How to resolve work-related stress headaches.

How to resolve work-related stress headaches.

Sylvie contacted me because she was struggling at work.  “I’m having a hard time at work again. It’s causing me bad headaches. I have lower back pain. And I had a panic attack before going into work today.”

Sylvie reported that apart from work, she was doing well. She has been experiencing tension headaches for the past couple of weeks and based on past experiences, she is worried that things were going to continue to go downhill.

I guided Sylvie to connect with what was bothering her. The headaches were present first thing in the morning and lasted all day. There was pain in her lower back and her shoulders were tight. She was frustrated and annoyed.

As she connected with this tension, a thought arose: “I know what’s causing it. One particular person is frustrating and annoying me.”

She explained that there was a new person, Ellie, who was very aggressive in how she spoke with people. Sylvie was worried because she had spoken up about Ellie’s inappropriate behaviour.  “I told her: “You can’t talk to people like that!” “

I guided Sylvie to locate the trigger and apply the three specific sentences. The distress and tension eased and the headache shifted. “She’s just human.”

As she explored what remained, she noticed that her heart was starting to pound and she was feeling insecure. “It’s like the panic attack I experienced this morning. I’ve had this happen before. I can’t carry on like this.”

I once again guided her to locate the trigger and apply the sentences. Afterwards she felt calmer and she was telling herself: “I have a reason for it.” There was still some distress remaining so she allowed herself to get in touch with the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. For the third time, I guided her to locate the trigger and apply the sentences.

After the sentences, I checked in with her. Her headache felt a lot lighter. Her heart was no longer pounding. The back pain eased. She laughed at the idea that she couldn’t carry on like this. Ellie’s aggressive approach didn’t feel like an issue. The distress was gone. Although she felt tired, she was at ease.

The next day I received a message that she was made aware that the situation regarding the Ellie’s behaviour was being handled. The headache and back pain were gone and Sylvie felt much better.

“I’m proud of myself for speaking up but it does mean that I need to deal with myself first, which I feel I am doing by being aware of and working on what’s bothering me and getting in the way of moving forward.”