Is Anxiety Causing My Head to Feel Heavy?

Desperate businessman, trying to find a solution to his problem

People who struggle with anxiety experience various symptoms; physically, cognitively, and emotionally. While you may share similar symptoms with others you know that struggle with anxiety, often times you may suffer from different symptoms. Common physical symptoms of anxiety can include rapid heartbeat, insomnia, increased or heavy sweating, muscle twitching and lethargy.

Another common symptom for people who struggle with anxiety is headaches, or what some describe as their head feeling heavy. There are other reasons your head may feel tight or heavy but it can also be related to a case of whiplash, a head injury, migraines, fatigue or a muscle strain. If you want more information on other reasons why your head may be feeling heavy, visit:

On the other hand, if you think your anxiety might be causing your head to feel heavy, dizzy and tight, it is more than likely what is known as a tension headache. 

Tension Headache

Tension headaches are common for people that struggle with severe anxiety or anxiety disorders. Tension headaches can be described as a heavy head, migraine, head pressure, or feeling like there is a tight band wrapped around their head. These headaches are due to a tightening of the neck and scalp muscles. You may be constantly tightening your neck and scalp muscles as a reaction to your anxiety, thus overtime causing a tension headache.

It is not surprising you may experience a heavy head due to the physical stress that the body endures during continuous and extreme levels of stress. If this is something you are constantly trying to cope with, to the point where it is interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety disorder. If this is the case be sure to seek consultation from a professional.

Exhausted woman massaging temples, suffering from headache, migraine at workplace, tired overworked employee, student working on laptop, difficult project, touching head, feeling pain

Quick Fixes to Relieve My Tension Headache

Although your tension headache may be caused by anxiety there are small things you do in your everyday life have the possibility to make the headache worse. For example, dehydration can increase anxiety, consequently causing symptoms of anxiety to be worse – specifically headaches. Consuming the recommended amount of water based on your demographics will prevent dehydration.

Stretching on a regular basis can relax the muscles that are tight in the neck and relieves the tension that is being placed on the body. Along with stretching, incorporating breathing exercises to calm your body and the benefits of physical exercise as well. Physical exercise releases hormones and neurotransmitters that calm the mind and the muscles.

Finally, decreasing the time spent around loud noises and bright lights can also help alleviate your tension headache. 

Long Term Treatment To Relieve My Heavy Head

When you are dealing with tension headaches or head pressure, the use of medication should be a last resort. This is because the physical symptom of the headache is the result of your anxiety and there is a root to your anxiety. The use of medication may reduce the feeling of your tension headache but does not solve the real problem. It is also the case that the certain medications only exacerbate the problem that already exists instead of relieving it. 

The most important ways to begin relieving  a heavy head is by reducing your anxiety as well as any other excess stress you may be experiencing on you neck and head. Begin reducing your anxiety by changing aspects of your life. Look into areas of your life that may be causing your anxiety. If you are feeling anxious about relationships, what about your relationship is causing you anxiety? Are you experiencing a great deal of anxiety at work? What about work is causing you to feel that way? Whatever it may be, find a way to make changes to the situation.

Overworked businesswoman suffering from headache and thinking how to end work

Most people experience anxiety at one point or another, but if it is taking over your life then it is time to do some digging and make some changes.

Sometimes making these changes on your own can be difficult so seeking of the help of friends, family or a professional may be helpful. Be present and in the moment. A lot of times, we may be sitting with our family at dinner but our minds are somewhere else. Contemplating the future, what we have to do tomorrow, or worrying about bills that need to be paid. All of these thoughts are running through the mind, raising anxiety, and you are unable to live in the moment. The constant worrying and fears accumulate consequently creating physical symptoms like tension headaches.

Don’t forget, your heavy head is not the problem, it is just a symptom. If you never fix the problem, the symptom will still remain.

Written by Dr. Grand McDonald, PsyD.

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