And here’s what we learned previously:
Strategy #1: Become thoroughly addicted to electronic devices. Computers, cell phones, tablets, Kindles, Nooks – if it has a glaring, glowing screen, use it as much as possible. Start first thing in the morning and don’t let up until you go to bed. Squint at the screen as much as possible, especially late at night, when the glare from the screen will carry the added benefit of disrupting your sleep (see helpful hint #5, coming soon). Best of all is the habit of hunching over your computer or phone in “inquisitive turtle” position; these behaviors are especially hard on the eyes and neck, virtually ensuring a headache!
Strategy #2: Make junk food a staple of your diet. Junk food tends to be loaded with salt, which is dehydrating to the whole body, including the brain; this actually causes the brain to shrink and pull away from the inside from the skull, which — surprise! — can make your head hurt. Junk food also is a huge source of starch and sugar, which induce a blood sugar rollercoaster, where blood sugar spikes too high, then falls too low, producing a headache. Those delicious junky munchies also tend to contain MSG, a notorious headache-producer, and bodacious amounts of preservatives such as nitrites and nitrates, which increase blood flow, leading to headaches. Drive-thrus, here you come – and bonus points for eating stuff you already know makes your head hurt. Score!
Strategy #3: Be tense. Be stressed. Never, ever relax. Emotional stress is one of the best ways to make sure the muscles in your shoulders, neck, and scalp are as rigid as possible, which is a great way to make your head hurt. It also can make other causes of headaches more powerful. If you’re really lucky, your body will react to your constant stress by producing chemicals that can provoke a migraine! Workaholism is a great help here; so is being a Type A person who goes so hard, all the time, that they even make an exhausting chore out of relaxing. Take pride in your constant activity and tension. Humble-brag about it whenever possible, and see if you can make people who can let go from time to time feel guilty for being such slackers. (“I wish I had time to meditate! Everybody says I should relax, and I know I should – my shoulder muscles feel like billiard balls — but there’s just so much to do!”)
Strategy #4: Abuse alcohol. Alcohol abuse is one of the most effective ways to induce a really raging headache via our old friend, the hangover. Ingest enough alcohol to overwhelm the liver’s capacity to detoxify it, and all kinds of amazing things can happen. Remember your hangovers from college partying and other youthful (or perhaps not-so-youthful) indiscretions? The crushing fatigue, aching muscles, queasiness (maybe even all the way to nausea and vomiting), weakness, thirst accompanied by the sensation that someone had stuffed your mouth with wads of cotton, dizziness, shakiness, vampire-like sensitivity to light – and, most of all, the sensation that your head was about to explode…. Who would ever want to give that up?
So there you have it! Do any of these things, let alone all of them, and headaches galore will be yours.
What’s that you say? You want to prevent headaches, not encourage them? Watch this space for a completely different set of hints about getting rid of headaches and preventing them to begin with. See you there!
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