Tinnitus Strategies: a daily practice
This information aims to help you learn how to resolve your tinnitus by changing your relationship to your tinnitus. It offers you some insight into how I work with tinnitus clients and some ideas about you can start this at home. You can create a home practice for yourself to achieve your goals and reduce worry so that you can do the things you love (including sleep).
Read through these dot points below and take anything that helps you reset your relationship to your tinnitus.
NOTE: You can learn to take control of your focus. It takes daily practice. This is quite seriously a life changing skill and the most important point to digest.
Our focus creates our perception of the world. What we see, hear, feel etc. Through my ROCK STEADY program you can learn to develop techniques that fine-tune your capacity to focus with meaningful purpose.
- If you focus upon tinnitus, search for it, talk about it or think about it… the brain makes it louder. Be honest with yourself. If you start to fall into the trap of searching for tinnitus you are likely to feed the cycle of tinnitus and make it louder. You are in control of your focus and this empowering. However, none of us are in control of our automatic thoughts- these will come and go all day long. You don’t need to control your thoughts. Nor the tinnitus… tinnitus just is what it is, sound that is generated within our biology. Keep reading to learn more.
- Tinnitus won’t hurt you. It is okay to have tinnitus noises within our ears/body. The doctors will inform you if it is a sign of disease or hearing damage. All healthy ears make background noise, so tinnitus is not actually a sign of illness or hearing loss. This is a very old misunderstanding. The noise you hear is real. And it is safe. We don’t need to consider it a problem. Tinnitus noise is a part of our normal body function, it is a result of biological activity. To be put it simply, tinnitus just is. Like a washing machine doing its job; it is loud on spin cycle and quiet at other times. The laundry noise is a result of the washing machine working rather than a sign that the machine is broken. Begin to notice that your ears make noise and they are allowed to make noise. Our brain will filter it out once it realises the noise is not useful.
- Notice what happens when you hear the noise of a washing machine? Do you worry about the noise it makes? The noise is appropriate as it does its job… we hear the washing machine and then we shift our focus to something more interesting. Because we know the noise is normal and we don’t worry or focus upon it. It isn’t seen as important or interesting so the brain tunes it out and turns the volume down on it. This skill we can learn to use with our tinnitus noise.
- Reframing the tinnitus. Ask yourself: How can I counteract my automatic thoughts about tinnitus with a helpful perspective? What could I say that would make me feel better? What is my inner dialogue? How am I treating my body and my tinnitus? Am I being kind?
- All humans have automatic negative thoughts/worries. “Why me, why is it loud, why it is there?” E.g at night when it is more noticeable. What might be a more helpful perspective? What thoughts might make you feel better? Are there any underlying fears or vulnerabilities surfacing that you need support to work through? Tinnitus can be our bodies way of processing difficult memories or feelings. It is quite normal and nothing to worry about.
- Tinnitus noise is generated by all the moving anatomy within in our ears and brain. It is actually a misunderstanding that tinnitus is a disease or a condition. The noise itself is just a phenomena within our biology. You can have healthy ears, no hearing loss and loud tinnitus. Over 90% of people can hear their tinnitus noise when in a quiet room. Around 2% are significantly worried about it. Tinnitus can become worse when we are dehydrated, tired, exhausted, rushed or stressed… or worried about it and thinking about it a lot. It may be loudest when our rhythms change, such as slowing down in the evening compared to being busy throughout the day. We need to give ourselves time to readjust. Let yourself rest with the noise, go for a quiet walk, practice self-compassion, do things that you love. Give yourself a break in whatever way feels nourishing for you. Hydrate, move, and connect with your values.
- WELCOME CURIOSITY: practice exploring a healthy relationship to the noise in your body.
“My noise is no big deal and allowed to be here”, “I don’t need to get rid of it”, “Hello tinnitus, how are you going, how long will this noise cycle last before it changes again?”
Become curious. Curiosity is the antidote to worry. I have seen countless tinnitus clients resolve their tinnitus completely once they master the art of curiosity and connecting to their values. They no longer even notice the tinnitus despite the fact that it would still be there in the background of their minds. The brain has learnt to filter it out and they are now able to get back to life and feel normal without worry or distress. You can see case studies to gather inspiration.
Write a list of activities that are MEANINGFUL TO YOU…
(Things that you love, that cultivate curiosity and that make you feel at ease.)
Use these activities, as strategies that help you to stay engaged with what matters. In private therapy we explore your values further and find new ways for you to connect more deeply with them.
In moments when you notice tinnitus noise, allow it to be there without expectation. Be honest about where you put your focus and know that the brain will make the noise louder if you put importance on getting rid of it. Do what matters to you and use your values to guide you toward joy and ease. Learn how to put your focus where you want it to be and take your power back.
Keep supporting yourself in gentle steps and be kind as you learn to relate differently to your tinnitus 😉 For severe tinnitus I recommend seeking private therapy to reach your goals more effectively.
Watch the FREE 1-hour Master Class for Vertigo and Tinnitus to learn more about starting a daily practice.
Check out my ROCK STEADY self-study program for healing symptoms of vertigo or tinnitus if you would like to learn more.