According to the American Tinnitus Association, over 45 million Americans suffer from this condition. It’s a persistent ringing, buzzing or another sound in one or both ears that makes it hard to hear, relax and sleep.
Tinnitus is a symptom rather than a disease itself. High blood pressure, anxiety, depression, teeth grinding and some medications can lead to this miserable condition.
But there’s a new tactic some tinnitus sufferers are using. As it turns out, clearing your mind may ease up your tinnitus symptoms.
Why a “Messy” Mind May Worsen Tinnitus
First of all, what is a messy mind? A cluttered mind is a mind that’s often in a state of fight or flight. It’s stressed out a significant portion of the day.
It may experience negative thought patterns, racing thoughts, repetitive thoughts, trouble sleeping and general worry about life, the future or the past.
People with a messy mind often feel scattered. In extreme cases, it’s hard to remember important things or even think straight.
All of this mess is generally the byproduct of our hectic lives. Between family, Facebook, work, health and the news, you probably have a lot on your mind.
Some people have learned to manage all of this busy-ness with less mess than others. For others, it’s a struggle.
All of this stress can lead to high blood pressure and excess adrenaline production. That’s the hormone responsible for revving things up when you need to fight or run away from danger. But it wreaks havoc on your body if you suffer from chronic stress.
Among other things, adrenaline reduces the blood flow your inner ear. The inner ear is a very delicate piece of machinery. It needs a constant supply of oxygen to function. If you cut that oxygen off, inner ear cells start to die.
Once these cells die, they can’t grow back. Permanent hearing loss and tinnitus can result.
On top of this, during a state of stress, the tinnitus will seem worse because you’re hyper-aware of your surroundings when you’re stressed out.
How to Clear Your Mind to Reduce Tinnitus
Reducing stress levels can significantly reduce tinnitus symptoms.
So the question is, why are some people able to manage stress more effectively than others? You may think they have less stress in their lives. That’s usually not the case.
In most cases, either through upbringing or learning later in life, they’ve learned the secret to clearing their minds and managing stress.
One of the most effective ways to do this is through meditation. Meditation is a mindfulness exercise that can help clear a cluttered mind.
Many find it useful to set some time aside once or twice a day to meditate.
When you do, you’ll find that your mind feels clearer and cleaner. Things that might normally stress you out seem more like hurdles to jump to achieve your goals. It becomes easier to focus on the positive and find solutions.
As you do, you’ll notice that your tinnitus symptoms become less pronounced. It’s easier to hear and follow conversations.
You no longer feel like you’re battling tinnitus while you try to sleep.
Get Started with Meditation for Tinnitus
Meditation takes many forms. Find what works for you. But here’s how to get started with meditation to reduce tinnitus.
- Find a quiet place to sit upright in a comfortable chair.
- Avoid using noise-makers or loud music for this meditation. You need to be able to hear your tinnitus so that you’ll realize when you don’t anymore.
- Breathe deeply and slowly. A person who is stressed breathes shallowly and quickly. Train your body to breathe deeply. You’ll instantly feel more relaxed.
- If you can’t bear sitting in the silence, listen to a guided meditation that speaks to you. Or focus intently on each breath.
- Sit as still and as quiet as you can.
- If you become aware of a distraction like ringing in the ears, don’t resist it. Instead, focus your energy on another part of your body like your leg. As you do this, you’ll notice that the distraction goes away.
- If you think a thought, don’t stress about the fact that you’re thinking. Instead, imagine the thought drifting away like a leaf on a stream.
At first, you’ll have lots of leaves floating on that stream. It may even be hard to “see” the water in your mind. But if you stick with a meditation schedule, they become fewer and fewer.
Focus on the space between thoughts. As you do, you’ll notice that it grows. As it does, you’ll also see that the tinnitus gets less and less.
The more you meditate, the longer and longer this respite from tinnitus will last. It may even go away entirely. In addition to sitting meditation, try meditating yourself to sleep. It’s incredible.