Hello, its Amy again, and I’m excited to announce that I have been invited to be a “Positive Voice” on YesLouisville.com! This means I’ll be writing monthly, as a licensed clinical therapist, talking about different types of mental health issues that we experience in everyday life.
Did you know that June is National Headache Awareness month? So let’s talk about headaches in regard to our mental health. One type of headache that is directly connected to our mental health are tension headaches. These headaches are brought on when we experience intense negative or overwhelming feelings otherwise known as stress.
For example, you’ve gotten pulled over for speeding in a school zone (outside of school hours but the dang light was still flashing) and you realize you left your wallet at home. Or, you have 100000 things to do but you spent 2 hours in a meeting that could have been an email. Then BAM, you feel tired, a bit defeated, and wonder what in the world caused this headache?! The good news is I have two tried and true tips to help lower the number of tension headaches you experience.
First, KNOW YOURSELF! What causes your tension headaches?
Sometimes, we do not realize a certain person, place or thing causes us stress. And if you’re really lucky like me, your body manifests stress in such a fun way! My favorite stress reaction (insert sarcasm here) is becoming extremely awkward in social settings. There are numerous ways our body processes stress, grinding our teeth, talking incessantly, chewing our nails, clearing our throats, crazy dreams, etc. These are called self-regulating coping skills and when these type of coping skills fail us, our body can become overwhelmed producing a tension headache.
Second, ASK YOURSELF, is this headache causing situation absolutely required of me?
Do you have to participate? If not, then DON’T. Sometimes we’re afraid to say no, or we worry more about other people’s feelings than our own. It’s okay to know yourself and set boundaries accordingly. Simply becoming aware of headache inducing situations can help lower the number of tension headaches you will experience!
If you are experiencing a mental health emergency and need to talk, contact Louisville-based Centerstone 24-Hour Hotline at (502) 589-4313 or the National Suicide Prevention/Talk Line at (800) 273-TALK.