Headaches: Finding and Avoiding TriggersSkip to the navigation
You can have fewer headaches-and less pain when you do get them-by finding out what things, or triggers, bring on your headaches. You can try to avoid triggers to prevent tension headaches. To prevent headaches:
- Use a headache diary (What is a PDF document?) to find your triggers.
- Manage stress.
- Seek treatment if you have depression or anxiety. They can lead to headaches.
- Sleep, exercise, and eat on a regular schedule.
- Practice good posture to reduce neck strain.
- Reduce eyestrain from computers at work and at home.
- Don't clench your jaw. Clenching can cause muscle tension in your face.
How do you find and avoid headache triggers?
Finding your headache triggers
Use a headache diary (What is a PDF document?) to find your headache triggers. Keeping track of what you do every day-the foods you eat, the stress you feel, the weather, and other things-can help you find a pattern to your headaches. This helps you know what to avoid to prevent headaches.
Avoiding your headache triggers
To avoid your triggers, try to:
- Get regular exercise. If you do have a headache while you exercise, write down the activity you were doing. Avoid very hard exercise. This can trigger a tension headache.
- Keep regular sleep patterns. Sleeping too much or too little can trigger headaches. If you do get a headache when your sleep pattern has changed, this may be a trigger that you can control.
- Eat healthy food on a regular schedule. This may help prevent headaches. Going a long time without eating can trigger a headache.
- Get treatment if you have depression and anxiety. These health problems can cause headaches.