The Spiritual Meaning of Headaches

The Spiritual Meaning of Headaches


Recurring headaches can be a sign that there are imbalances in both the body and mind. Learn more about the spiritual meaning of headaches.

Headaches are rather common and can be caused by a number of factors, and can range from slightly annoying to debilitating, especially if you suffer from migraines. Sometimes headaches can indicate an underlying issue, and if you’re concerned about your headaches, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to find out if there’s something else going on. In the meantime, let’s consider the spiritual meaning of headaches.

What’s Going on in Your Head?

The most obvious message that your headaches might be trying to send you is that something is going on in your head that hurts or feels uncomfortable. You might be overthinking a problem or dealing with something that feels a little too heavy, hard, or tight. In the case of a migraine, the pain can be so intense that it completely blocks thinking, which could be helping your system deal with something too painful to think about. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What have I been thinking about lately?

  • Is there something happening now (or something from the past) that I don’t want to think about?

  • Is there a problem in my life that feels unsolvable, like something I can’t sort out through thinking?

  • Do I tend to be a thinking person, overthinking as a strategy to get through stress?

Neck Tension and Something Stuck in the Throat

While headaches are obviously felt in the head, they often originate from tension in the neck and shoulders. The structure of the neck and throat is the highway between the head and the heart. Sometimes when there are issues here (especially when it comes to jaw tension), there may be something “stuck in the throat.” Consider the following questions:

  • Is there a desire or pain in your heart that your logical mind disagrees with?

  • Is there something important you’re not saying?

  • If you feel tension in your heart, is there something you’ve been avoiding feeling or thinking about?

Sixth Chakra Imbalance

The sixth chakra, known as ajna, is located in the center of your brain, in line with the space between and slightly above your eyebrows. This is an energy center that is related to intuition, intellect, and clear seeing. When this energy center is balanced, we are in touch with our intuition, our spiritual selves, and our ability to think through problems, seeing the wider view of everything. When it’s out of balance, we might struggle to trust ourselves and our intuition, actively ignore intuitive information, or get confused between our intuition and our thoughts.

Intuition feels calm and clear. Thoughts can feel chaotic, stressful, and urgent, especially when they come in suddenly and move us down a spiral of fear or anxiety. A balanced sixth chakra allows us to see things openly, clearly, and from a wide perspective that can include other people’s thoughts and feelings and our spiritual wisdom. Headaches, especially around the forehead and temples, can indicate that this area is either overworking or deficient.

  • Do you feel connected to the intuition in your mind and body?

  • Do you trust your thoughts and feelings or do you fear or doubt your own thoughts?

  • Do you sometimes find that you are in thought spirals that feel very true but turn out not to be?

Seventh Chakra Imbalance

The seventh chakra, sahasrara, is the energy center just above the crown of the head. It connects us to Spirit, God, Love, Universal Energy—whatever you want to call it. The seventh chakra connects us to the web of everything, reminding us that we are a part of the world we live in, not simply an individual being who lives there. When this chakra is out of balance, we can feel disconnected from Spirit, alone or lonely, and out of balance. In some cases, this chakra can shift out of balance when we are focusing too much on the spiritual realm and not enough on the practicalities of our day-to-day lives on the ground. Being connected to Spirit should help us connect to our community, not take us away from it. If your headaches involve pain high in the head or they feel like they radiate down from the top of your head through the rest of your body, they may be indicating an imbalance in the crown chakra.

  • Are you connected to Spirit in a way that makes sense for you?

  • Do you have a sense that there is something greater than just you, some meaning to your life and choices?

  • Do you feel connected to your community in a balanced way?

Self-Care Issues

Some of the most common reasons for headaches are caused by poor self-care: poor posture, dehydration, lack of healthy movement, lack of nourishing food, too much screen time, too much alcohol or stimulants like caffeine or nicotine, or not enough sleep. When our self-care is out of balance, there may be underlying concerns deeper than the inability to properly care for ourselves. These are what I like to think of as crimes against wisdom—habits we know are bad for us that we do anyway. The issue here is why we do them when we know they are bad for us. Consider the following questions.

  • Why do I do the things I know cause me headaches?

  • Do I believe that I am fundamentally worthy of loving care?

  • Did I learn at some point in my life that I deserved to be mistreated or neglected?

  • Do I believe that my body is worth attention and care or do I think it is just an annoyance that follows my brain around?

  • Is there something I’m avoiding feeling or dealing with by making sure, on some unconscious level, that I’m always in pain?

  • Is there a benefit to the headaches? Do they help me do or not do something?

If these questions resonate for you, your mind may be working overtime to help you manage big feelings, leading to spiraling thoughts that don’t actually help you sort anything out. In addition to any medical interventions that work for you, you may consider finding some ways to balance thinking with feeling through counseling, soothing the nervous system, and working on your relationship with your body and any underlying reasons you may be mistreating your body. Give yourself permission to care for yourself and whatever is going on with your headaches, and you might just find that they are willing to ease.

Explore these mind-body therapies for migraine headaches.

The Spiritual Meaning of Headaches

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