The Best Remedies For Common Headaches

Whether it’s that pulsating pain of a migraine, or the vice-like grip of sinus congestion, nobody likes a headache. Here are the causes and treatments for the most common headaches. According to the US National Headache Foundation, at least 150 different headache variations exist, and the range of causes is equally diverse, from genetic factors to inadequate food intake. That said, a few common types account for the majority of headaches. Here’s how to deal with them. (If headaches are a recurring problem, you should definitely see your doctor and seek out professional treatment.) Tension Headaches Tension headaches are the most common headache type. They’re characterised by mild to moderate pain, tightness, and pressure in the forehead or back of the neck. Typically, the pain is “throbbing” and although annoying, doesn’t usually ruin your day. Causes: The potential causes are quite varied. Possible trigger include anxiety, eye strain, caffeine, food, lack of rest, bad posture, stress and hunger. Tension headaches are also common after a night of alcohol. If something is abnormal in your daily routine, whether it’s a late lunch or a series of deadlines at work, a tension headache may be the result. Treatment: Tension headaches are usually best handled with over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen before the pain gets severe. Those aren’t cures, but they will temporarily relieve the pain. In general, your best bet is to rest and relax until the headache goes away. Even a hot pepper may provide some relief. To cut back on the frequency of these types of headaches, you need to identify your triggers and reduce them. If a headache comes from stress, meditation may...

Improve Your Willpower By Reminding Yourself Of Your Goals And Values

Whether you believe you’ve only got a limited supply of willpower or not, resisting temptation and making better choices is always a challenge. Epipheo.TV continues its month-long series on life hacks, showing us how to strengthen our willpower by tapping into the more unknown facets of willpower. Kelly McGonigal, author of The Willpower Instinct, breaks willpower into three different powers: I Won’t Power: what we normally think of as willpower (resisting temptation) I Will Power: the ability to remember you want the consequences of doing that difficult thing (e.g., drinking more water instead of a big box of wine for a healthier future self) I Want Power: the ability to keep a clear memory of what you care about most Those last two things are a more positive framework that tap into your long-term goals and values and could make it easier to change habits. Just saying “no” to all the short-term temptations may not be enough. Share this:PrintEmailFacebookTwitterGoogleLike this:Like...

What Is Déjà Vu And Why Does It Happen?

Have you ever experienced a sudden feeling of familiarity while in a completely new place? Or the feeling you’ve had the exact same conversation with someone before? This feeling of familiarity is, of course, known as déjà vu (a French term meaning “already seen”) and it’s reported to occur on an occasional basis in 60-80% of people. It’s an experience that’s almost always fleeting and it occurs at random. So what is responsible for these feelings of familiarity? Despite coverage in popular culture, experiences of déjà vu are poorly understood in scientific terms. Déjà vu occurs briefly, without warning and has no physical manifestations other than the announcement: “I just had déjà vu!” Many researchers propose that the phenomenon is a memory-based experience and assume the memory centres of the brain are responsible for it. Memory Systems The medial temporal lobes are vital for the retention of long-term memories of events and facts. Certain regions of the medial temporal lobes are important in the detection of familiarity, or recognition, as opposed to the detailed recollection of specific events. It has been proposed that familiarity detection depends on rhinal cortex function, whereas detailed recollection is linked to the hippocampus. The randomness of déjà vu experiences in healthy individuals makes it difficult to study in an empirical manner. Any such research is reliant on self-reporting from the people involved. Glitches In The Matrix A subset of epilepsy patients consistently experience déjà vu at the onset of a seizure — that is, when seizures begin in the medial temporal lobe. This has given researchers a more experimentally controlled way of studying déjà vu. Epileptic seizures are evoked by alterations in electrical activity in neurons within focal...

Fighting festive stress and conflict

The festive season is often a peak time for stress, strained relationships and spending. But a bit of planning goes a long way in boosting holiday harmony. Do you feel like you're on an unstoppable express train to the end of December? There's relentless Christmas shopping, a tendency to overindulge in alcohol, and the looming get together with relatives who don't necessarily get on with each other. It's a pressure cooker time of year, acknowledges Kylie Dunjey, a West Australia-based counsellor and spokeswoman for Relationships Australia. But taking some time out to think and plan ahead could help take some of the stress out of the holiday season, Dunjey says. Be realistic Ask yourself honesty, 'what am I expecting of the festive period and is it actually realistic?' she advises. "There's a little perfectionist in all of us when it comes to special events. The fact of the matter is: it won't be perfect and we have to deal with it." Also know you won't please everyone. "Try not to buy into this myth that we can actually make everyone happy," Dunjey says. "Often behind our stress there's a core belief that is really unhelpful and just not possible." If there is conflict among family members, you may have to accept it and plan to manage it, rather than expect or hope to change it during the pre-holiday madness. "We often get a rush of [counselling] appointments at this time of year. People think 'I've got to get this sorted'. But often things get a bit messy before they get better. What optimises change is having more energy. Do...

The Upside Of “Gossip”: Maintaining Social Order

Gossip is often considered an undesirable, unattractive feature of society, amounting to idle chatter that undermines trust and damages reputations, but now a new study suggests it has an upside, it helps maintain social order by keeping bad behavior in check, and preventing exploitation. And it also lowers stress. You can read how researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, arrived at these findings in January's online issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Co-author and social psychologist Robb Willer said they had found evidence that gossip plays a vital role in maintaining social order: "Spreading information about the person whom they had seen behave badly tended to make people feel better, quieting the frustration that drove their gossip." Willer and colleagues found gossip has a therapeutic effect: volunteer's heart rates rose when they observed someone behaving badly, but then the heart rates lessened somewhat when they warned others about what they had witnessed. For the study, the researchers focused on "prosocial" gossip, which is intended to warn others about untrustworthy or dishonest people. This is in contrast to other forms of gossip, such as voyeuristic rumor-mongering about a celebrity's latest exploits. To study prosocial gossip, the researchers carried out four experiments where they monitored volunteers as they watched people playing an "economic trust game" against each other and where players' generosity was measured according to how many dollars or points they shared. In the first experiment, 51 volunteers agreed to have their heart rate monitored as they watched two people play the game and observed their scores. After two rounds it was obvious from the score that one...
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