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5 Tips for Buying the Right Pillow to Avoid Neck Pains

5 Tips for Buying the Right Pillow to Avoid Neck Pains

Have you ever woken in the morning with a stiff neck? Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you have periodic neck pains? These could be caused by your pillow.

Although the neck pains could go away after some time, the uneasiness may remain. The neck pain could get worse and this can hurt your normal routine. Don’t overlook this problem. You should get to the root of the problem and get it addressed.

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The Causes of Neck Pain

The neck and spine area need proper support when you are sleeping. If proper support is not there, then neck pains and backaches can be expected. Sleeping position can be a factor, but to fix this problem , you should purchase the right pillow that matches your sleeping habits.

Changing your pillow can solve the problem. You will not feel neck pain unless you have some other condition besides a poor choice in pillow. You can purchase a Memory Foam pillow with cushioning.

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How to Choose the Right Pillow

You should research causes and pillow types before choosing your preferred pillows for neck pain. You don’t want to  rush into a department store and choose one off the shelf. You have to consider certain factors to find the perfect pillow that would address your neck pains. Here are the factors that you need to consider.

  1. The pillow needs to be wide enough to fit your head and neck. Most people feel that the backs of their head is the only body parts that have to be rested on the pillow. This is a big misconception because aside from the head, the neck should also be rested on the pillow. With the head and neck properly supported, neck and back pains can be avoided.
  2. Stick to using a single pillow for your head. You can have other pillows but they should be for other purposes. Having too many pillows beneath your head can cause your head to tilt resulting in pressure on your neck areas.
  3. Pick a pillow that suits your sleeping position. If you sleep on your back, you would not have any preferences because any pillow will work, but, if you are a side sleeper or you sleep on your stomach, you need to pick a pillow that is slightly flat and well-cushioned. This is to ensure your neck would not get strained by your unorthodox sleeping position.
  4. Side sleepers are also advised to have a body or knee pillow to make sure that their backs are kept straight throughout the night. The body or knee pillow will prevent your knees from knocking together while you are asleep, relieving stress from your spinal area.
  5. You have to know the material inside your pillow. Some materials can be potential allergens that would cause allergies and irritations to your skin. Some materials are better for sleeping than others. It is important to note the material used for the pillow. Silk and soft cotton are good materials that you can opt for a pillow.

Remember that not all pain is relieved with the right pillow. Chronic pain might be indicative of a much larger problem, such as cancer in your spine or shoulders, headaches or stress. If you have found the perfect pillow for your slumber, but you still experience pain, you should visit a doctor to discuss possibilities.

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In addition, to release tension in your neck, you could try acupuncture or massage therapy. Both of these treatments complement other options available to you. Visiting your doctor, acupuncture, and massage therapy along with the proper pillow should relieve your stiff neck. I hope these tips help you solve your neck pain.

Featured photo credit: http://www.health.harvard.edu/ via health.harvard.edu

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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