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Tinnitus, that pesky ringing or buzzing in your ears, isn’t going anywhere. You hear it on your commute to work, when you’re having a quiet conversation, or when you’re trying to sleep at night. Tinnitus can’t be cured, but there are several ways you can manage tinnitus. We’ve seen how meditation can help alleviate tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus?
If you have a ringing or buzzing in your ears, you’re all too familiar with tinnitus. It’s a sound that only you can hear. When you first started noticing your tinnitus, you’d often ask your family or friends if they could hear a sound. But the more times they said no, the more you began to realize that the sound is only in your head. Tinnitus is a phantom sound that you will usually hear when there aren’t many other noises in your environment. People will describe tinnitus in a number of ways, and say tinnitus sounds like:
Tinnitus can be temporary, meaning you’ll just hear it from time to time. It can be a low hum or a high-pitched whistle that lasts for a few minutes. Tinnitus can also be permanent, and you’ll hear tinnitus all or most of the time. Tinnitus sounds different for everyone. You’ll experience tinnitus at a unique pitch and volume, and notice it more in certain situations.
How Tinnitus Affects Your Life
Living with tinnitus can impact your life. You may not notice much of a change at first, but soon tinnitus will start increasing your stress levels. Whenever you hear your tinnitus, you feel more stress. This makes your tinnitus even more noticeable, and you have a hard time ignoring the tinnitus and focusing on tasks. You may feel anxious and easily distracted.
Tinnitus also makes it harder to get a good night’s sleep. It’s the most noticeable when there are no other sounds in your environment, such as when you go to bed. Rather than drifting off into a peaceful sleep, you may lay awake listening to your tinnitus, and feeling your stress and anxiety increasing. When you do finally fall asleep, you won’t sleep as soundly, and wake up feeling tired and anxious. This can lead to fatigue, illness, and more stress!
How to Manage Tinnitus
One way to manage tinnitus is through meditation. With a bit of practice, meditation could help alleviate tinnitus, lower your stress, and bring relief from tinnitus. Meditation can also help you sleep at night, bringing more clarity to your daily tasks. Meditation can help you calm your thoughts and reduce stress. When you stop paying so much attention to your tinnitus, and it slowly fades to a more manageable level.
To try meditation for your tinnitus, sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor. You can listen to a guided meditation and focus on the speaker’s voice. You can also try a silent meditation and focus on your own inbreath and outbreath. When your mind starts wandering, or you notice you’re paying attention to your tinnitus, just let go of those thoughts, and bring your awareness back to your breathing. It’s normal that your mind will wander, so don’t worry. Just keep bringing your mind back to your inbreath and outbreath.
Meditation and Tinnitus
After a few meditation sessions, you’ll find that it’s easier to relax and bring a sense of calmness to your body and your mind. Your tinnitus will fade as you learn to relax and draw your attention away from the tinnitus. As you develop a meditation practice, you can meditate throughout the day, whenever your tinnitus is very intrusive. Close your eyes for a few seconds and focus on your breath for one or two breaths to calm your mind and help alleviate your tinnitus.
Sound Therapy for Tinnitus
Another effective treatment for tinnitus is sound therapy. When you play music, nature sounds, or even white noise, your tinnitus will fade into these background sounds and alleviate your tinnitus. You can do this on your own by finding a sound that works to mask your tinnitus, or you can get hearing aids with sound masking programs. These programs can be tailored to match your unique tinnitus to bring you relief throughout the day.