’d like to share is yoga – in particular, the Downward Facing Dog pose. As the pose is partially inverted, it allow fresh oxygen and blood to the brain and I find that it soothes any headache when I feel it coming on.

  23. Houston


    Great post Helen! I’m curious, can stress headaches lead to migraines? I recently experienced my first migraine and it was awful. I never knew to stay away from tomato-based products to reduce headaches.

    • Reply

      Yes stress headaches can lead to a migraine. Relieving stress and anxiety is key for a good healthy life. Watching what you eat and drink and what triggers the headaches will help you decide what to consume.

  24. Rachel


    I laughed out loud when you mentioned that sex relief stress, ’cause I’ve never had that experienced before xD

    I’m curious to why the fruits you mentioned (ripe bananas, citrus fruits, papaya, red plums, raspberries, kiwi, and pineapples) can cause headaches? According to what I know, these fruits don’t cause a headache. Mangosteen and durian are more likely to do so.

    Personally, when I have a headache from stress, I just sleep 🙂 I find that to be the best solution

    • Helen


      Migraines can be triggered with Bananas, Citrus Fruits are very acidic and can cause head pain, if you look into each individual fruit you will see they may cause migraines, headaches or head pain. Not in everyone but in some people. If you can sleep off your headache that then is the best method for you and some others may benefit from sleep also.Thank you so much for you comments.

  25. Reply

    Wow, great article about stress, thank you so much for this information , my daughter only 14 years old but she is constantly have a headache Doctor did couple test done but they haven’t see nothing wrong. So I’m going to try this natural remedies for her. Thanks again keep up your good work very nice!


    • Reply

      At such a young age you might want to look at her stress levels at school or if there something she is worried about. Natural is always best and getting to the root cause is better.

  26. Reply

    Thanks so much for your post on how to relieve stress headaches. So often we are programmed to just grab a medication of some sort and hope it works. I love that you gave us techniques to use to control, stave off or even get rid of them once they come that don’t involve pills. We are an over medicated society for sure and the harm that is caused by side effects often is worse than the symptom to begin with. People tend to reach for quick fixes or Band-Aids which attribute to scarier and more expensive issues to attend to long term. I love the magnesium intake and use it often myself. I look forward to trying feverfew, I haven’t heard of that one.
    Thank You Thank You!

    • Reply

      You are welcome Cary, thank you for stopping by and reading my post. Yes I never recommend pills if I can, I always go for the natural and holistic road at the first instance. These methods have been around for centuries and they worked before we introduced synthetic pills. 🙂

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