Stage 1 is common to all three types of headaches: tension, migraine and cluster headaches.
New information emerging from the research frontiers of medical science is revealing that the underlying cause of most chronic, recurrent headaches is chronic, recurrent stress. At least 80 percent of all headaches are believed to be set off by unresolved emotional stress.
Our lives today are filled with potentially stressful events capable of triggering a painful headache. Conflicts concerning job, family, money and relationships; noise and constantly ringing telephones; traffic jams and waiting in line, long tiring drives on the freeway … the modern world is filled with potentially headache-provoking situations.
However, stress is caused by the way we react to a situation, not by the situation itself. Most migraine sufferers characteristically overreact to events they perceive as immediately threatening or disturbing, while most tension headache sufferers tend to be anxious and worried about upcoming events.
We can understand how headaches begin when we realize that every feeling (emotion) is preceded by a thought. Whenever we think a positive thought, we experience a positive emotion such as love, joy, hope, compassion, contentment or gratitude. Whenever we think a negative thought, we swiftly experience a negative emotion such as fear, anger, hostility, resentment, guilt, frustration, envy or anxiety.
Positive thoughts arise from positive beliefs held in our belief system while most negative thoughts arise because we continue to hold outdated conditioned beliefs that we acquired in the past and that are no longer valid or appropriate.
The human mind has been aptly described as a biological computer. Information about the world around us is fed into the brain’s interpretive center, where it is matched with data held in our belief system. After perceiving the input data through a filter of our beliefs, our interpretive center responds by placing a thought in our mind.
For example, if we have just learned that a friend has been given a promotion that we expected to get, this information is matched in our belief system with associations from the past. Depending on the beliefs in our data banks, our mind could choose a positive, loving thought that makes us feel glad for our friend’s success. Or it could choose the negative thought that considering all the hard work we’d put in over the years without recognition, we should have been chosen for the promotion instead.
If a positive thought arose, it would immediately provoke a positive feeling. And a negative thought would provoke a negative feeling. We experience our feelings in the limbic area of the brain that surrounds the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These glands scan every feeling we experience.