Anxiety and the Problem of Head Pressure

One problem that anxiety can cause is head pressure. It is not a symptom discussed as often as some others, maybe because not everyone who experiences anxiety complains of it.

What It Feels Like

Those who have anxiety head pressure may liken it to a tension headache, feeling as if their head is in a vise, that the head might explode, or as though something is pushing in on their head from all sides. Some people with head pressure feel faint, nauseous, or sweaty, and their heart may race.

It can be a debilitating symptom and typically requires an immediate reduction of anxiety before productive activity can continue.

If you have frequent bouts of head pressure you should naturally see a doctor to rule out other illnesses that trigger this same symptom. However, if you only experience the pressure during periods of moderate to high anxiety, it is likely linked to your stress level.

This symptom typically comes and goes, but if anxiety continues the pressure sometimes lingers for days at a time. The pressure might be an ache or pain not only of the head but also of the eyes, neck, upper back, and shoulders.

Four Ways to Reduce Head Pressure

1. Walking is recommended because the head and neck are generally straight and aligned while we walk. Let your shoulders relax, and your arms swing naturally. Walking also helps lower stress and anxiety levels.

2. Try drinking at a glass of water to make sure your body is hydrated. Plus, the act of drinking is calming to most people.

3. Low or dim lighting will make head pressure worse. Either turn all of the lights off or make sure the lighting is bright. Working in the low light of a computer screen or watching TV by the light of the screen only are not recommended.

4. Self-massage your temples and neck , or ask someone to give you a gentle massage.
Utilize any stress or anxiety-reducing techniques that usually work for you such as rhythmic breathing, stretching, relaxation yoga, soft music, talking to someone, or enjoying a bath.

Stress and anxiety that seem inescapable, such as being constantly overwhelmed with work at a place of employment, can trigger head pressure. Although the pressure is not an immediate health threat, allowing it to continue will put wear and tear on your body. Sometimes lifestyle adjustments are necessary to reduce or eliminate the source of anxiety head pressure.

Source: The Calm Clinic
Photo: Max Pixel

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