man with a headache

This holiday season, when your head is pounding from the extra activity and noise, try these tips to stop a headache fast. You can do all of these things without running to the drugstore and without any special preparations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost half of all adults worldwide will experience a headache in any given year. But not all headaches are equal. The International Headache Society (IHS) divides headaches into two categories:

  • Primary: those not caused by another condition
  • Secondary: those caused by a further underlying issue.

If the pain in your head is coming from a primary cause, try these tips to stop a headache fast.

Watch your lights

Bright, flickering lights can cause migraine headaches. If you’re prone to these headaches, move away from areas that are too bright. Try to use daylight-spectrum fluorescent bulbs in your light fixtures.

Try these supplements

If you catch the headache early, a little caffeine can help you. Have some tea, coffee, or something with a little caffeine in it. It can also help over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, work better.

Taking ginger, in addition to regular, over-the-counter pain meds, could ease headache pain for people migraines. Sometimes, it can work almost as well as prescription migraine meds. You can try a supplement or maybe brew some tea.

Treat yourself

Give yourself the time to relax. Some people go for stretches, yoga, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation. By learning how to chill out when you’re in the middle of a headache, you can relieve the pain.

Try Massage. A few minutes massaging your neck and temples can help ease a tension headache, which may result from stress. Start by pinching your temple area with the thumb and index finger of your opposite hand firmly — but not painfully — for 10 seconds. Next, make small circles with your thumb on this area in one direction and then the other, for 10 seconds each

Medicate in moderation

Choose liquid medication over pills because your body absorbs it faster. Take painkillers as soon as you feel pain. You’ll likely beat it with a smaller dose. Medications that contain only one drug (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin) are an effective headache treatment. Those that contain a combination of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine can also help.

And be sure to talk to your doctor if your headache does not leave you or if you think that your headache is a symptom of something more serious.