Crying intensely can cause your eyes to burn or turn red, your mouth may become dry and your nose begins to run. These reactions are normal as the tear ducts release water, oil, and mucus into the eyes when the tears flow from the tear ducts on the sides of your eyelids and into the nasal cavity. But how about a headache after you cry? Is this common? Yes, many experience this after crying. Then why does this occur and how can you find relief from it? Read on to learn more.
What Causes Headache After Crying
Crying promotes the release of stress hormones which causes natural changes in the body. These changes include causing headaches that can range from mild to severe and even migraines.
Since you are releasing water through the tears you cry, your body is losing water. When you have a long hard cry, this can cause dehydration to occur. When your body starts to lose too many fluids, this can cause headaches.
Tears that run through the nasal cavity can cause a burning and stinging sensation, which often results in a runny nose. Those who are sensitive or prone to sinus issues may feel a headache when they cry because of these sinus issues.
The stress hormones that are released when you cry can also cause inflammation to occur that end up agitating the facial nerves. These irritated nerves are often associated with intense migraines and as the inflammation throughout your body increases, so does the pain in your head.
How Can You Relieve Headache After Crying?
There is a specific pressure point in the hands that you can press that will help relieve headache tension. To find the point, place one of your hands on your stomach and gentle press the thumb into the pointer finger. You should notice a bump forms just where the thumb and finger meet. Take your other hand and press your thumb into the center of this bump, it should be about two fingertips down from the knuckle of the index finger towards the wrist. When you have a headache after crying, you can press this pressure point to help ease the pain from anywhere. Do this on each hand for about two minutes.
Sip some water
It is important to rehydrate your body after a long cry to reduce the symptoms of dehydration. Since headaches are one of the first and most common symptoms of dehydration, drinking water can help replenish the body while also keeping the stress levels down. You do not, however, want to drink alcoholic beverages which can worsen the dehydration and headache.
One way you can get rid of a headache that is brought on from crying is to simply sleep it off. Allowing your mind and eyes to rest can help calm the nerves that trigger the headache. Even a short nap can help you wake up pain-free.
Breathing exercises, like meditation, can provide relief from headaches. Taking a few minutes to sit and focus on your breathing will allow you to reduce your stress and anxiety while shifting your focus to a more calming activity. Take a few deep breaths and exhale slowly for a few minutes after crying to relieve the headache. Yoga is also a great meditative exercise that will help relax the body and reduce headache pain.
Emotional eating has its time and place especially after crying. There are certain foods that can help when you have a headache. Comfort foods, like chocolate, can help release endorphins which are the feel-good hormones your body releases that make you feel happier. When you have a headache after crying, it can help to simply eat something you know you will enjoy to eliminate the headache.
Doing light exercise after you have cried can help ward off the pain you are feeling. Going for a quiet walk outside can be highly beneficial. Walking will help refocus your attention to something else as opposed to staying stuck on what made you cry in the first place. Even if it is just a short walk around the block or to the grocery store, you can reduce your headache significantly. Also, consider turning on some tunes and dancing for a little. Again the music will allow you to refocus your attention while also calming the nerves. Avoid intense exercises as this can often increase the pain or make it more noticeable.
Distracting the brain and focusing your attention on something that you need to think about can help you forget about your headache. Puzzles and other brain teasers can keep you occupied and divert your attention. This is also a fun way to forget about what made you cry, regain your composure, and challenge yourself in a useful proactive manner. Sitting quietly for a few minutes to focus your attention on another activity is a quick and easy way to help relieve headaches.
If you have tried everything possible and nothing seems to be working, you always have the options of pain relief medications. There are many over the counter medicines that can quickly and effectively relieve headache after crying. Since these medications are recommended for individuals who suffer from headaches caused by stress, they can also be helpful in times when you have a headache that won't go away after crying. If the headache still persist even though you have tried these tips and suggestion, and medicines are not effective, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor about other prescription medications that can be taken to relieve headaches or migraines.