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Tension Headache: Understanding Of The Most Common Headache

Tension Headache: Understanding Of The Most Common Headache

Tension headache is a common form of a headache that is suffered by almost everyone. The headache occurs in the head, around the neck, and behind the eyes. It is believed that tension headache usually starts during the teen period, and reaches its peak during the 20-50 years of a human life. Women are more likely to suffer compared to men. Statistically, people who suffer from tension headache have intermittent pain that lasts for few minutes or hours, once or twice per month. However, there are cases of people suffering for 15 days or more per month. The headaches vary from mild, moderate, to acute aches.

The symptoms

Sometimes many people confuse their tension headache with migraine. Migraine is also another form of headache, but the severity is more in migraine than in tension headache. Understanding the symptoms of tension headache is fairly uncomplicated. There are dull aches on the head, plenty of pressure can be felt around the forehead, and throbbing around the forehead and scalp. At times, the tenderness of the head muscles can be felt, while the pain can spread all over the head, at the back of the neck, and all the way to the shoulders. Except for all these symptoms, a tension headache does not take a severe form, but in rarest cases, a patient may get sensitive to light or sound.

It’s not exactly what you’re suffering from? Then you need to check if you have one of the following headaches instead and learn about how to deal with it:

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Cluster Headaches: How To Deal With The Worst Headache

Sinus Headache: Symptoms, Causes And Natural Reliefs

How To Get Rid Of A Headache Without Medicine

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Tension headache vs Migraine

In order to differentiate between a tension headache and migraine, always consider migraine to be the serious one. In migraine, the throbbing pain is extremely intense and occurs at either one side of the head, or on the both sides, and cause nausea and vomiting. A migraine patient becomes exceedingly sensitive to light and sound. Considering these, a person with tension headache will not face nausea or vomiting. In the rarest cases, sensitivity to light and sound may crop up.

What causes tension headache?

As mentioned previously, tension headache mainly arises in the head, around the neck, and behind the eyes. One of the principal reasons for occurring is the contraction of muscles in the head. Apart from this, there are other factors as well. They are:

  • Looking at a computer screen for long
  • Cold temperature
  • Change of season
  • Dry eyes
  • Tiredness
  • Mental stress
  • Sinus attack
  • Fever
  • Alcohol
  • Bad sitting posture
  • Smoking
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Missing out on meals

Diagnosis

If a person is consistently suffering from tension headache to an intense level, it is advisable to seek a doctor’s help. The doctor will provide a list of tests just to assure that nothing serious is happening to the patient. The tests will include X-Ray, MRI, as well as CT Scan.

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Medicines

Usually over-the-counter (OTC) medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) work, but if the case is serious, the doctor will subscribe prescription medicines. Prescription drugs are muscle relaxants, antidepressants, antiseizure drugs or beta-blockers, depending on the situation. If a patient prefers OTC medicines, they have to make sure never to overdose the drugs, and it is always important to seek the doctor’s advise in case the medicines react with the patient’s health condition.

Home remedies to relieve tension headache

There are home remedies to relieve tension headaches. If a patient wishes not to consume any sort of medications, they can try out some home cure. The list contains:

  • Put an ice pack on the forehead for five to ten minutes.
  • Improve sitting on a good posture.
  • Take a hot shower to unwind the tensed muscle.
  • Take occasional breaks from working on a computer.
  • Do the proper exercise.
  • Have meditation.
  • Manage stress.
  • Get a whole body massage
  • Scalp massage- it will help in the circulation of blood in the head, relaxing the muscles.
  • Take supplements

Apart from trying any of the above tips, keeping track on the headache, and later trying to prevent it may come very handy in decreasing the pain eventually. In order to keep track, a journal is the best way possible. Also, a regular diet with proper meals, drinking plenty of water, being less stressed, and using computer with occasional breaks can ease out the headache. Or, inhaling few drops of essential oil, such as lavender or peppermint, can relax the muscles and help reduce the headache.

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Featured photo credit: r. nial bradshaw via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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