Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Tension-type headaches often occur more frequently and may become more severe during or following times of mental or emotional stress.50,51,52 Several controlled studies have found tension-type headache sufferers to report higher levels of stress,53,54,55 and to have significantly higher levels of depression or anxiety,56,57,58 significantly greater levels of suppressed anger,59 or significantly greater muscle tension60,61 than those without headaches. Minimizing stress and getting enough sleep and regular exercise are often recommended to people with tension-type headaches. However, no research has investigated the effectiveness of these lifestyle changes.
One controlled study that included patients with muscle-contraction headache as well as other types of headache, revealed that smokers had significantly more severe headache episodes than nonsmokers.62 Although other studies have not found an association between smoking and headaches, stopping smoking is always a good idea for many health reasons.